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Birth Injury Financial Assistance

If a birth injury has seriously disabled your child, they will need long-term medical assistance, rehabilitative therapy, and additional support.

Disabled kids need many expensive services and devices not always covered by insurance. This often requires a lot of money to help your child.

The challenge is more significant than people understand.  Many children require 24-hour trained supervision. Children with severe birth injuries require very different care than a child without disabilities. Often even the parents need special training to care for their own child.  So you just can’t hire a babysitter or even ask the child’s grandparents to take over for a break. When the child’s parents are working or otherwise unable to care for the child directly, trained nurses are needed.

Fortunately, numerous ways exist to obtain financial support and assistance for families with children with birth injuries.

Government Sponsored Assistance

Newborn baby

There are quite a few assistance programs to help disabled children that are sponsored and/or directly administered by the federal government. The two primary government programs are SSI and SNAP.

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI): If you have a disabled child and you don’t make too much money, you can apply for SSI. You can get up to $914 per month if you qualify for SSI. To receive this benefit, you need to satisfy two basic requirements. First, your child has to meet the SSI disability requirements. Any sort of significant developmental disability resulting from a birth injury (e.g., cerebral palsy) will easily satisfy this requirement. Second, your family has to meet the income eligibility requirements. If you make too much money, you will not be eligible for SSI benefits even if your child is severely disabled.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): SNAP is a government-subsidized program that helps pay for food. Families enrolled in the SNAP program receive a SNAP account card that looks and functions just like a credit card. When checking out at the grocery store, you just swipe your SNAP card, and it will pay for all of your essential items that SNAP covers. SNAP assistance is available for low-income families and families with disabled children (subject to some income limitations). So if your child has a disability resulting from a birth injury, you could qualify for SNAP and get most of your grocery bill paid for.
  • State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP): While Medicaid provides health coverage for low-income individuals, SCHIP, also known as CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program), covers children in families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford private health insurance. The specifics of what is covered can vary by state.
  • Early Intervention Services: Many states provide early intervention services for infants and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities. These programs offer various services, including physical therapy, speech therapy, and other developmental services. This assistance falls under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C.
  • Medicaid: Depending on the family’s income, the child might qualify for Medicaid, which provides health coverage to eligible low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults, and people with disabilities.
    • Waiver Programs: Medicaid waiver programs allow states to offer services to individuals who might not typically be eligible for Medicaid. These waivers often cover services for children with significant medical needs, allowing them to receive care at home.
  • Non-Profit Organizations: Many non-profit organizations provide financial assistance, equipment, or support for children with specific disabilities or medical conditions. For example, the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) organization supports individuals with cerebral palsy and their families.
  • Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund (CICRF): This program helps families bear the financial burdens of caring for children with special healthcare needs and disabilities.
  • Assistive Technology Programs: Some states provide programs to help children with disabilities access the assistive technology they need, be it devices or software.
  • Protection and Advocacy Systems: Every state has a protection and advocacy system to assist individuals with disabilities in securing their rights.

In addition to programs like SSI and SNAP, children with disabilities may also be eligible for government-subsidized healthcare coverage through Medicaid. The state and federal governments jointly fund Medicaid. The Medicaid program is administered at the state level, so each state’s benefits and eligibility rules vary. Medicaid provides qualifying disabled children with healthcare coverage. The program also covers medical equipment, mobility aids, and in-home support and services.

Legal Settlements

The reality is that the best way to afford the best care for your child is to get a birth injury settlement or verdict through the legal system.

The government-sponsored programs described above have significant limitations. First, families that make too much money may not even be eligible for these programs (as insane as that may be). Second, the benefits provided by these programs are minimal.

Fortunately, the civil legal system provides another source of financial support for some children disabled by birth injuries. When your child’s birth injury directly results from medical negligence, the responsible healthcare providers can be obligated to provide financial assistance. You will not automatically get this assistance. You have to “apply” for this type of financial support like you do for government benefits. The application for private financial assistance comes in the form of a claim or lawsuit for medical malpractice. A lot of money is at stake, and the hospitals fight these cases… whether they think they are right or wrong. The civil justice system is set up to process to sort these claims, and doctors and hospitals have medical malpractice insurance to pay for them.

When birth injury claims are successful, the responsible parties and their insurance carriers must pay for most or all of the reasonable care your disabled child will need during their lifetime. This includes medical expenses for treatments, surgeries, and therapy. It also includes the cost of necessary support services or mobility devices such as electric wheelchairs.

Private settlements will also include “economic damages” to cover lost income resulting from your child’s disability. A Life Care Plan is a combination of all these estimated lifetime costs and losses associated with a child’s disability. Many birth injury malpractice claims or lawsuits are resolved with a financial settlement based on a Life Care Plan for the disabled child. A financial settlement based on a Life Care Plan should cover all future expenses for your disabled child, including 24-hour attendant care if needed. Depending on the severity of your child’s birth injury and resulting disability, his or her Life Care Plan can easily involve payments over $25 million.

Contact Miller & Zois About Financial Settlements for Birth Injuries

If a birth injury has disabled your child, you may be able to get a financial settlement based on a Life Care Plan for your child. The first step is consulting with an experienced birth injury law firm like Miller & Zois. Our birth injury lawyers can investigate your birth injury case and help evaluate whether you have a valid claim. Call us today at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.

Client Reviews
They quite literally worked as hard as if not harder than the doctors to save our lives. Terry Waldron
Ron helped me find a clear path that ended with my foot healing and a settlement that was much more than I hope for. Aaron Johnson
Hopefully I won't need it again but if I do, I have definitely found my lawyer for life and I would definitely recommend this office to anyone! Bridget Stevens
The last case I referred to them settled for $1.2 million. John Selinger
I am so grateful that I was lucky to pick Miller & Zois. Maggie Lauer
The entire team from the intake Samantha to the lawyer himself (Ron Miller) has been really approachable. Suzette Allen
The case settled and I got a lot more money than I expected. Ron even fought to reduce how much I owed in medical bills so I could get an even larger settlement. Nchedo Idahosa
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