Cerebral Palsy Treatment and Disability Benefits in Michigan

Finding out your child has cerebral palsy can lead to many questions about available treatments, financial assistance, and help with overall child care. You want your child to have the best possible odds for long-term success and happiness.

The right treatments and support can help your child achieve maximum potential, as well as enjoy a higher quality of life. This article will provide resources for where to find cerebral palsy treatments in Michigan, as well as available outlets for financial aid.

Defining Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy refers to not one, but a group of neurological disorders. It is the most common motor function disability in childhood, and can affect many aspects of life. Cerebral palsy can stem from damage to the brain or an interruption in fetal brain development at any point before, during, or after birth.

A number of events could cause cerebral palsy, including complications or traumatic injuries during birth. It can significantly disrupt a child's ability to move, balance, eat, talk, and even think. Around 66% of children with cerebral palsy have mental impairments.

Treatments for Cerebral Palsy

Treating cerebral palsy is about symptom management, rather than trying to work toward full recovery. Although no known cure exists for cerebral palsy, patients can improve their functional abilities and quality of life with early intervention and treatments such as therapies.

Cerebral palsy treatments may include surgeries to reduce muscle spasticity, medications to control symptoms, and multiple types of therapies to increase physical abilities, speech, and motor function.

Where to Find Cerebral Palsy Treatment in Michigan

Michigan has numerous treatment center options for children with cerebral palsy. Multiple hospitals in the state offer specialized treatment facilities, extensive research programs, and experienced neurologists with certifications in cerebral palsy. The following locations offer cerebral palsy help and health care in Michigan.

C.S. Mott Children's Hospital
1540 East Hospital Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
(877) 475-6688

The C.S. Mott Children's Hospital operates through the University of Michigan. It offers cerebral palsy treatment options such as surgeries and therapies. It has a pediatric rehabilitation clinic, orthopedic clinics, spasticity intervention program, cognitive assessment clinic, and Comprehensive Hand and Arm Movement Program (CHAMP).

Easterseals Michigan
Multiple office locations
1 (800) 757-3257

Easterseals Michigan offers cerebral palsy services throughout the state. It specializes in therapies for children with motor dysfunctions, autism, speech or language delays, social or emotional issues, and more. You can find centers in Flint, Southfield, grand Rapids, and Waterford. Easterseals can provide some services in a family home. Find the office closest to you.

Cerebral Palsy Research Program
325 E. Eisenhower Parkway
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
(734) 936-7175

While not necessarily a treatment center, the University of Michigan's Cerebral Palsy Program offers extensive research opportunities regarding cerebral palsy. It hosts Assistive Technologies and Cognitive Testing, Quality of Life and Treatment Outcomes studies, and other ongoing studies aimed toward improving quality of life for patients.

Federal Disability Benefits Available

The federal Social Security Administration offers Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for people with cerebral palsy in the U.S. To qualify for benefits, an applicant must meet certain medical criteria, and submit proof of disability.

Benefits available include payments to cover medical needs and lost wages. Qualifying for SSDI takes working a certain number of years to earn "work credits." The disabled person must be over the age of 18 to apply.

For families looking for benefits to help with underage children with cerebral palsy, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits may be more appropriate. These benefits can help support people with disabilities and little or no income. It provides financial aid for basic needs such as clothing, food, and housing.

To be eligible for SSI benefits, the recipient must have a qualifying disability. The administration's definition of "disabled" is unable to perform a previous occupation or adjust to other work because of a medical condition.

To apply for SSDI and/or SSI benefits, you can file in person at a local Social Security office or (for SSDI only) apply online. You can also call (800) 772-1213 to discuss your case and apply via phone. You will need in-depth medical information about your child's condition during the application process. If the administration denies your application, you may file an appeal. An attorney can help you, if necessary.

State Disability Benefits

The State of Michigan also provides cash assistance to residents with disabilities. State Disability Assistance (SDA) provides benefits to disabled adults and their caretakers. To qualify, the applicant must be a disabled adult with no dependent children. Keep this option in mind for your child's future as an adult with cerebral palsy.

In the meantime, other state financial assistance programs may help a family pay for groceries, housing, clothing, medical care, bills, and other expenses. Assistive programs in Michigan can help a family of a child with cerebral palsy afford treatments and lifelong care.

On top of financial benefits, organizations in the state of Michigan also help individuals find job training, start businesses, search for jobs, receive unemployment benefits, find health coverage, answer insurance questions, and receive support for basic family needs. If your family suffers financial hardship because of cerebral palsy, several state programs exist to help you pay for daily needs.