The complexity of a child’s special needs and the parents’ need to devote time to the child’s care sometimes requires that parents cut back on the number of hours they work or stop working completely to care for their child. Other families may keep a job in order to preserve their child’s health insurance. Overall, the parents of one-quarter of CSHCN report having to stop work or cut back on their hours at work, or both, because of their children’s needs. This percentage was much higher among children whose conditions had a greater impact on their activities; of those whose conditions consistently affect their daily lives, the parents of nearly half cut back their hours or stopped working, compared to 8.9 percent of those whose activities are never affected by their conditions.

Of course, giving up a job is likely to reduce a family’s income. Therefore, it is not surprising that children in lower-income families are more likely to have parents who have given up their jobs: one-third of CSHCN in poverty and nearly 30 percent of those with family incomes between 100 and 199 percent of poverty have parents who reported that they cut back on work or stopped working to care for their children, compared to 18.0 percent of children with family incomes of 400 percent of poverty or more.

Parents of CSHCN may also stay in a job longer than they would like because the job provides needed health insurance for the child. Overall, the parents of 17.7 percent of CSHCN reported that they avoided changing jobs because of concerns about maintaining their child’s health insurance.

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