In so many ways‚ having a special needs child enriches your life with joy‚ patience and a different perspective.
That said‚ our Los Angeles Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers also understand it can be quite costly.
We already know that costs to raise a healthy child in most states exceed what most families are paying in rent. In some states‚ California included‚ the cost to provide infant care was higher than in-state tuition fees at a four-year public college.
When your child has special needs‚ those costs are amplified‚ depending on the kind of services and medical attention he or she requires. These can include everything from physical therapy to surgeries to medications – the list goes on. In the U.S.‚ more than 20 million families have at least one member who has special needs.
Of course‚ many families count a great deal on the state and federal government for some forms of assistance‚ such as Medicaid or Social Security Disability Insurance.
But you can’t always count on it. Just look at what’s happening for example in Florida‚ where the state was recently slammed by the U.S. Department of Justice for systematically failing to provide enough aid to keep special needs children in their homes. Instead‚ they were effectively “warehousing” them‚ but shuffling them into nursing homes.
Even when assistance is available‚ you will inevitably end up with some out-of-pocket expenses.
It’s usually most expensive when the child is very young‚ and the costs wane as he or she ages. But almost everything is going to cost more. Consider that you might not be able to hire the average 16-year-old from down the street to watch your child when you run errands. In some cases‚ it will require someone with special training who understands how to appropriately care for your child and what to do in case of a medical emergency.
Such costs can be particularly compounded if you suffer from a major setback‚ such as a job layoff‚ a divorce – or a medical emergency involving your child.
This is where a bankruptcy can help.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy‚ in particular‚ was designed specifically to allow people to unshackle themselves from debt that is either impossible to pay back or prevents one from being able to save or afford the basics.
It may not free you from future obligations or costs with regard to your child’s care and education‚ but it can give you a chance to hit reset after a particularly trying time.
For parents of special needs children‚ depending on your situation‚ it may even be advisable to wait before you file‚ especially if you are expecting some major medical expenses due to an upcoming procedure or treatment. (This is not the same as racking up a bunch of debt on credit card purchases right before you know you will file for bankruptcy; this is simply a strategic move to help ensure you are making the right move at the right time.)
Our Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers are committed to working with families of children with special needs to make this process as painless as possible.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Los Angeles‚ contact Cal West Law to schedule your free consultation. Call (800) 568-0707.
How to Financially Prepare for Raising a Child with Special Needs‚ Sept. 5‚ 2012‚ By Daniel Bortz‚ U.S. News & World Report