Having a child with a disability is hard for any family. Despite its triumphs, the ensuing financial hardship can throw you into a financial crisis. If you're barely making ends meet, explore options with several public and private organizations that provide grants and aid for those in need, allowing you to keep food on the table, the lights on and a safe environment for your child.
Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is designed to provide low-income families with funds to help care for their disabled child. When applying, you must provide your household financial information to determine the amount of aid SSI will provide. Once approved, your child will receive SSI benefits on a monthly basis. In addition to these benefits, your child may be eligible for Medicaid benefits to pay for his or her medical costs as well as food stamps.
Division of Developmental Disabilities
The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) offers financial help for families in several states, including Arizona, New Jersey and Washington. Income is not a factor in deciding who receives funding. Instead, any family with a child who has developmental disabilities is qualified for help. Once approved, your family will be assigned a case worker who will help you find and apply for grants and stipends.
Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund
The Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund is an organization assisting families with children's medical expenses exceeding 10 percent of the household income. Operating in several states, including New Jersey and Massachusetts, this organization is a public program that provides families with funds in the event of a catastrophic injury or illness to a child. Besides providing funds for medical expenses, the Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund allows parents to receive a check for all or part of out-of-pocket expenses, including gas, parking and tolls.
The UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation
This nonprofit charity funded by the UnitedHealth Group provides parents with grants to help take care of their disabled child. It works to improve the quality of life of children through a series of grants that will pay for medical costs not covered by insurance providers. The application to receive funding from the Foundation is reviewed by the regional board. The board may take up to three months to approve your application. Once it does, your grant payment will be used to cover your child’s medical bills though a bill-by-bill basis. This allows the board to ensure the money is being spent on its approved purpose.
The Administration for Children & Families
The Administration for Children & Families is an offshoot of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The administration oversees federal social programs designed to help families and communities in need. Due to its commitment to families with disabled children, it offers grants to help with medical expenses. Unlike many other organizations, the goal of the Administration for Children & Families is to provide a means for families to achieve financial independence, rather than act as a continual source for monetary aid.
- Social Security: Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- DSHS Division of Developmental Disabilites
- Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund
- UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation
- Administration of Children & Families: ACF Funding Opportunities
- Social Security: Understanding Supplemental Security Income For Children
- Administration For Children & Families: About ACF
Travis Ames has written for numerous publications since 2007 and has been writing instructional articles online since 2010. His areas of expertise are wide and include travel, politics, arts and entertainment, technology and finance. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon where he will begin teaching in the fall of 2011.