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Help families and caregivers of people with special needs create a secure financial future.

Caring, Compassion, Community.

A caregiver with a child with special needs

The American College Center for Special Needs is committed to elevating the knowledge of financial planning professionals in the area of special needs planning and promoting strategies and solutions that aid individuals with special needs as well as their caregivers.

A caregiver with a child with special needs

About Us

Established in 2014 by a transformative gift from MassMutual, the American College Center for Special Needs seeks to be the nation’s leading voice on financial planning for professionals working with the loved ones, guardians, and caregivers of those with special needs. Formed from expert thought leaders in the field and backed by the best-in-class knowledge and know-how of The American College of Financial Services, the Center offers information, programs, and education that focus on this underserved but growing part of our communities.



In the United States, 26% of adults have some type of disability



Out of all children, 7% have a developmental disability



Among caregivers, 33% are doing nothing to save for their future needs or goals



Only 1 financial services designation provides comprehensive education in special needs planning: The College’s Chartered Special Needs Consultant® (ChSNC®)

Prioritize emergency savings, retirement, and future care needs.

Guide caregivers on benefits programs available to them.

Consider insurance products to supplement coverage.


For Professionals

The Chartered Special Needs Consultant® (ChSNC®) is an online, self-study program designed for experienced financial advisors who want to make a real difference in the lives of people with disabilities or special needs. Augment your current financial planning and interpersonal skills with specialized knowledge focused on helping parents and caregivers plan for immediate and long term care, as well as wisely and compassionately guiding families through complex financial decisions and benefits systems so they and their loved ones can have the peace of mind they deserve.

With the ChSNC®, you can give your career a higher purpose—and make a real difference in people’s lives.

Get Started

Growing Pool of Potential Clients

Only Credential for Special Needs Planning

Comprehensive, Multidisciplinary Approach

Preparing for a Loved One's Future

Out of all caregivers, 54% expect to predecease children with special needs.

Knowledge of Financial Planning Tools

Among caregivers, 66% have not set up a Special Needs Trust (SNT) to provide for loved ones.

Ensuring Security and Stability

87% of caregivers are concerned about how loved ones with special needs will be cared for after they pass.

For Caregivers

The moment could have come during a routine prenatal appointment when a doctor said, “There’s a problem.” It could have come later, when a parent couldn’t help but notice their child was falling behind important developmental milestones. When someone discovers their child or loved one has special needs, the love doesn’t change, but how they plan for their future will. There’s so much out of a caregiver’s control that it’s important to focus on the things they have power over—like their financial plans.

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MassMutual SpecialCare logo
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MassMutual SpecialCare

Learn More

SpecialCare is a program developed by MassMutual that provides access to information and resources to families with dependents of any age with special needs. Their mission is to help educate families and caregivers of people with special needs about the importance of creating a life care plan to help provide a secure financial future for themselves and their loved ones.

Chartered Special Needs Consultant® (ChSNC®)

Find a Financial Professional

Families caring for an individual with special needs face unique financial challenges, and yet few financial advisors have the specialized skills to help. A Chartered Special Needs Consultant® (ChSNC®) is equipped to provide expert guidance through complex benefit and financial systems so your family and loved ones can thrive.

Always By Your Side.

As the father of a child with disabilities, Tom Brinker, JD, LLM, PFS/CPA, AEP®, ChFC®, is uniquely qualified to lead our ChSNC® program and The College’s Center for Special Needs. Watch this video for a look at his passion for addressing issues no other financial education programs touch, and to learn why his personal connection to this underserved but important part of our community helps make the ChSNC® curriculum special.


View All Resources


  /  06.16.2021

Establishing Tax Basics of Special Needs Trusts


  /  07.14.2021

The Convergence: Special Needs Planning and Women


  /  05.28.2020

An Overlooked Deduction for Families Caring for Those With Special Needs


  /  05.12.2021

Preserving Government Benefits for Individuals with Special Needs