Brain Injury Association of New Jersey Family Support Specialists recently met with the Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund (The Fund) to discuss opportunities to promote the benefits of this assistance program and reach potentially eligible families.

The Fund was established by legislation in 1988 to provide financial assistance for families whose children have experienced an illness or condition, which is not otherwise covered by insurance, State or Federal programs, or another source, such as fundraising. The Fund’s definition of a catastrophic illness is a financial one. There are no restrictions or limitation by diagnosis.

The Fund is intended to assist in preserving a family’s ability to cope with responsibilities that accompany a child’s significant health problems. Services provided for the entire continuum of care eligible for payment/reimbursement include, but is not limited to:

* Specialized Pediatric Ambulatory Care
* Treatment for Addictions/Mental Health Services
* Care in Acute or Specialized Hospitals
* Physician Care in All Settings
* Pharmaceuticals
* Disposable Medical Supplies/Durable Medical Equipment
* Transportation for Children’s Medical Care
* Home Health Care
* Experimental Medical Treatment for Pharmaceuticals Following Special Review

The child must have been 21 or under at the time expenses were incurred. Incurred medical expenses (not necessarily already paid) must exceed 10 percent of total family income, plus 15 percent of any excess income over $100,000. Families who are likely candidates may find themselves overwhelmed due to lack of insurance or no dependent coverage; insurance exclusion due to preexisting condition; expenses exceed maximum benefit allowable; and co-pays and expenses uncovered by insurance.

The Brain Injury Association of New Jersey encourages the promotion of the Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund for all eligible families. To learn more about other assistance progrmas available, click here.