Cerebral Palsy Treatment and Disability Benefits in Maine

When your loved one receives a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, you may not know where to turn for information or treatment. Families often have questions about how to pursue the best care for their children or how they will tackle the expenses associated with giving them the chance to live their best lives. Here, you'll learn what cerebral palsy is, what resources exist in Maine to help with treatment, and how you can gain financial support to help pay for treatment and ongoing care via Social Security Administration disability benefits.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a serious medical condition that can affect a person's ability to ambulate effectively. It may affect posture, coordination, balance, and muscle tone. Cerebral palsy results from abnormal brain development or neurological damage. While many children are born with cerebral palsy, parents may not learn of the diagnosis until months or even years after, depending on the severity of the condition. Cerebral palsy may arise from maternal infection, traumatic brain injury, or oxygen deprivation during a traumatic labor and delivery process.

Treatment Options for Cerebral Palsy

Parents who learn of a cerebral palsy diagnosis are often fearful for their child's future. It is natural to experience trepidation, confusion, and uncertainty, but knowing about the available treatment options can help you formulate a plan and move forward with interventions that can vastly improve your child's quality of life. Cerebral palsy has no cure, but quality treatment can improve your child's chances at reaching his or her fullest potential. Several quality treatment options exist within the state of Maine aimed at giving kids with cerebral palsy a chance to thrive.

22 Bramhall Street
Portland, ME 04102
(207) 662-0111

The Barbara Bush Children's Hospital is Maine's only full-service children's hospital, so it's a great option for children diagnosed with cerebral palsy and its associated complications. Enjoy full access care with options for surgical intervention, speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and more.

UCP of Maine
700 Mt. Hope Avenue Suite 320
Bangor, ME 04401
(207) 941-2952

A full-service treatment center for adults and children with disabilities, UCP of Maine offers case management, therapy, adult recreation, early childhood services, and more. A great option for parents with a newly diagnosed child with cerebral palsy.

Pediatric Development Center
12 Westbrook Common
Westbrook, ME 04092
Tel: (207) 591-7210

Pediatric therapists at the Pediatric Development Center specialize in speech, occupational, and physical therapy that aids the treatment of cerebral palsy as well as associated comorbidities like Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), and more.

Financial Support for Cerebral Palsy

It's natural to wonder how to pay for cerebral palsy treatment, especially when the extent of therapy may exceed your insurance limits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that supporting a child with cerebral palsy can cost $900,000 through a child's lifetime. Additionally, the presence of other conditions such as intellectual disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, or hearing and vision difficulties may require additional treatment.

Fortunately, help exists in the form of social security disability payments. Adults with the disorder can apply, or parents can apply on behalf of a child. Parents can apply on their own, but it's helpful to have a social security disability attorney who understands the system provide assistance.

Social Security Benefits

Two main benefits may be available to children and adults with cerebral palsy: Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) apply to those in the workforce for at least 10 years who have accumulated work credits. The SSDI program also applies to adult children who experienced disability before the age of 22.

Additional, Social Security Income (SSI) applies to low-income adults who cannot work or do not have enough work credits to apply for SSDI. Children may qualify for benefits if their parents meet certain income limits and a child meets the definition for disability for children, usually "marked and severe functional limitations," that impact daily functioning for at least 12 months.

How to Apply for Social Security Benefits

If you think you qualify for SSDI or SSI, the first step is to visit your local Social Security Office or apply online. The Social Security Administration starter kit for children is a good source of information regarding qualified medical conditions, income limits, work credits, and required documentation to process an application.

Social Security benefits come from a federal program, but each state has its own agency that determines the qualifying criteria of each application. In Maine, the disability determination office is located at:

Disability Determination Services
Department of Health and Human Services
State House Station #11
Augusta, ME 04333
(207)377-9500 or 1-(800) 452-8718

Cerebral palsy is a worrisome diagnosis for most parents, but with the right treatment, your child can live up to his or her fullest potential. Use this information to seek quality treatment for your child and connect to financial resources to help him or her thrive.