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Florida’s NICA program

Being a parent of a disabled child isn’t easy. However, if you live in Florida, you and your child are entitled to benefits through the NICA program. Recently, the law has been changed. You should know what this means for you and your child.

What is NICA?

NICA is a program also known as the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association, which was created in 1988. It was formed to protect doctors from financial damages resulting from birth injuries resulting in children suffering severe disabilities.

While NICA was enacted to protect doctors sued for medical malpractice after babies suffered a serious injury, it also protected the victims. In exchange for not suing doctors, the parents of those children were given financial compensation to cover medical expenses and health care costs deemed necessary and reasonable.

What are the changes recently made to NICA?

NICA recently underwent significant changes. In addition to switching over the entire board of directors of the program, the rules have also been changed. Where parents of children who suffered severe birth injuries that left them permanently disabled previously had to fight to recover compensation for their ongoing medical care, this is no longer the case. Now, those parents will instantly receive $150,000 to ensure the proper care for their children. The money will also cover the cost of any therapeutic services, medication, wheelchairs and any other medical equipment the children need.

Parents often used to face delays or straight-out denials of their claims as well. The changes to NICA are said to combat that issue.

However, although parents appreciate the changes to the program, some say that it’s not enough. A few stated that the program didn’t care enough about children who had suffered personal injury that rendered them disabled. Around 60% said in a survey that they felt NICA put its finances ahead of the children who so desperately needed assistance. Around 80% of the parents said they believed that the changes are a good start and are hopeful more will come.