Cerebral Palsy Treatment and Disability Benefits in North Carolina

If you have a child who has received a cerebral palsy diagnosis, you may be concerned about the availability of resources and the cost of treatments. Many North Carolina families struggle with keeping up with cerebral palsy costs, from physical therapy, to live-in nurses, to routine check-ups and hospitalizations. This short guide to treatment options and resources for cerebral palsy throughout North Carolina will help you create a plan of action for your child.

First, we will discuss what cerebral palsy is and the different complications your child may experience. Next, we will provide a list of treatment centers and pediatric hospitals throughout North Carolina. Finally, we will discuss the financial assistance and Social Security Benefits available for North Carolina families, along with how to apply for them.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is an injury that leads to poor muscle tone, mobility issues, and poor motor skills in children. Cerebral palsy develops before birth, during birth, or during a child's first three to five years of life. Common causes of cerebral palsy include lack of oxygen to the brain during childbirth, genetic conditions, and untreated jaundice.

Cerebral palsy does not have a cure and lasts throughout a person's life. However, cerebral palsy does not get worse over time. Cerebral palsy symptoms range from mild to severe, with some children experiencing additional disabilities. While all children with cerebral palsy have some sort of mobility issue, some may experience learning disabilities, blindness, speech issues, hearing loss, and difficulty eating.

Doctors prescribe cerebral palsy treatment based on each individual case. Depending on the symptoms your child has, you may have to obtain the following care options:

  • Around-the-clock care
  • Mobility equipment
  • Feeding tubes
  • Corrective surgeries
  • Medication

You may also need to seek therapies for speech, vision, learning, movement, and social and emotional development.

Where to Seek Treatment for Cerebral Palsy

When you receive a cerebral palsy diagnosis, the idea of lifelong care may be overwhelming. However, there are options throughout North Carolina that provide long-term cerebral palsy treatment for children and adults alike.

Easterseals UCP
5171 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 211
Raleigh, NC 27612-3266
(919) 783-8898

Easterseals UCP provides comprehensive and meaningful services to children and adults with cerebral palsy. Easterseals aims to assist people with cerebral palsy in living, working, playing, and learning in their home communities.

University of North Carolina Department of Neurosurgery
170 Manning Drive, Campus Box 7060
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
(919) 445-2410

This university hospital provides cerebral palsy treatment to children in North Carolina. Pediatricians and specialists administer individualized treatment based on the case of each child, such as baclofen pumps or corrective surgeries.

Duke Children's Health Center Neurology Clinic
2301 Erwin Road
Durham, NC 27710
(919) 668-0477

The pediatric health center at Duke University provides customized care to children with cerebral palsy. Your child will receive a team of experts who work in collaboration to determine the best course of treatment.

Social Security Benefits for Cerebral Palsy

If you receive a diagnosis of cerebral palsy for your child, you may be concerned about your ability to afford the specialized treatment he or she needs to survive. Estimated costs for cerebral palsy treatment for a child's lifetime can total well over $900,000. However, two social security programs are available to assist with these costs.

  • Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) is an entitlement benefits program that you can receive through payroll taxes. If your adult child received his or her cerebral palsy diagnosis before he or she turned 22, he or she may receive SSDI.
  • Under Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a person's income or work history does not matter. Your child can receive SSI benefits if your family is low-income and your child meets the federal guidelines for disability. The majority of children with cerebral palsy meet those guidelines.

SSDI and SSI benefits receive the same medical evaluation and some families may receive both benefits. If you are a North Carolina resident, you can receive supplementary income provided by the state if you qualify for SSI benefits.

How to Apply for Social Security Benefits in North Carolina

You can apply for social security benefits in one of three ways. You can visit your local Social Security office in person and file an application. You can also request that Social Security send you a form by mail by calling (800) 722-1213. The easiest and fastest option is to apply online through the Social Security website.

You and your child will need to attend an interview at your local Disability Determination Services office to qualify for disability benefits. After the agency determines that your child meets the requirements for disability, he or she can begin to receive benefits. You can visit the Raleigh office at:

Disability Determination Services
3301 Terminal Drive
Raleigh, NC 27604
(800) 662-7030

Seeking financial assistance for cerebral palsy in North Carolina is not always an easy or short process. Hiring a social security benefits attorney can help expedite this process and ease the stress off you and your family.