Cerebral Palsy Treatment and Disability Benefits in Virginia

The first reaction to a diagnosis of cerebral palsy is understandably fear and even denial. It's a scary diagnosis with a huge impact on your life. You may wonder what kind of treatment there is for the disorder, and you may worry about paying for the treatments. This is all very normal. This page is here to give you some answers to those questions. First, we'll explain to you what cerebral palsy is. Next, we'll tell you about places where you can go for treatment and services. Then, we'll talk to you about financial support for all the treatment and services you will need. Lastly, we'll detail the process of applying for benefits with the Social Security Administration and the Virginia Department of Social Services.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a disorder of the brain caused by some sort of damage to it. Oxygen deprivation can cause it, infections can cause it and physical injuries are also known to lead to cerebral palsy. An affected individual will have a diminished capacity to walk and maintain balance. Motor control in general, and posture, will be less than in unaffected individuals. For individuals who develop cerebral palsy later in life, it is usually due to an infection or an injury to the brain. When cerebral palsy is present from birth, a maternal infection is possible but it can also occur from oxygen deprivation during labor.

Seeking Treatment for Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a lifelong disorder. Coming to terms with it can be difficult, but there are treatment options and services for those who suffer from it. An individual with cerebral palsy can live a full and meaningful life, and the earlier the intervention, the better. There are a number of facilities in Virginia geared toward helping those with developmental difficulties like cerebral palsy.

Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU
Children's Pavilion
1000 East Broad St
Richmond, VA 232219
(804) 828-2467

This hospital has experienced providers who can assist families dealing with complex medical issues. They help children who are low- or high-functioning. Their primary goals are to improve functioning and quality of life.

HCA Virginia
7300 Beaufont Springs Dr
Richmond, VA 23225

An organization that provides education about cerebral palsy, as well as a network of services for patients and families, which includes WheelchairNet, March of Dimes, United Cerebral Palsy and KidsNeeds.com.

Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters
11783 Rock Landing
Newport News, VA 23606
(757) 668-9915

With several locations all over Virginia, their cerebral palsy program offers support services and comprehensive education so children and families can learn to live with cerebral palsy. They can be a link between families, schools and physicians.

Ability Center of Virginia
5825 Arrowhead Dr, Ste 201
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
(757) 497-7474

A facility with a long history of helping families and children with cerebral palsy. They offer summer camps for kids and support groups for parents. They also have an adult day program.

Progressive Pediatrics
150 South Washington St, Ste 203
Falls Church, VA 22046
(703) 606-6213

A pediatric therapy practice serving infants, toddlers and school-age children that uses a developmental play program. They work with children with many kinds of special needs, including cerebral palsy.

Financial Support for Cerebral Palsy

The CDC estimates that cerebral palsy can cost up to $900,000 over the life of the child who suffers from it. They calculate this taking treatment costs and lost wages into consideration. The state of Virginia provides help from those straining underneath such a heavy financial burden. Keep in mind as well that an attorney to help you through the process may be your smartest option, especially if you need to recover damages because medical malpractice caused the cerebral palsy in the first place.

Social Security Benefits

There are two programs, available through the Social Security Administration, that can help with the financial burden of cerebral palsy. One is Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and the other is Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

The former is for those who have paid into the system for at least ten years and accumulated enough work credits. The latter is for low-income families and those without enough work credits. An adult who became disabled before the age of 22 may also qualify for SSDI, and likewise a child of a low-income family may be eligible for SSI if they meet the definition of disabled according to the Social Security Administration. Virginia also has an auxiliary grant to augment the SSI help.

Applying for Social Security Benefits

To apply for disability benefits, either call (800) 772-1213 to order a form, or visit your local Social Security office. Each state has its own department for evaluating applications. Virginia's is:

Virginia Disability Determination Services
9960 Maylands Dr., Ste 200
Richmond, VA 23233
(804) 367-4700

In the event that they deny your claim, you may appeal several times. In the end, you may have to file suit in federal court. Make sure you have the guidance of a good attorney if you have to file an appeal so that your family can get the help it needs.