The Cost of Being a Parent to a Child with Birth Defects

Getting Help For Children Born With Birth Defects

When a baby is diagnosed with a birth defect, it’s rare that he or she will outgrow the condition. Birth defects can range from heart disease to spina bifida to Down syndrome. While these conditions themselves are emotionally difficult to adjust to, they can also present a financial burden.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), birth defects cost the US over $2.6 billion each year. Still, that doesn’t begin to represent the financial and emotional strain on the family, friends and the individual living with the birth defect.

How much does it cost to raise a child with special needs due to a birth defect?

Financial Costs of Birth Defects

The financial costs of birth defects often depend on the severity of the condition. One study by the CDC revealed that overall hospital costs for individuals suffering from a congenital heart defect is about $1.4 billion in a single year.

A child with Down syndrome can acquire medical costs 12 to 13 times higher than a child without down syndrome. If the child suffers from other conditions in addition to the Down syndrome, these costs can become even higher.

Additional Services For A Child With Birth Defects

Children with special needs often require services such as:

  • Special Education Servicesnew york birth defect attorneys offering financial assistance
  • Development Assistance
  • Additional Medical Care
  • Braces and/or Splints
  • Physical Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Diagnostic Tests
  • Hearing Aids
  • Wheelchairs
  • Glasses

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the cost of raising a child without special needs to the age of 18 is around $240,000. For disabled individuals, additional fees of occupational therapy, behavioral therapy, private schooling and private caregiving.

These services are expensive, but don’t account for hospital stays, missed wages or emotional stress – perhaps one of the most wearing parts of raising a child with special needs.

When a child is born with a birth defect, the entire family and even close friends are impacted by it. It can be a difficult adjustment for all involved, and it’s important that each one receive the support they need, including the child with the condition.

Options For Families With Children Affected By Birth Defects

Public assistance is often available to help families who don’t have the financial resources to cover the array of expenses that come with having a child with a birth defect.

If you need assistance, starting with the Social Security Administration may be your first step. Depending on your specific needs, you can choose between two different types of disability coverage: Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Income. State programs are also available, and you may also find local help throughout your community.

Most importantly, remember that you are not alone.

Get Legal Assistance

If you feel your child’s birth defects could have been prevented, you may be eligible for compensation. While no amount of money is large enough to make up for the pain and suffering you and your family have had to endure, a monetary supplement could greatly help ease the financial burden.

At The Oshman Firm, we want to be your advocates. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to help you understand your options if you feel your child’s birth defect could have been prevented. Call us today at 800-400-8182. Your consultation is 100% confidential.


Ted Oshman has been with The Oshman Firm since 1988 serving clients for over 25 years. Learn more about Ted's background and featured practice areas here.

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