How to Plan Your Finances When Raising a Special Needs Child

Careful financial planning is one of the ways in which you can be the best advocate of your child with special needs.

By Marife Remo

When you think of the immediate impact having a special needs child will have in your life, questions and fears easily arise. It is important to live in the present and not lose sight of your goal which is to provide for the lifelong care of your child. Everything may seem overwhelming at first but after getting the medical diagnosis and outlining the essential services your child needs, sitting down to create a financial plan for the future may help ease all the resulting anxiety. 
 
Long-term financial planning is a task that must be carried out early on in your child’s life. Here are some steps to get you started. 

Create a Timeline for What Needs to Be Done
There is a lot of consultation and research that needs to be done here. Depending on the condition, some special needs children may require regular treatments and/or therapies.  Read about where you can get the essential care specific to your child’s needs and the best possible offer you can avail. Since you are about to create a big-picture plan, also think of what kind of education/training can be provided and how much it would cost years from now.  You also have to take into consideration the care of your child in the event of your demise.   

Build Your Funds and Savings Mindfully
After laying out your plans, it’s now time to think of where and how to get funding for your child’s care. The first thing that parents do is to look at their own pockets. Segregating your earnings and savings will help you prioritize things better. At this point, setting up a bank account dedicated to the care of your child might be a good idea. Money that you save, those given to your child and other financial help should go into this account. In this way, you don’t have to worry about where to get money for his/her everyday needs and more. It is always best to consult with a financial advisor to help you sort things out.  

Consider Having a Comprehensive Insurance Plan
Do you think that what you currently have is not enough? That’s all right. Money for your special needs child’s future education can still be earned. There are many ways to augment your funds. One is by getting an insurance plan or by enhancing an existing plan. Life insurance is an effective resource when it comes to proactively planning for your child’s future. It helps to ensure continuous financial support through adulthood and when you are no longer around. You can choose from various life insurance companies like pan-Asian insurer FWD Insurance that offer different types of financial products for specific goals such as this.   

Take Advantage of Available Benefits
Government assistance is another avenue to explore if you are short on funds. Under Republic Act No. 7277 (also known as the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons), the state supports persons with disabilities (PWDs) through several social systems. To gain access to these benefits, you should get your child a PWD identification card. Benefits include discounts, tax exemptions for medicine and other necessities, educational assistance, and more. It is also important to note that aside from assistance, the state also provides protection and recognizes the rights of PWDs.  

Caring for a special needs child is a lifelong commitment but with careful financial planning, a full and comfortable life can become possible for you and your child. 

Marife is a freelance writer/copywriter specializing in advertising and marketing. But really, just tell her what you need and she’ll try her very best to come up with something interesting. She is a mom and wife 24/7, a Netflix junkie, meme lover, and a cat person who does not own a cat.