The most common diagnosis is spastic cerebral palsy, which involves rigid muscles on one or both sides of the body, as well as difficulty walking and talking. The condition is a life-long disability that ranges from mild to severe, but almost always requires at least one of the parents to make sacrifices in order to stay home and care for the child.
Children with CP will need help eating, bathing, getting dressed and getting into their wheelchairs. They may need to meet with physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, dental hygienists, eye doctors, surgeons and medical doctors for cerebral palsy treatment. To help cover some of the financial demands of your child's care, your family may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI benefits).
Children with cerebral palsy require medical expenses and caregiver requirements that can be very demanding. To assist you with some of your needs, Social Security offers eligible families benefits for their child with CP.
Typically, to apply for Social Security you must be over 65, blind or disabled. Children under 18 can qualify if he or she meets Supplemental Security Income's definition of "disability" and if your household income falls within the eligibility requirements. These numbers vary from state to state, so it's best that you check with your state social security program.
If children cerebral palsy benefits are awarded, then the law mandates that the state agency review your child's medical condition every three years or so. At these review periods, you must demonstrate records that your child is still receiving cerebral palsy treatment from a medical doctor. When a child with CP turns 18, he or she is considered an adult, so different medical rules apply to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments.
For example, the household income is no longer a factor and only the 18-year-old's income will determine eligibility. As of 2009, the child must not work a job earning over $980/month. To determine benefit eligibility, the application is sent to the disability determination services in your state. To apply, you can call 1-800-722-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. or visit Ssa.
Along with financial compensation, children cerebral palsy benefits also include health care service referrals. Many parents may be unsure where they can get the best and most affordable care for their cerebral palsy child. As part of the "Children with Special Health Care Needs" provision of the Social Security Act, you'll be referred to state health agencies that provide specialized services at hospitals, clinics, private offices, in/outpatient centers or community organizations. Even children who do not qualify for SSI may be able to find special needs programs through their local social services office or hospital.
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