Financial Help For Special Needs Children

If you have a special needs child, live in the state of Illinois, and are trying to find options for financial help, read on for a list of resources that may be able to help you.

Making sure your child with special needs has everything they need can be stressful and overwhelming. What’s worse, it definitely isn’t always cheap, either. Luckily, there are plenty of programs out there that can help families who need financial assistance so that their children can get the support and care they deserve. 

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

If you have a limited income and are taking care of a minor with a disability, your child may be able to get some financial help from Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This Social Security program provides monthly cash payments that can help you meet your child’s basic needs.

The amount of money you can get depends on your total household income and the number of children that need care. In most states, including the state of Illinois, children who receive SSI benefits can also qualify for Medicaid, which can help with medical bills (more on that in a moment).

Socializing and Communication



If you are a low-income family that needs help with your child’s medical bills,  you may also qualify for help from Medicaid.

Medicaid is the United States public health insurance program for low-income families and is funded by both the U.S. government and individual states. If your child is eligible to receive SSI payments, they are generally also qualified to receive help from Medicaid, which can be used to pay their hospital/medical bills.

Social Security Survivor Benefits

If the parent of a child with special needs passes away, and if that parent was receiving Social Security benefits before their death, then their child might be able to get Survivor Benefits after their passing.

In addition, a disabled adult may be considered a Disabled Adult Child (DAC). DACs may be able to receive these survivor benefits permanently if they had their disability before the age of 22 and had a parent who died or started to receive retirement or disability benefits.

Illinois Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)

If you live in Illinois, are working or going to school, and meet family income requirements, you may be able to receive help paying for child care. This program is meant to help care for children under the age of 13, but a child with special needs might be able to receive help until they turn 19.

The amount of money help that you can get from this program varies based on your family income and the number of children in your family who need care (see the Child Care Eligibility Calculator here to estimate the amount of financial help you may qualify for).

Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse

If you are looking for help with attending telehealth appointments with your special needs child, it may be worth checking out the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse for resources.

The Illinois Early Intervention Program is run by the state of Illinois. It helps parents and families track if their young children are meeting their regular milestones for development. It also has help and resources for children who may need it. The Early Intervention Clearinghouse has free tools you can use like a Lending Library and a Tech Loan, which can help families do their medical services through video appointments.

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)

Parents with low income might be able to sign up for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, aka “food stamps”). This government program gives your family money each month that can be used in stores for groceries and other items. This program can be used by all low-income families who qualify, but you might be able to receive more help if you have a child with special needs.

All Kids

If you can’t afford a private health insurance plan and are looking for other options, your child may be eligible for All Kids, Illinois’ health insurance plan for children in families who make less than a certain income. Your family may be able to sign up for All Kids Premium Level 2 if you meet the income cutoffs and are taking care of a child with special health care needs.

Other private programs and foundations that can help

  • The Ronald McDonald House Charities - Helps families stay together and provides meals, education, and other services while their children are receiving special medical care.  
  • The Arc Illinois - Support for people with special needs and their families. Has an Assistive Technology Fund and financial help so people with special needs can go to conferences about developmental disabilities.


Paying for your child’s special healthcare needs can feel overwhelming, but the good news is that there are plenty of resources out there that can help you provide for your family at all levels of care.