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Similar to community support organizations, financial support groups offer some much needed help for parents and caregivers of a child with CP.
The cost of caring for a child with cerebral palsy over a lifetime is around $1 million, in addition to normal living expenses. This can be an overwhelming figure for families. By finding a financial support organization that works with their child’s individual needs, parents can feel more secure about their family’s future.
There are countless organizations worldwide that were founded solely to help alleviate the cost of caring for a child with CP.
In addition to financial support organizations, there are many government benefits available that can offset the costs of cerebral palsy treatment. By finding ways to manage the expenses associated with CP, parents can ensure their child receives the therapy, medications, surgeries and treatment they need to live a full life.
The search to find financial support is not always a simple undertaking. Parents may wonder exactly how to find these groups, and what resources are available. Fortunately, there are an array of organizations across the U.S. and the world that can help.
The Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association, or CHASA, is an organization that provides financial assistance and scholarships to families in need. It is dedicated to helping parents of children with CP by creating a network to share information about treatment clinics and educational programs.
From family retreats to social media support groups, the CHASA community helps people from all over the globe affected by cerebral palsy.
The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) is an organization that provides families affected by CP with the opportunity to receive access to health-related services that aren’t covered by their family’s commercial health insurance plan.
This group provide grants of up to $5,000 annually per child. Families without a UnitedHealthcare insurance plan are still eligible to receive UHCCF.
The MORGAN Project is a non-profit organization established by Robert and Kristen Malfara in honor of their son Morgan, who suffers from a rare form of leukodystrophy. Their mission is to raise awareness and offer support for parents of children with special health care needs.
This organization provides guidance, resources and gently used disability equipment to assist children with mobility concerns.
There are five federally funded programs that offer additional income and insurance for those with CP. These include:
While this funding originates within the national government, benefits are accessible through your state or city government. This makes it easier for parents to apply for and receive the help they need without having to endure a lengthy process of evaluation.
Local government agencies are responsible for dispersing the funds allotted to their citizens with disabilities. In order to apply for these government benefits or insurance plans, parents should seek out any necessary applications and forms through their local council.
SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, comes in the form of monthly checks for children and adults with serious disabilities, such as CP. SSI is reserved for low-income families. The base amount for SSI in 2016 is $733 a month.
The general requirements to collect SSI benefits include:
Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, provides monthly income for adults that are unable to work due to their disability. SSDI does not require the applicant to have a certain income amount in order to receive benefits.
The general requirements to collect SSDI benefits include:
Medicaid is a federal health insurance program set up for families with limited income. Many families affected by cerebral palsy use Medicaid to help pay for medical expenses, housing and assistive devices.
Those who qualify for Medicaid must:
IDEA, or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, is a federal law that requires schools to serve the educational needs of students with special needs. Children with cerebral palsy are generally eligible for special education and treatment services provided by IDEA.
This program offers services for individuals up to 21 years old. Also, children who are showing signs of CP (link) but haven’t been officially diagnosed may still qualify for special education services.
Some of the benefits included under IDEA are:
Children attending a public school system who are between the ages of 3 and 21 are covered by IDEA. IDEA for school-age children is meant to foster an environment that is more conducive to learning by providing access to an array of accommodation services.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health care coverage to children through both Medicaid and separate CHIP programs. CHIP provides low-cost health care coverage to families that exceed the income requirement for Medicaid. CHIP coverage is offered in every U.S. state.
Benefits available with CHIP differ by state, but the following services are provided across the nation:
The costs associated with CHIP coverage differs for each family. However, this health insurance option ensures that you won’t have to pay more than 5 percent of your family’s income for the year.
There are a number of cases where cerebral palsy could have been prevented by a more attentive medical team. In these cases, those affected by cerebral palsy are entitled to legal compensation.
A failure to detect issues with the umbilical cord that can lead to brain damage is an example of a preventable birth injury.
Legal compensation recovered in court can be put towards past and future medical expenses and costs associated with raising a child with cerebral palsy. If you think that your child’s cerebral palsy qualifies as a preventable birth injury, our legal partners are available to review your case free of charge to determine if you are entitled to legal compensation.
Get your free legal compensation case evaluation here.
Kimberlee is a writer and researcher who is passionate about helping children with disabilities enjoy a happy, healthy life. She works closely with our attorneys to create content that educates the families and caretakers of children with cerebral palsy.