A large insurance carrier is launching a dedicated unit for special needs planners who serve the financial needs of families and individuals with special needs.

A unit of MetLife, New York, the MetLife Center for Special Needs Planning is the new name of a group that has been serving the special needs market on behalf of MetLife for a while. The former name was the MetLife Division of Estate Planning for Special Kids.

The new name reflects the center’s broader constituency and expanded services, according to MetLife, a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc.

Special needs planners help with such things as eligibility for Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid, how to protect future government eligibility, and using a special needs trust to provide for lifetime care, says MetLife. They must meet stringent training requirements; and many are either parents of children with special needs or have close relatives with special needs.