Birth injuries such as Erb’s palsy, also known as brachial plexus palsy, not only take an emotional toll on a newborn’s family, they also add a variety of financial challenges. In addition to the costs of the baby’s delivery, birth injuries add on additional expenses, including medication, surgery, physical therapy, and more. As challenging as dealing with your child’s Erb’s palsy is to you in emotional and financial terms, keep in mind that there are financial resources available that can assist you.
Social Security Assistance
The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides financial assistance to disabled children who meet needs-based eligibility requirements. SSA offers several types of benefits to help families with living expenses, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. In most cases involving children with brachial plexus palsy, payments are not made until a state-level agency certifies that a child qualifies for SSI. However, monthly SSI payments start as soon as SSA is aware that your child has brachial plexus palsy and that your family meets its income guidelines.
SSA also offers a benefit called Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSDI pays adults a monthly payment if they have a disabling condition that started before they were 22 years old. To qualify for this benefit, one parent must be receiving either retirement or disability benefits. Alternatively, if a parent is dead but managed to work long enough under Social Security, a young disabled adult may qualify for SSDI benefits. In addition, a disabled adult who received dependents’ benefits may also receive SSDI payments if the disability occurred at age 18. SSA officials make these decisions based on disability rules established for disabled adults.
Erb’s Palsy Support Groups and Foundations
Support groups funded by volunteers and donations to foundations such as the United Brachial Plexus Network, Inc.(UBPN) may offer families educational and financial support to help with the mounting emotional and financial costs of Erb’s palsy. Contact UBPN for more information. Additionally, local churches, support groups, and charities may offer financial assistance to children with Erb’s palsy and their families. Consider getting involved with local fundraisers and groups that center around children with disabilities.
Grants for Disabled Children
Several organizations provide funding resources for disabled children, including those with Erb’s palsy. For example, the Disabled Children’s Relief Fund provides financial assistance in order for parents to obtain specialized equipment, physical therapy, and surgery. In addition, organizations such as the United Healthcare Children’s Foundation offer grants to children with disabilities. For a complete list of grants offered to children with injuries and disabilities, contact your local health department.
Life Care Plans
Life care plans allow families to obtain compensation from the parties responsible for their infant’s injuries. If your infant developed Erb’s palsy due to medical negligence and/or a hospital mistake, a life care plan can be set up to determine how much money will be needed in order to care for your infant’s birth injuries throughout their life. For example, rehabilitation services, medical equipment, medicine expenses, doctor appointments, special education, and any other needs your infant may have due to the injuries is factored into a life care plan. A life care specialist, along with other specialists typically collaborate in order to create a life care plan that works for you and your child’s needs. The parties responsible are usually liable to cover expenses under a life care plan. For more information, contact an experienced birth injury attorney who can provide you with additional information.