Depending on where you live, you may have access to federal, state, and local resources that can pay you a stipend or an hourly wage to act as your child’s caregiver.
If you have a severely disabled baby or child who has a condition like cerebral palsy or autism, chances are you have missed work and the costs of caring for your child have increased. When my third child was born with a disability, I ended up having to leave my career behind.
Luckily for me, there are ways to get paid as a family caregiver. Becoming a paid caretaker definitely didn’t replace the income from my job, but it did help me from completely financially tanking. As my son grew his needs became easier to deal with. The money I got from these programs was just enough to get me through the rough parts.
Why You May Need to Become a Paid Caregiver
According to Arizona Cerebral Palsy Lawyer, babies and children with cerebral palsy have issues with balance, movement, and coordination due to brain damage that is sustained during birth. Depending on the level of impairment, kids with CP may also have delayed cognitive development. They also may have problems with:
- Bone deficiencies
Cerebral palsy is one of the more common serious disabilities kids can get, but there are several other syndromes, diseases, and childhood disorders with needs that are just as complex.
This is a lot to deal with all at once even if money isn’t an issue. However, if you’re trying to juggle your child’s needs while you’re working it can be overwhelming. It can also cut down on your ability to fully be there for your child.
You don’t have to give up on the idea of having an income if you need to quit your job. If you and your child meet certain qualifying criteria, you may be able to become a paid caregiver.
How to Become a Paid Caregiver
The federal government has a long list of federal, state, and local resources for caregiver support. An attorney, pediatrician or specialist, or therapist may also be able to direct you to programs that can help.
The following are some different types of services that may be available to you and your child, depending on where you are located. These include:
- Medicaid waivers
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- In-home support services
- Private organizations
- Non-profit organizations
On top of providing funds to family caregivers, these organizations can help you with getting access to special equipment your child needs for early interventions. They can also help your child access medical care if insurance is denying them due to their pre-existing condition, which sadly happens all too often.
Being a paid caregiver to your disabled child means not having to worry that you’re going to get fired if you have to take off work once again to attend an IEP meeting. It also means you won’t have to spend your lunch hour on the phone arguing with your insurance company. If any of this sounds familiar to you (and it probably does if you’re reading this now), it’s time to begin your online research.
You Are Not Alone
If you’re struggling with meeting your child’s needs and it’s affected your income, you are far from alone. Thirty percent of parents of severely disabled kids quit their jobs or at least have to cut back on them. More than 40% of families with a seriously impaired child experience significant stress due to financial difficulties.
Don’t give up hope. You will get back on your feet again. You and your disabled child deserve your love and care every day and not just on the weekends or after 6:00 p.m. Take the time to apply for any assistance that is available to you. You may be quite pleased with the results of your efforts.