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Question: down syndrome? I have a daughter with a heart condition and needs heart surgery to fix her heart. She also has down syndrome. I decided to stop working until she had her heart surgery and a full recovery. Now we are running out of money and bills are pilling up is there any help for families with children with special needs. She will have her surgery in 2 mths and we do not have enough.

Answer: Hi!!! don't say where you are located, so I am going to assume the US. I too am a mom to a child with down syndrome and my son had av-canal which was a large hole in the chambers of his heart that required surgery at 4 months old to fix. I understand your worry...but there are programs out there to help. in our state (wisconsin) there is a program called katie beckett (it might be named differently in your state) it is specifally designed for kids with special needs and offers health, dental, vision coverage at NO cost to you and it is not based on your income. if your daughter is young enough they can go back all the way to the time of her birth and cover her bills! you will need to contact your counties health and human services department to get the information and application. do you have your daughter in a birth to 3 or early intervention program? if you do, ask your service coordinator to help you... that is what they are there for. this program is straight title 19 and she will have this until she is 18 yrs old. you can also receive social security disability for her, but this is based on your income (not sure of the limit, you will have to ask) call the local SS office and ask. if you are under the income limit your daughter would be able to get state help and federal social security money to help with expenses along with medicaid for health insurance if your daughter is delayed 30% or more. also look into WIC at the health and human services dept. this will help with formula and milk and such if you meet the criteria. There are so many rograms out there to is a lot of paperwork on your part and a lot of jumping through hoops and red tape but it is worth every second you spend on it....I know this for a fact....due to complications after my son's surgery he spent 19 days in the NICU at a total cost of $250,000 and we never were billed for a penny (thank God!) if you need any help or have any questions please feel free to email me! Julie

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