One of the worst nightmares that new parents may face is when their precious bundle of joy is shaken by someone. Shaken baby syndrome is a diagnosis that is given to babies and small children who have been shaken to the point that they received brain damage. The injuries from being shaken can be severe enough that the babies hold on for dear life in the local neonatal intensive care unit and may suffer lifelong disabling conditions if they pull through, such as cerebral palsy.
If you are a parent of a baby suffering from shaken baby syndrome, there's no doubt that your finances have been impacted while you devote your time and energy to your baby. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make the financial burden of caring for a severely injured baby a bit easier. Here's what you can do.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
Due to the injuries and complications that can be lifelong challenges to your little one, there's no doubt that filing a personal injury lawsuit against the perpetrator is on your mind. However, don't rush into a lawsuit before your child's health has been thoroughly assessed to see exactly what the long-term challenges will be.
The reason for this is because, unfortunately, some of the medical issues that stem from shaken baby syndrome, such as cerebral palsy, blindness, and/or paralysis, may require constant medical care and/or home renovations. Don't file or settle a lawsuit too quickly until you learn the full ramifications of the costs that will be involved now and in the future.
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Social Security Disability
Your baby may qualify for disability payments from the Social Security Administration of the federal government. Depending on your state, you may also qualify for additional monetary benefits and Medicaid from your state.
Since the paperwork can take some time to get approved, there are several disabilities that are considered presumptive disabilities, which your baby may have due to their injuries. This means that if your baby is diagnosed with a presumptive disability, such as blindness or cerebral palsy, the disability payments will start immediately even while the paperwork is being processed.
The one thing you have to be careful with here is that these disability payments will be based on your resource limit, which means if you have an income and/or assets, they cannot be more than the monetary amount set forth by the federal government as the resource limit. This would include payments from pre-settlement funding and/or the actual settlement. To legally bypass this, put monies from the personal injury lawsuit into a specialty trust fund.