When a child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy parents are usually concerned about what their condition will be in the future. Having this diagnosis means he or she will probably have some type of special needs. However, every child is different, and limitations on individual functioning can vary widely.
When your child is presenting with more pronounced symptoms, it is crucial to plan for his or her needs. Here are some things you can do to make sure everything is in place when your child has cerebral palsy:
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on average, 1 in 323 children have been identified as having cerebral palsy (CP). In a 2003 study, the CDC estimated the lifetime costs for care of someone with CP was one million dollars. Further, medical expenses for children with this condition were found to be ten times higher than for children without CP. The research also showed that 6.9 % of children with CP also had Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). When a child has severe CP, intellectual disability, and ASD, it is not probable that he or she will be able to function independently.
Parents of a child with pronounced CP symptoms and other limiting conditions will need to plan for his or her medical care expenses. Often, when the child becomes an adult, Medi-Cal (California Medicaid) will become their primary healthcare provider, and he or she will qualify for Supplemental Security Benefits (SSI). While these benefit programs pay for the individual’s basic care and needs, they seldom offer enough for them to live comfortably. Fortunately, California parents have the option of creating a special needs trust, which can be used to pay for their child’s additional expenses without interfering with income-sensitive benefits. When properly devised, the trust can cover many costs, which can improve your son’s or daughter’s quality of life. However, it is vital that you consult with a California special needs trust attorney when setting up your child’s trust.