The Michigan Children with Special Needs Fund (CSN Fund) is a private-funded program within Michigan's Children's Special Health Care Services (CSHCS) program. The CSN Fund was created to help children with special health care needs when other funding sources are not available. The CSN Fund is managed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and staffed by state employees. Our relationship with CSHCS and the local health departments enables us to reach children across Michigan.
Since it was created in 1944, the CSN Fund has been supported through generous donations from families, individuals, businesses, and organizations who share a similar goal: to help families improve their child's mobility, independence and quality of life. The CSN Fund will not be used to replace public funds when it is available.
Our Mission Statement:
The Children with Special Needs Fund (CSN Fund) provides family centered support for children in Michigan with special health care needs when help is not available through any other funding source. The Fund helps families to purchase equipment to improve the child's health, mobility, and quality of life.
History of the Fund
The Children with Special Needs Fund (CSN Fund) was created in 1944 when lifetime supporters of children with special needs, Dr. & Mrs. James T. Pardee, co-founder of the Dow Chemical Company granted Dow Chemical Company stocks to the Children with Special Health Care Services (formerly Crippled Children's Commission). The CSN Fund (formerly Crippled Children's Commission) was created per Part 58 Crippled Children Section 333.5861, Public Health Code to manage the funds.
The original Pardee stock was sold in 1997 and used to purchase U.S. Treasury Notes. Although the CSN Fund still receives contributions from individuals, corporations, and businesses, the assets purchased with the earnings of the Pardee stock remains the largest part of the CSN Fund. The Department of Treasury keeps track of the donations received by the Fund.
The Fund has changed its name over the years. It was originally called the Crippled Children's Fund before the name was changed to Trust Fund for Children, and in 2002 it became Children with Special Needs Fund (CSN Fund).
The Pardee's wished that the CSN Fund dollars not be used to replace public funds when it is available. The Fund has stayed true to this wish by being the payor of the last resort.
Dr. & Mrs. James T. Pardee's gift of Dow Chemical stocks to the Children with Special Health Care Services (formerly Crippled Children's Commission) created the CSN Fund in 1944. Although the stocks were sold in 1997, earnings from that sale have since been invested in government securities and commercial bonds.
Every fiscal year, the CSN Fund sets its annual budget based on a portion of interest income earned from its investments. Any remaining dollars are re-invested to grow the Fund. The Fund operates entirely on donations. No tax dollars are ever used. Although the CSN Fund still receives contributions from individuals, corporations, and businesses, the assets purchased with the earnings of the Pardee stock remains the largest part of the CSN Fund. The Department of Treasury keeps track of the donations received by the Fund.
Who is eligible to apply to the CSN Fund ?
Families with a child up to 21 years old who is a Michigan resident, and is enrolled in, or medically eligible to enroll in the Children's Special Health Care Services (CSHCS) program may apply to the Children with Special Needs Fund. To find out of your child is eligible, contact the CSHCS office at your local health department.
Children enrolled in Adoption Medical Subsidy program, Habilitation Support Waiver, and Community Mental Health (CMH), must first apply to those agencies because the CSN Fund dollars cannot be used to replace public funds when it is available. The CSN Fund is the payor of last resort.
Note: Children enrolled in Children's Waiver Program (CWP) are NOT eligible for the CSN Fund.
To apply for assistance from the CSN Fund, contact the CSHCS office in your local health department for an application and assistance with the application process. You may also contact the CSN Fund directly at 517-241-7420, or the CSHCS Family Phone Line at 800-359-3722 or you may download an application and instructions .
Here is a list of required documents you need to submit when applying to the CSN Fund:
- A completed application for assistance (DCH Form 1239)
- A Financial Assessment Form (DCH-1273) (for children not enrolled in CSHCS)
- A letter from the child's legal guardian/caregiver explaining the need and reason for the request
- A letter of medical necessity from the child's specialty physician
- Completed Documentation of Assistance Form showing you contacted at least two (2) sources for assistance in purchasing the equipment (Examples: other state of federally funded programs, local service organizations, churches, insurance company, etc.)
- Signed landlord agreement form (for rental units only when requesting wheelchair ramps or electrical upgrades)
- Three quotes may be required for the requested equipment/item.
Note: Depending on the nature of the request, you may be asked to provide additional information. Please allow 4-6 weeks for a decision to be made.
For eligible recipients, the Fund may provide partial or full funding for the following:
- Wheelchair ramps into homes
- Van lifts and tie downs
- Portable air conditioners/central air a
- Adaptive Recreational Equipment b
- Therapeutic Tricycles b
- Electrical service upgrades c
- Ceiling Lifts d
- Staircase Lifts d
- Vertical Platform Lifts e
a Approved by a CSHCS medical care consultant.
b Request must be justified by the child's specialty physician (not primary care) AND physical therapist who assessed the equipment and determined it to be appropriate for the child.
c Approved for children using medical equipment at home that requires a dedicated circuit.
d Call the office at 517-241-7420 to find out if funds are available for these items.
e Approved if documentation shows wheelchair ramp violates ADA code.
Approval is based on several factors and income can be one of them. See the Family Size/Income Range Chart in the application packet for further information on the maximum amount the CSN Fund will contribute towards certain equipment.