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Getting Started with Government Assistance

Cerebral Palsy can be expensive to families, especially those lacking adequate insurance benefits or those in a low-income situation. Many programs have been developed within the government, at various levels (federal, state, and local), to assist with such needs.

The challenge seems to be in understanding what types of programs are available, where to find more information on the programs, how to apply, when to apply, and what to expect during the process.

Consideration of the following programs can serve as first steps towards getting started with government assistance. MyChild™ has a vast database of resources that may provide additional resources, when you are ready.

MyChild™ call center representatives are available to provide assistance in finding particular resources, not easily found on the web, or within your community. The more our call center representatives know about your child’s condition and your family’s needs, the more we will are able to provide resources tailored specifically for your family. Call MyChild™ at (800) 692-4453 today!

About government assistance

Government assistance in the United States originated in the 1930s as a result of the Great Depression. At that time, vulnerable groups – seniors and those with disabilities – needed help just to get by. In the early days of government aid, assistance was structured based on age, income, or disability qualification. Over the years, however, the criteria for assistance has become more need-based.

Since the 1930s, disbursement of government funds for citizens in need has shifted from the federal level to various government agencies at the state level. The Federal Government provides structure and allocates funds, while state governments are largely responsible for qualifying a person in and dispersing available funds.

The state governments are held accountable for distributing funds among citizens based on guiding principles set by the Federal Government. States do have some leeway and therefore do differ on the criteria they use when dispersing funds for national programs. Some states also develop additional programs of assistance they deem necessary for their citizens.

Citizens in need are encouraged to apply for programs through their state and local government agencies. Not all who apply are accepted to any given program; each has specific guidelines and sometimes those guidelines include allocating funds to those who are determined most in need.

Those applying for an assistance program should meet application deadlines and requirements, but not become discouraged if denied. Most agencies allow individuals to reapply; those rejected are advised to review eligibility requirements and apply again within the deadline period. In some instances, a personal consultation with a government representative may be in order, or an inquiry can be initiated.

Every department within the state and federal government system offers services and programs. For instance, special education is a division of the Department of Education and structured to provide educational services and programs geared toward equal access to education for children with disability or impairment. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has entities that oversee affordable housing options for those with disability or low income. The Department of Energy provides energy assistance programs for those on fixed incomes.

MyChild™ does not claim expert knowledge on every opportunity, as programs and service requirements are numerous and ever-changing. However, over time MyChild™ has developed a database with government assistance programs many of our families have found helpful.

MyChild™ has provided a basic description of the programs and relevant links to national websites to learn more about these programs from the sources that administer them. The following programs are a good starting point for those looking for assistance. There are many more!

Call MyChild™ today at 1-(800) 692-4453 for additional resources.