Financial help for parents of kids with LD and AD/HD
Raising a child with a learning disability can be expensive. Learn about resources that might help defray some of the costs.
By Diana Moore, M.L.S.
"I never knew having a kid with a learning disability would be so expensive!"
Sooner or later, every parent at least thinks this. While many schools offer services to students with a learning disability (LD), most kids need outside help at some point in their lives — be it assessment, tutoring, schooling, coaching or therapy. Most services for kids with LD aren't covered by traditional health insurance, and there's little financial aid available for education before college.
There are some programs available to make a small dent in expenses, if you're willing to take the time to plan and follow through with the paperwork. Consider the following options:
Health insurance coverage
Many health insurance policies do cover assessment and psychological assessment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) and treatment. Each insurer is different, and coverage can vary even among policy types. To be certain, call your insurance carrier to clarify.
If your child isn't insured, check out Insure Kids Now, which is subsidized by the federal and state governments. Eligibility, coverage and details are listed by state.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI is a government program that pays benefits to disabled children who come from low-income families. SSI eligibility is determined by your local Social Security Office and a state Disability Determination Service.
Social security disability standards are very strict; the law says that in order to qualify for benefits, your child must have a mental or physical condition that results in "marked and severe functional limitations" for at least a year. Kids who qualify are not only entitled to money but also to government-funded health care. However, kids with LD alone generally are not found eligible.
For more information on eligibility for SSI, check these resources:
- Social Security Administration's "Benefits for Children With Disabilities"
- National Center on Secondary Education and Transition:
Supplemental Security Income (Part 1 of 3): A Bridge to Work
Supplemental Security Income (Part 2 of 3): So You Have Decided to Apply
Supplemental Security Income (Part 3 of 3): Your Right to Appeal