It is estimated that it costs a family $1.4 million to $2.5 million to raise a child with autism, studies say. This compares to the average cost to raise a child who does not have special needs, which is around $300,000. It’s understandable then, that more than forty percent of families with a child with autism report experiencing significant financial stress. Many parents find that they cannot hold a full-time job at all. So what financial help can you get for your child with autism?
Experts say that caring for a child with autism 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. Is there a solution? Can you get paid to stay at home to care for your child with autism?
This is a complicated question, and the answer varies depending on your circumstances. Yet as parents of a child with autism, 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: http://www.dds.ca.gov/RC/RCList.cfm.
Then, do some research online regarding the following financial assistance services:
For qualified families, the state of California has a program called In-Home Supportive Service (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.
California has a program for individuals with developmental disabilities called a Medicaid Waiver, which is designed to provide support services and care to allow an individual to remain at home or in the community, rather than in an institution or hospital. The benefits provided by this waiver program generally provides coverage for medical treatments, respite care, transportation, in-home support, and more.
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, individuals with autism may be eligible to receive SSI.
Information on this and other programs can be found at www.disability.gov.
Some private organizations and non-profits offer family grants, scholarships, and other types of financial help specifically to individuals with autism to help pay for autism-related expenses.
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.
CONTACT US FOR HELP.
Dial (877) 762-0702 or email us at [email protected].