Life can be more difficult for a child with a birth injury, especially if the injury leads to long-term disabilities. However, the United States government has instituted services and programs to ensure that special needs children have the opportunity to receive extra assistance with medical, financial, and educational care.
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), are federal insurance programs that offers insurance to children whose parents or guardians meet income guidelines, which will vary from state to state. These programs apply to all children who meet the eligibility requirements, regardless if they have disabilities or not.
In addition, since physicians recognize the first three years of life as the most influential medically, the Early Intervention Programs exist for children from birth to age three.
Some birth injuries involve numerous afflictions that require visiting medical professionals regularly, and these programs are in place so that you don’t have to pay for these services out of pocket.
For more information on Medicaid and CHIP, including eligibility requirements, contact your local health department.
Social Security Benefits
According to the Social Security Administration, children with disabilities can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), as long as they meet the eligibility requirement. SSI provides monthly benefits payments in order to help parents and disabled have a better chance, financially, while caring for and dealing with disabilities.
Generally, SSI provides payments for disabilities such as:
- Cerebral palsy
- Total blindness and/or deafness
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Down’s Syndrome
- Serious intellectual disorders (this applies to children over 7 years of age)
- Low birth weight (Under 2 ponds, 10 ounces)
In order to qualify for SSI, the disabled child must not earn more than $1,070 per month through work, which is typically not an issue for babies and young children. In addition, the disability must be considered disabling and expected to last at least one year or expected to result in death. Furthermore, the disability must be a physical or mental disorder, or a combination of both, that is marked by severe limitations.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that all states in United States provide state-paid special educational services to children with disabilities. There are currently more than 6 million disabled children who receive special education services via IDEA, with customized, individual educational plans under the Individualized Educational Program (IEP).
In order to qualify for special education services, the child must have at least one of the following:
- An intellectual disability
- Visual impairment
- Severe emotional and/or behavioral disturbances
- Hearing impairment
- Speech and/or language impairments
- Traumatic brain injury
- Specific learning disabilities
- Health impairments
- Orthopedic impairments
In addition, children with disabilities may also receive additional services, such as transportation to and from school, counseling, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language pathology.