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Financial Assistance Available for Children with Special Needs

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Raising a child with special needs can be a expensive.  For example, The Autism Society of America estimates that the lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism ranges from $3.5 million to $5 million.  That is a staggering number, especially in todays economy.  There are resources available to help alleviate some of this burden, and I hope to explain a few of these.  

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout our nation. There are 2 parts-Part C, covers children from birth to 3 years, Part B, covers children from 3 to 21 years.

Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Act, Section 303.16, states that infants and toddlers who have a diagnosed physical or mental condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay are eligible for services. Children with delays in cognitive, motor, vision, hearing, communication, social-emotional or adaptive development may also be eligible for service.

Here is where you apply for services under IDEA part C by state:

ALABAMA- Early Intervention Program- 1-800-543-3098

ALASKA- Infant Learning Program- 1-877-477-3659

ARIZONA- Early Intervention Program 1-800-439-5609

ARKANSAS- Infant and Toddler program 1-800-439-5609

CALIFORNIA- Early Start- 1-800-515-2229

COLORADO- Early Intervention- 1-888-777-4041

CONNECTICUT- Birth to Three System 1-800-505-7000

DELAWARE- Birth to Three- 1-302-255-9134 (couldn't find toll free on their website)

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA- Office of State Superintendent of Education 1-202-727-5853

FLORIDA- Early Steps- 1-800-654-4440

GEORGIA- Babies Can't Wait- 1-888-651-8224

HAWAII- Early Intervention- Oahu1-808-594-0066 other islands 1-800-235-5477

IDAHO- Children's Developmental Services - 1-800-926-2588

ILLINOIS- Early Intervention -1-800-447-6404

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INDIANA- First Steps- 1-800-441-7837

IOWA- Early ACCESS - 1-888-425-4371

KANSAS- Children's Developmental Services -1-800-332-6262

KENTUCKY- First Steps- 1-877-417-8377

LOUISIANA- Early Steps- 1-866-783-5553

MAINE- Child Development Services -1-800-355-8611

MARYLAND- Early Intervention- 1-800-535-0182

MASSACHUSETTS- Early Intervention - 1-800-905-8437

MICHIGAN- Early On - 1-800-327-5966

MINNESOTA- Early Learning Services- 1-651-582-8523

MISSISSIPPI- First Steps- 1-800-451-3903

MISSOURI- First Steps- 1-866-583-2392

MONTANA- Early Intervention- 1-406-444-5647

NEBRASKA- Early Development Network- 1-402-471-9329

NEVADA- Project ASSIST- 1-800-522-0066

NEW HAMPSHIRE- Bureau of Developmental Services- 1-800-852-3345

NEW JERSEY- Early Intervention- 1-800-322-8174

NEW MEXICO-  Family and Infant Toddler Program- 1-877-696-1472

NEW YORK- Early Intervention- 1-800-522-5006 - for NYC call 1-800-577-2229

NORTH CAROLINA- Early Intervention- 1-919-218-2786

NORTH DAKOTA- Developmental Disabilities Unit- 1-800-755-8529

OHIO- Early Intervention- 1-800-755-4769

OKLAHOMA- Special Education Office- 1-405-521-4880

OREGON- Office of Special Education- 1-503-947-5703

PENNSYLVANIA- Early Intervention- 1-800-692-7288

RHODE ISLAND- Early Intervention- 1-401-462-0318

SOUTH CAROLINA- First Steps- 1-803-734-8077

SOUTH DAKOTA- Birth to 3- 1-800-305-3064

TENNESSEE- Early Childhood Services- 1-888-212-3162

TEXAS- Early Childhood Intervention- 1-800-628-5115

UTAH- Baby Watch- 1-800-961-4226

VERMONT- Children's Integrated Services- 1-802-241-3622

VIRGINIA- Infant and Toddler Connection- 1-800-234-1448

WASHINGTON- Early Support for Infant and Toddlers- 1-800-322-2588

WEST VIRGINIA- Birth to Three- 1-800-642-9704

WISCONSIN- Birth to 3- 1-800-642-7837

WYOMING- Early Intervention- 1-307-777-7115

Once your child has been enrolled in IDEA Part C, they are automatically transitioned to Part B.  Under Part B, they begin preschool in the county in which you live.  If you have an older child not enrolled in Part C, the numbers above can transfer you, or directly call your local department of education.  

Katie Beckett Deeming Waiver Medicaid


Katie Beckett is also known as Section 134 of the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act(TEFRA).  It allows state to ignore the income and resources of parents of children with chronic illness and disabilities for the purpose of eligibility for Medicaid.

Even if you have private insurance, your child cannot be denied if eligible.  It can be a life saver when it comes to co-pays, deductibles, etc.  Therapies can especially add up, even if you are only having to pay 20%

Who is Eligible

Child must be 18 yrs or younger

Child must have been denied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Child must meet federal social security criteria for childhood disability

Child must meet institutional level of care

Caring for child at home must be cost effective

What Katie Beckett Covers

Katie Beckett is medicaid.  It is insurance that covers medical, hospital, dental, therapies for disabled children.

Where to Apply

contact your local health department, or family and children services

Health Insurance Premium Payment Program


HIPP is a Medicaid program that may pay for the cost of your private health insurance premiums, when it is found to be cost-effective.

In other words, the state compares the cost of your insurance premiums to the cost of covering your child under medicaid.  If your premiums cost less, that is what they will pay for.  This could be advantageous, because if the child qualifies for HIPP and the family's private insurance plan covers the entire family, then the premium for the entire family is paid.

Who is Eligible

One person in the household must be eligible for Medicaid

Health Insurance must be available to cover medicaid recipient

Premiums must be deemed Cost effective

Where to Apply

Your local health department or local family or children's services

I hope this helps you understand some of the resources available for these special children. There are several waivers out there, sometimes you just have to dig a little to find them.  I hope to keep updating, as I learn more, so keep checking back, and good luck!


April on March 03, 2014:

Would be helpful to know which states have the KB deeming waiver. Difficult to find that info on state websites.

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