Last updated on November 1st, 2023
Caring for a child with special needs is an extraordinary act of love and devotion with many benefits. However, it also comes with its own unique set of challenges. The many legal and practical considerations related to becoming a caregiver for a disabled child can often seem overwhelming for parents.
Fortunately, a wealth of support and resources is available to help alleviate some of the burdens and common sources of confusion. For parents exploring this option, understanding the legal framework and the various avenues open to them can empower them to make decisions that best align with the unique needs of their families. Talk to Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz about your case.
Raising a disabled child is a profound commitment that often necessitates the presence of a dedicated caregiver around the clock. In many cases, it makes the most sense for one of the child’s parents to take on this role. A parent is often the person who knows their child’s unique needs best. They have likely been intimately involved in their child’s care since birth and can anticipate and respond to their needs more effectively than outsiders. In addition to the emotional bond between parents and children, this familiarity can make a difference in ensuring the child’s comfort, happiness, and overall well-being.
Another reason why many parents decide to become caregivers for their children deals with cost, as engaging the services of a professional caregiver can create significant financial strain. Parents often face the dilemma of working an external job only to have a substantial portion of their earnings spent on in-home care. Instead, choosing to be the primary caregiver allows parents to allocate resources towards the child’s needs directly, potentially saving on costly professional services while benefiting from the peace of mind that comes with having their child directly under their care.
In many cases, exploring disability income opportunities and benefits is a practical and necessary step for parents who become dedicated caregivers for their disabled children. This transition often entails leaving full-time employment to care for the child around the clock while confronting additional financial responsibilities. Children with special needs frequently require extensive support and medical expenses, including specialized equipment, therapies, and adaptive technology to facilitate their daily lives.
These expenses, combined with the inability to engage in full-time work, can significantly impact the financial stability of parental caregivers. Seeking disability income opportunities and benefits ensures that the child receives sufficient care and support and provides parents with the resources necessary to maintain their family’s quality of life, all while fostering a nurturing and supportive environment for their child’s growth and development.
The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is a lifeline of financial support for many disabled individuals, including children who meet specific eligibility criteria. Among the various provisions within SSDI, the Childhood Disability Benefit (CDB) is a viable option for assistance for disabled children. This particular program addresses the unique needs of disabled children by extending benefits through their parent’s Social Security records. Eligibility for CDB hinges on specific qualifying criteria that demonstrate the child’s disability and its impact on their daily life:
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is another assistance option for disabled children with limited income and resources. SSI is designed to address their basic needs and offers vital financial relief to ensure these children can access daily essentials. Disabled children who meet the specific eligibility criteria, including stringent income and resource limits, may qualify for SSI benefits:
Medicaid stands as a cornerstone of support for many Americans and extends its reach to include disabled children in need of comprehensive healthcare coverage. This coverage encompasses a wide range of medical services, including doctor’s visits, hospital care, prescription medications, specialized therapies, and other essential health services tailored to the child’s specific requirements. However, there are some limitations:
Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers go above and beyond the standard care for disabled children. They offer various supplementary services essential for addressing the diverse challenges these children may face daily. These services enhance their quality of life and promote their overall well-being. Below are some of the services covered by HCBS waivers:
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal regulation that extends vital protections to parents, including those caring for disabled children. This act grants eligible parents the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year to attend to the needs of their disabled child without the fear of jeopardizing their job security. Here are some of the key aspects of FMLA for parents to consider:
In addition to financial assistance, tax benefits are a valuable resource for parents who dedicate themselves to the full-time care and support of their disabled children. Among these benefits, two prominent tax provisions tend to take center stage:
For parents of disabled children, ensuring their long-term financial security is a central concern. One powerful tool available to them is the establishment of a Special Needs Trust. This trust is a critical component of financial planning, allowing parents to set aside funds designated for the child’s care. Below are some of the main benefits of setting up a special needs trust:
As you consider becoming a parental caregiver for your child with special needs, navigating the legal waters can be daunting. If you need help determining which benefits for parents caring for a disabled child you are eligible for, which options best suit your family’s needs, or how to apply, contact the experts at Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz. Our seasoned legal team specializes in helping families like yours secure the benefits they need for their disabled children to thrive. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.
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