Cerebral Palsy Treatment and Disability Benefits in Wisconsin

A diagnosis of cerebral palsy, for you or a loved one, can be a shock. You may wonder where you can get treatment options and worry about how to pay for them while you try to recover from the emotional turmoil. All of this is a completely normal part of the adjustment process. This page is here to give you some answers and connect you with the resources you will need, whether for diagnosis, treatment or other services, as you begin your journey. We will explain what cerebral palsy is. We will show you where you can go for treatment and support services. We will talk to you about getting financial support for the treatment and services and finally, we will get you started on the process of applying for disability benefits with the Social Security Administration and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that reduces an individual's motor control so that they have trouble walking, maintaining their posture and even balancing themselves. They suffer from reduced muscle tone. The disorder comes from damages the brain has sustained, sometimes later in life but often while gestating in the womb. Infections can cause the damage both in early-developing and late-developing cerebral palsy, and those affected later in life often get the disorder because of a physical injury to the brain. Oxygen deprivation during labor is also a known cause of cerebral palsy.

Seeking Treatment for Cerebral Palsy

Wisconsin has a number of resources and facilities to help with the treatment and management of cerebral palsy. The earlier you intervene, the better the outcomes for the child and the family. Cerebral palsy is a lifelong affliction, but with the right care, a sufferer can reach their fullest potential. The following are some of the centers that can help you receive and coordinate care.

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
8915 W Connell Ct
PO Box 1997
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 266-2265

The team at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin has pediatric experts in orthopedic, neurosurgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation. They are dedicated to maximizing the quality of life in children with cerebral palsy.

Cerebral Palsy Clinic
Waisman Center
1500 Highland Ave
Madison, WI 53705
(608) 263-6420

An interdisciplinary team of professionals works with children with cerebral palsy and other neurological conditions that affect motor development. Children get a comprehensive evaluation and follow-up care.

Therapy Services
2801 South Webster Ave
Green Bay, WI 54301
(920) 337-1122

Therapy services gives speech, occupational and language therapy to children and adults. The goal is to maximize the potential of each patient.

Nature's Edge Therapy Center
2523 14 ¾ Ave
Rice Lake, WI 54868
(715) 859-6670

This organization provides speech, occupational and language therapy while taking advantage of the calming effects of nature. They are on a 65-acre ranch in northwest Wisconsin and use animal-assisted therapy. They have many other programs and activities in nature for their patients.

Financial Support for Cerebral Palsy

A diagnosis of cerebral palsy can bring with it a terrible financial burden. The CDC estimates that the expenses, when we account for lost wages, can equal $900,000 over the life of the child. In the state of Wisconsin, you do not have to bear this burden alone. There are options available to help, and a good attorney can do a lot to get you through the process more efficiently. Your attorney can also explain your legal options if the cerebral palsy was the result of medical malpractice.

Social Security Benefits

There are two federal programs which do a great deal to alleviate the financial burden of a disability. The Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) helps those who have worked for at least ten years and accumulated enough work credits in the system. It can also go to adults who became disabled before they were 22.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is for those of low income or who have not yet accumulated enough work credits in the system. A child of a low-income family may also be eligible if they meet the standards for disability as set forth by the Social Security Administration. Wisconsin also automatically adds a supplement to the federal assistance as soon as you qualify. They add it in with the first payment.

Applying for Social Security Benefits

Calling (800) 772-1213 and ordering a form by phone or stopping by your local Social Security office are both ways you can start the process of applying for disability benefits. Wisconsin, like every state, has its own department for evaluating applications.

Disability Determination Bureau
PO Box 7886
Madison, WI 53707
(608) 266-1565

They may deny your application, but you have several appeals you can file. You may ultimately have to file a suit in federal court. Make sure to get representation from an experienced lawyer in case of an appeal. This will give you the best chance of getting the disability benefits you and your family deserve.