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New York: Law extends child support for parents of children with developmental disabilities

Parents or caregivers of children with developmental disabilities will receive child support until the child turns 26-years-old due to a New York State law passed last year.

Prior to the law’s passage, child support for all children in New York ended at 21-years-old. A local mother and daughter recently weighed in on how the extended payments have improved their lives.


Related: New York State announces start of construction on $8.5M supportive and emergency housing development in Schenectady

Cathy Smith, an Onondaga County resident, said her family’s financial situation worsened after becoming homeless in January.

“We had a house fire due to our furnace not working for the past few months,” said Cathy’s daughter Christina, according to CNY Central.

The fire made the house unliveable. The pair’s recent housing trouble is just one reason why they are grateful for the extended child support.

“It’s not just the money,” said Cathy. “But to make sure that she [her daughter] has a wonderful quality of life, that she can do things that her friends and peers are able to do so she doesn’t feel left out.”

Cathy, who works two jobs, said the extra money will enable her to spend more time with her daughter.

Related: SSDI: How are disability payments determined?

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

State and local leaders urged for the law to be passed, citing the increased likelihood of divorce in families of children with disabilities.

The law was passed unanimously by the state Legislature in October of last year.

Related: NYS announces $6.2 million project to expand housing for homeless veterans in Rochester