What is the Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund?

The Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund (CICRF) helps families bear the excessive financial burdens associated with the care of children with special health care needs and disabilities. CICRF is a payor of last resort. It provides financial assistance for Massachusetts families with children experiencing a medical condition requiring services that are not covered by a private insurer, federal or state assistance, or any other financial source.

The Fund is designed to act as a safety net for families who have excessive expenses related to a child's medical needs. The family may be responsible for these expenses due to:

  • A lack of insurance or dependent coverage
  • Expenses that are greater than the maximum benefit allowed by their insurance company
  • Pre-existing conditions, co-payments, and other expenses that are not covered by insurance

CICRF is a reimbursement program. The expense must have already been incurred in order to be eligible for the Fund and to receive reimbursement. In cases of extreme medical emergency, the CICRF Commission may grant approval before the expense is incurred.

NOTE: Because the amount in the Fund varies from year to year, and the number of requests varies as well, CICRF cannot guarantee funding in all cases. Families are advised not to assume or make financial decisions based on the expectation that the Fund will pay, even if they have received payment for a similar expense in the past.

For assistance call 1-800-882-1435 (within Massachusetts), 617-624-6060, or TTY 617-624-5992.