I am heartened to see that from time to time your newspaper runs articles about seriously ill children and the community efforts underway in your area to assist with the child's medical bills. As you may know, the Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Commission (CICRFC) provides financial assistance to families of children who have experienced a serious illness or medical condition that has resulted in extraordinary uncovered medical expenses.
Established by legislation in 1988, this state Fund is unique in the nation because families of any income may qualify. The Fund does not limit coverage to specific diseases or diagnosis and defines "catastrophic" in economic terms, rather than medical.
Since the Program began making awards in late 1989, it has approved more than $78 million to more than 3,265 families. The average award is $23,000, but the range extends form a low of $470 to the largest single award of almost $565,000.
Still we know that the Fund can benefit many more New Jersey families if they know about it and how to apply for assistance. This is why we are asking for your help. By providing our toll free number (1-800-335-FUND) to families you write about with seriously ill children, you help extend our message to the community you serve. Families can then call us directly, and you can take pride in knowing that you have provided information about this unique financial resource.
Mary Ann Whiteman
Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund Commission