Department of Human Services | New Jersey’s First Lady Meets Families Receiving State Support to Care for Children with Complex Medical Conditions
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New Jersey’s First Lady Meets Families Receiving State Support to Care for Children with Complex Medical Conditions

Holiday Event Highlights Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund

Dec. 18, 2018

(TRENTON) – New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy on Tuesday joined families that have received grants from New Jersey’s Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund, which provides financial assistance to New Jersey families whose children have an illness or condition with costs otherwise uncovered by insurance or other programs. 

During a holiday event highlighting the program, the First Lady noted that the fund has granted nearly $200 million to more than 9,100 families for uncovered costs since its inception in 1988. 

“No one should face insurmountable expenses due to their child’s complex illness or medical condition,” First Lady Murphy said.  “New Jersey has a fund to ensure that families have access to financial assistance to alleviate the burden during these challenging times. We encourage families to reach out and apply for these grants.”

“A family’s financial means should not be a barrier to necessary medical care for their very sick children,” said Department of Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson.  “New Jersey offers a special fund to help families meet costs that are not covered by health insurance so that children can get the care they need.”

The First Lady joined some of the 206 families who have received a total of $5 million during this fiscal year. In total, almost $11 million was distributed to more than 500 eligible applicants.

The Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund (CICRF) is a dedicated, revolving, non-lapsing trust fund collected from an annual contribution of $1.50 per employee for all employers operating under the New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Law.

New Jersey residents with children who have uncovered medical expenses may apply for grants to reimburse specific, documented, medically related costs. Applications are authenticated and reviewed by the fund’s commission for grant disbursement.

“We hope that today’s event will make more families aware that they may be eligible for help from the fund for the cost of their child’s necessary medical treatment, equipment and other expenses,” said CICRF Commission Chairwoman Dr. Janice Prontnicki.

Under the CICRF’s guidelines, a catastrophic illness is any sickness or condition, acute or chronic, for which expenses are incurred that are not fully covered by insurance, state or federal programs, or other sources.

Families are eligible if they are legal permanent residents of New Jersey for at least three months prior to the date of application, if the child was 21 years old or younger when the expenses were incurred, and if expenses exceed 10% of the family’s income, up to $100,000 or 15 percent of any income over $100,000.

For more information about the Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund, visit or call 1-800-335-FUND (3863). Applications can be submitted online at

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