In 1988, the New Jersey Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund, a financial assistance program for New Jersey families whose children have an illness or condition otherwise uncovered by insurance, state or federal programs, or other sources, such as fundraising, was developed. The fund was developed to assist in preserving the financial integrity of New Jersey families and their ability to cope with the responsibilities that accompany significant health problems in children. The fund is a dedicated, revolving, non-lapsing trust fund. It is collected from an annual assessment per employee levied on all employers who are subject to the New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Law.
What Is a Catastrophic Illness?
In the Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund program, any illness can be considered “catastrophic” based on uncovered eligible medical expenses and the family’s income in a prior 12-month time period.
A catastrophic illness is any illness or condition, acute or chronic, for which expenses are incurred that are not fully covered by insurance, state or federal programs, or other sources and exceed the program’s eligibility threshold.
Who Is Eligible for the Fund?
To qualify, the family must have lived in New Jersey for 3 months immediately prior to the date of application. In any prior consecutive 12-month period, eligible expenses must exceed 10% of the family’s income, plus 15% of any excess income over $100,000. The child must have been 21 years or younger when the medical expenses were incurred.
What Expenses Are Eligible?
The following incurred expenses will be considered and may be eligible for payment/reimbursement if found reasonable. The categories include, but are not limited to:
- Specialized pediatric ambulatory care
- Medical equipment or disposable medical supplies
- Medically related home modifications and medical transportation
For more information on the New Jersey Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund Commission, please call 800-335-FUND (3863) or visit their website.