Arizona parents who have children with disabilities are getting some help from Arizona and the federal government.

Governor Katie Hobbs announced on Tuesday the permanent expansion of reimbursement for parents as paid caregivers, an issue the Republican-led legislature paved the way for in 2023.

Tucson mother Shauna Newman, who provides care for her 15-year-old son Christian Quintero, has been fighting for the past 14 years to get relief for parents of children requiring full-time care.

Christian developed an anoxic brain injury when he was 11 months old as a result of a near-drowning.

“He essentially had his entire brain erased due to oxygen deprivation,” Newman said.

He is now what is considered to be “full care,” requiring the use of a wheelchair and relying nearly completely on his mother.

“I walk for him, talk for him, bathe him, from sunup to sundown,” Newman explained. “And so there’s nothing that he can do for himself, except for, you know, breathe and express emotion.”

An Arizona state agency, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), also got the green light from the federal government to increase the income limit for those eligible for KidsCare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Arizona.

Now, parents with an income up to 225% of the federal poverty level can receive the benefits.

Last year, the Arizona legislature passed, and Hobbs signed, a bill to increase the upper-income limit for those eligible to receive the KidsCare benefit. Hobbs praised that bipartisan effort on Tuesday.

Hobbs says with this expansion, Arizona has become the first state “to expand CHIP financial eligibility through its federal five-year 1115 Waiver approval process.”

The new benefits will begin on April 1, 2024. According to a release, up to 10,000 more Arizona children will now have health insurance.