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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

Learn More

Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

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Brain Injury News and Research Finances

Families often struggle to make ends meet, but if a newborn baby suffers a brain injury, it can really put a strain on finances. One or both parents may need to take time off from work.

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In many cases, one must give up their job altogether, which can limit income at a time when the cash is most needed.

A Washington State University study, published in the American Journal of Health in 2015, looked at the costs for general pediatric brain injuries. It found that, for a mild injury, the median cost was just over $1,000 for the first three months, but that went up exponentially for more severe ones. A moderate injury can cost families more than $4,300 over three months, and a severe case could cost over $7,200 over that same amount of time. The numbers are based on insurance claims and do not even include the usual expenses for baby food and supplies.

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Where to Find Financial Help

Medical expenses, long-term rehabilitation, and medications, devices, and other needs such as in-home care can cause financial hardship. Families may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Based on financial needs, these may cover a disabled child with physical or mental health limitations.

The decision to provide benefits is based on a family’s financial situation, but a Social Security Administration disability evaluation covers various childhood neurological disorders. It is based on medical evidence from scans, examinations, laboratory results, and medical history. Impairments are also categorized; they include epilepsy, cerebral palsy, communication impairments, and other disorders that can arise from a birth brain injury. The Administration defines a traumatic brain injury as one that imposes an extreme limitation, is associated with poor motor function in at least two extremities, and affects standing, sitting, balance, or walking; the symptoms must persist for three consecutive months or more after the person is injured.

When One Isn’t Eligible for SSD Benefits

A child with an injury, or a person who hasn’t been employed much, may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It is often available to individuals with disabilities, and who have a low income and limited assets. If a child is disabled, a family member can apply for SSI by contacting the Social Security Administration. Claim denials can’t be appealed unless there is a change in financial situation.

Long-Term Considerations

Some babies overcome initial brain injuries. Many others have life-long impacts and impairments. If a family cannot provide all the care, they must consider the costs associated with institutionalization, group home care, or daily assistance. A Journal of Pediatric Health Care study in 2014 found at least 145,000 children (14 and younger) in the U.S. had disabilities related to a brain injury (from birth or otherwise), representing a total life cost of $60.4 billion. When a baby or child is injured, the financial impacts can affect every aspect of life. The inability to work further complicates matters. Financial assistance from federal sources and private entities can help if it is available, but the cost-factor is often tough to navigate after a birth brain injury.