Financial Help For People With Cerebral Palsy

Published: 04th August 2009
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Children with cerebral palsy are eligible for a number of federal and state benefit programs -- from Social Security and Medicaid to reduced rent and low-interest loans for technology devices to assist them. Dealing with cerebral palsy can be challenging for families, especially since the child will need so many services, such as doctors, surgeons, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, dental hygienists and mental health counselors. Luckily, help is just around the corner.

Your first stop for financial aid for your cerebral palsy child should be to apply for Social Security benefits. If you or your child has become disabled before the age of 22, then you are eligible for Adult Child Social Security benefits.

If your child is under 18, you can apply for Supplemental Security Income benefits through your local Social Security office. Children with cerebral palsy are admitted easily to this government aid program, which is designed for people with life-long disabilities or who are too old to work any longer.

Sometimes Medicaid health insurance coverage automatically comes with SSI, but other times you must apply separately for these benefits. Be sure to ask your SSI representative what your state's rules are.

There are other resources for those with cerebral palsy. For instance, the United Cerebral Palsy Community Resource Funds offer emergency money for living expenses and technological needs. The USA TechGuide website offers low-interest, technology loans and state grants to help kids with spastic cerebral palsy get the necessary medical devices they need.

New mothers who need to take time off from work to care for their child are eligible for supplemental income (50-60% of their standard salary) from Temporary Disability Insurance for up to 12 months. Once your child reaches school age, the Individual Education Plan (through the Individuals with Disabilities Act) can provide your child with a team of therapists and educators, as well as the proper devices to ensure your child learns all he/she can.

Later in life, as the child with this disability grows into an adult, he or she may decide to live on his/her own. Through Section 8 HUD, patients with this disability can get housing assistance vouchers and reduced rent based on their income and demonstrated need.

Through the Krysti Bingham Cerebral Palsy Foundation, eligible residents will only pay 30% of their living expenses, with the rest funded through a government grant. According to the Foundation, "Too often, people in the prime of life have been forced to live in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and hospitals, or at home with aging parents. The KBCPF 'Hope Houses' transforms the lifestyle of those with this disability from one of social isolation and dependency to one of dignity, shared experiences and community involvement."

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