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CHILDHOOD CEREBRAL PALSY & SSI BENEFITS

Childhood cerebral palsy disability benefits are available for children through the Social Security Administration. In order to receive SSI benefits, you child’s cerebral palsy symptoms must be severe.

This article discusses cerebral palsy in childhood. It also talks about how to win Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for children from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

WHAT IS CHILDHOOD CEREBRAL PALSY?

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects the brain and the nerves in a child’s body. Because it affects the nerves, the disease disrupts the child’s coordination and muscle movements. Most cerebral palsy is due to brain damage.

Most people receive a diagnosis of cerebral palsy at birth. According to United Cerebral Palsy, there are almost 800,000 children and adults who have the disorder. Also, cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability of childhood. About 1 in 345 children has been identified with CP according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. Additionally, cerebral palsy is more common in boys than girls. It is also more common among black children than white children.

If your child has cerebral palsy, you can apply for Supplemental Security Income benefits through the SSA. The SSA sends SSI benefits to children who meet their disability criteria for cerebral palsy. To receive SSI benefits, you must  not only meet SSA’s disability criteria, you must also meet their income and asset restrictions.

Childhood Cerebral Palsy Smiling little boy, kid with disabilities and his mother. Child has cerebral palsy

CAUSES OF CHILDHOOD CEREBRAL PALSY

Most cerebral palsy is related to brain damage that happened before or during birth and it is called congenital cerebral palsy. The following factors can increase the risk for congenital cerebral palsy:

    • Being born too small
    • Born too early (pre-mature)
    • Born a twin or as part of multiple births
    • Being conceived by in vitro fertilization or other assisted reproductive technology. However, most of the risk increase in this instance is due to preterm delivery or multiple births.
    • Mother has an infection during pregnancy
    • Newborn has an infection like meningitis that causes brain damage
    • Other birth complications, like detachment of the placenta, uterine rupture, or problems with the umbilical cord during birth that can disrupt the baby’s oxygen supply
    • Brain trauma either during labor or delivery
    • Rare genetic mutations
    • Having kernicterus (a type of brain damage that can happen when severe newborn jaundice goes untreated).

Spastic cerebral palsy

Spastic cerebral palsy occurs when there is damage to the motor cortex and pyramidal tracts. The motor cortex controls voluntary movement and the pyramidal tracts relay brain signals to the muscles. Damage to these parts of the brain cause spasticity and stiff muscle tone.

Athetoid/Dyskinetic cerebral palsy

Athetoid (also known as dyskinetic) cerebral palsy occurs when there is damage to the cerebellum and/or basal ganglia of the brain. The damage can cause abnormalities with balance, involuntary movement, drooling, and muscle tone.

Ataxic cerebral palsy

Ataxic cerebral palsy occurs when there is damage to the cerebellum. Children with ataxic cerebral palsy have difficulty with coordination, fine motor skills, depth perception, tremors and speech problems.

Mixed cerebral palsy

Children with mixed cerebral palsy experience symptoms of more than one type of the cerebral palsy. Typically, this occurs because there is damage to more than one area of the brain.

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