Who will pay for my child’s evaluation for Autism?
- Private funds, private insurance or Medicaid
- School – if your child is school age and may be suspected of having a disability, an evaluation could be conducted through the Individuals with Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
- Autism Insurance if you have a child under between the age of eighteen months to age 6 or beginning of first grade which ever occurs first.
How are treatments, supports and services funded?
There are many treatments, supports and services an individual with Autism may need over their lifespan. Families often struggle with how to identify and navigate funding sources.
Medicaid is important to learn about if you or your child have Autism. Medicaid is a jointly funded state and federal program for the payment of medically necessary services for people who meet certain income and resource guidelines. Children under the age of 21 with Medicaid receive a comprehensive package of services called Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment or EPSDT. For more information on eligibility visit: Health Care Financing for Your Child with Special Needs: Six Ways to Access Medicaid & Other Health Care Benefits.
Some families have private insurance, which can help pay for some of the services. Currently there is legislation to expand coverage for private insurers to increase coverage of services for treatments.
How is Assistive Technology or AT paid for?
Assistive Technology (AT) can be funded through Medicaid or it can be funded with private insurance. Determining who funds AT has to do with how it is used. AT could be medically necessary or help a child participate more fully in school and preschool by helping them to do academic and other activities more independently. If AT is included in your child’s IEP or 504 plan, it must be provided at no cost to parents. Parents are not required to fund this by using private or public insurance. If an adult with a disability needs AT for employment, Vocational Rehabilitation Services may fund the purchase of equipment or services.
Adults and youth with Autism may qualify for Developmental Services. The Division of Developmental Disability and Aging Services oversees the delivery of services for people with developmental disabilities by contracting with developmental disability service providers around the state. Services are funded through a variety of sources, the most common of which are the home and community-based waiver and flexible family funding.
Additional Funding Resources
A Rainy Day Fund for Adults with Asperger Syndrome over age 18. The purpose of this fund is to assist adults with AS who are in a crisis situation.
AutismCares Provides Grants for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders During Times of Crisis or Unplanned HardshipsFinancial Support Awards provide financial relief up to $1,000 for individuals with ASD and their families to help cover costs associated with critical living expenses such as housing, utilities, car repair, funeral expenses, and other essential items on a case-by-case basis.
The Autism Puzzle Foundation may help families purchase specialized therapy equipment and toys for their children. Specialized therapy may include therapeutic and developmental therapy as well as recreational therapies like swimming or horseback riding. They may also fund the purchase of facilitative and augmentative communication.
Provides grants to recipients of a parent or legal guardian of a child or young adult who holds a diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder /Autism Spectrum Disorder families. The item/service requested must not otherwise be covered by the family’s insurance plan or a state waiver. Check website for availability of grants).
The Flexible Family Funding Program provides limited funding to assist families with respite and other supports relevant to caring for their child and family.
An innovative program that offers adults affordable financing and terms for all types of assistive technology to improve your life including home and vehicle modifications, wheelchairs, scooters, computers, assistive equipment, hearing aids and dentures.
Respite Care for Families provides limited funds to families to offer a rest from their child care. Eligibility for Respite Care funding is based upon a family’s income and the specific needs of individual children.
The Personal Care Services Program provides funding for families to hire a personal care attendant (PCA) to help with the care of children with significant disabilities or health conditions.
Each year VTDDC awards Small Grants, through the Executive Committee Fund, from $500 to $1000 to individuals, family members, and organizations. These Small Grants are available year-round to help people with developmental disabilties and family members attend trainings and conferences and to award small grants to individuals and organizations for events and innovative projects.
The Sue Williams Freedom Fund (SWFF) provides funding for services and equipment to help people with disabilities achieve or maintain independence in their own homes.
The TACA Family Scholarship Program was developed to help families who are pursuing treatment for their children with autism, but are struggling to find the funding.
UHCCF provides grants and are available to families to help children who need critical health care treatment, services, or equipment not covered or not fuly covered by their health care plans. They fund child health care services such as speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy sessions,prescriptions,and medical equipment such as wheelchairs. UHCCF provides financial assistance toward the family’s share of the cost of medical services.Qualifying families can receive up to $5,000 to help pay for medical services and equipment such as physical, occupational and speech therapy, counseling services, surgeries, prescriptions, wheelchairs, orthotics, eyeglasses and hearing aids.To be eligible for a grant, children must be 16 years of age or younger. Families must meet economic guidelines, reside in the United States and have a commercial health insurance plan. Grants are available for medical expenses families have incurred 60 days prior to the date of application as well as for ongoing and future medical needs. Parents or legal guardians may apply for grants at www.uhccf.org, and there is no application deadline. Organizations or private donors can make tax-deductible donations to the foundation at this website.
VTDDC provides a limited number of grants of up to $500 to individuals with developmental disabilities and family members to support attendance at conferences, trainings or other disability related events.
VFN has a grant from the U.S. Agency of Human Services for flexible respite funding for families through the Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention Program. The grants are not intended for therapies, car repairs, heating bills, etc. Rather, the funding is specifically for the caregiver, who may be experiencing stress, to take a break, to renew and refresh, and to take care of themselves and their family. Some examples of how respite funds have been used include: paying for childcare or summer camp, enjoying an adult class or a change of scenery, joining a fitness program, and/or spending quality time with the other children.
When looking for funding there may also be opportunities to access private funds from local donors such as organizations, churches, and clubs.