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Abigail Ringer advises on a range of grants and benefits which can be used to fund appliances and adaptations for those less affected by disability.
Raising a child affected by cerebral palsy or global developmental delay can be expensive. As wheelchairs, trikes and home adaptations all come with a price tag, I thought I would write about some of the grants and benefits available to meet the additional cost of living with a child who has disabilities.
As a lawyer working with children affected by cerebral palsy, global developmental delay and Erb’s palsy, I have a growing appreciation of how much it can cost to provide the best quality of life.
Fortunately, there are a number of charities and organisations that provide money to help pay for the additional cost of growing up with special needs. From providing equipment to making dreams come true, these are a few of the best:
The Family Fund
The Family Fund help families across the UK who are raising a disabled child or young person aged 17 or under. The fund prioritises families on lower incomes and children who require high levels of support. The Family Fund will look at any grant requests that relate to the need of the child such as furniture, mobility aids, clothing, computers, tablets or a family break. Last year, family fund provided £36 million worth of funds and services to families in Britain.
The Disabled Facilities Grant
Local Councils can provide Disabled Facilities Grants to adults and children to pay for the cost of adaptations to the home such as installing wheelchair ramps or widening doorways. The grants, which can be up to £30,000, are means-tested but do not affect benefits already being received.
Whizz-Kidz provides a range of mobility equipment to children and young people “to give them independence at home, at school and at play”. The mobility equipment they provide includes manual wheelchairs, powered wheelchairs, buggies, trikes and sports wheelchairs. Some of the equipment they provide is extremely cool, particularly the TMX trike!
Whizz-Kidz also run a whole range of services for young wheelchair users, completely free of charge. These activities include youth groups, wheelchair skills training courses, work placements and residential camps for young people aged 12-25. They even have a parent support network.
Finally, Dream Makers Children’s Charity grants wishes and dreams to children with disabilities. The wishes could be a holiday at Disney World, a trip to Lapland or the opportunity to swim with dolphins. They also have a number of large mobile holiday homes in Devon for children who are unable to travel further afield.
Occasionally, children are affected by conditions such as cerebral palsy, global developmental delay or Erb’s palsy due to receiving substandard medical treatment around the time of their birth. In these circumstances, our team will endeavour to recover enough money to pay for the additional care and support that a child needs for the rest of their life which can amount to millions of pounds.
To find out more about investigating the care that you or your child received during pregnancy and birth; or about supporting your child, visit http://www.clinicalnegligenceteam.co.uk/birth-injury-info/