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How Long Can a Child Get Disability Benefits?

How Long Can a Child Get Disability Benefits?

When you are raising a child with a disability like autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or similar, it can be financially difficult. Over 40% of families with a child with a disability report experiencing significant financial stress. As many as 30% of parents of children with disabilities quit their jobs or significantly cut back in order to provide care for their child. This isn’t anything new to those of you who are experiencing these issues. That’s why it’s so important to find out how to get paid for raising a child with special needs. But how long can your child get disability benefits?

Caring for a child with special needs is like running a full-time business—it requires at least one person who is dedicating a continual effort. And while some of you have been able to return to the workforce, most of the time, it’s not possible.

As a parent of a child with special needs, you are entitled to certain rights. But often figuring out what you are entitled to is difficult and overwhelming to say the least. The first thing you want to do is contact your regional center for help and resources by clicking this link:

Then, do some research online regarding the following financial assistance services:

In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)

For qualified families, the state of California has a program called In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) which pays an individual caregiver to stay home and care for a developmentally disabled child. Many of the behaviors that can cause injury, hazards or accidents in children with autism are wandering, eloping, darting away, or climbing. Parents who have been deemed caregivers are granted a specific amount of hours every month so the child can remain safely in their own home, as it is considered an alternative to out-of-home care such as board and care facilities. There isn’t an age limit to IHSS benefits, just different kinds of programs that fall within the scope of IHSS.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a monthly government payment through Social Security that was created to support people who are disabled. To help support them financially, children with disabilities may be eligible to receive SSI, however, these benefits will end when your child turns 18, unless he or she is still in high school or doing another form of secondary education. In that case, they end at 19. If your child stops getting Child’s Benefits, he or she may be able to start getting Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB) benefits instead.

Private or Non-Profit Organizations

Some private organizations and non-profits offer family grants, scholarships, and other types of financial assistance specifically to children with disabilities to help pay for related expenses. These usually do not have an age limit, but it is a case by case basis.

And as always, if you feel overwhelmed and you need help, please contact us.

American Advocacy Group is on the front lines every day, making positive change happen for people diagnosed with Autism, Down syndrome and a range of diagnoses across the continuum. As a leading advocate for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, and the premier provider of the support and services people want and need, we understand the system and know how to take action in regard to your best interests.


Dial (877) 762-0702 or email us at [email protected].

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