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Children with special needs, or Children with Special Health Care Needs as defined by the Social Security Act, are eligible to receive a number of government benefits to pay for the aid, care, and services that are available to them. There are many ways a child can qualify as a Child with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN), though it usually comes down to suffering from certain conditions, such as Down’s syndrome, ADHD, cerebral palsy, and autism. The following is a list of the benefits that are available to children with special needs:


Medi-Cal eligibility usually comes with income limitations, and as such, many children with special healthcare needs that come from lower income families may automatically qualify for Medi-Cal. In other cases, some children with special needs are eligible for Medi-Cal benefits if they need certain levels of institutional care, even if they come from higher income families.

In addition, children whose families spend a large amount of money on care and those who are placed in foster homes may also automatically qualify for Medi-Cal, although each individual situation is different. To find out if your child may qualify for Medi-Cal under the CSHCN rules, you should consult with a Long Beach special needs lawyer.

State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)

SCHIP is another federal program that is available to children with special healthcare needs who cannot qualify for Medi-Cal. While SCHIP is in some ways similar to Medi-Cal, there are some important differences. First, SCHIP typically does not cover as many services as Medi-Cal, and states have more control over SCHIP than they do over Medi-Cal. Additionally, SCHIP is available to children with special needs whose family income level is around 200% – 300% above the poverty level. A Long Beach special needs lawyer will be able to tell you if SCHIP is right for you and your child’s situation.

Maternal Child Health Bureau Agencies

The Maternal and Child Health Bureau is responsible for looking out for the health of mothers and their infants. However, their purview extends to children with special needs, and the Maternal Child Health Bureau Agencies have developed many programs to serve children with special healthcare needs and their families. Most of the time, the federal grants that are given to the agencies are used to pay for aid and services that are not covered by Medi-Cal or SCHIP.

If you have questions about any of these federal programs that help children with special needs, please contact our Long Beach Special Needs lawyers at (310) 782-6322 to set up a consultation.