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  #21  
Old 06.05.2014, 13:36
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Re: Moving to Zurich with disabled child

I wonder if there is a support group or association for people with similar conditions/disabilities so you can discuss adaptive equipment and solutions?

I know there is a lot for the vision impaired/blind community.

I did also design/added a leather loop and large bead onto a zipper pull for someone with mild paralysis/mobility issues in his hands, so he could open bag more easily....I wonder if something like that would work in the door handles (wire with a small wooden knob or button on it) so he can pull the handle? I've seen something similar for light switches, but that was a very long time ago....

Have you seen those collapsible foot stools? They seem to even stock them in ikea...and are not so expensive.

I think that some of these 'mobility' aids could potentially be covered by health insurance or the disability system, or even school funding.

You always have the option of talking to the school psychology department! as they seem to be the central referral point for other services within the school system. Have you been recommended physiotherapy or occupational therapy support! In the German system they have these 'psycomotorik' therapists that seem to have this sort of training, and can give extra ideas on adaptations...
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  #22  
Old 06.05.2014, 14:36
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Re: Moving to Zurich with disabled child

Two quick observations. First, I have to commend you on your VERY positive and proactive outlook on the whole situation. You are obviously not a whiner nor a worrier and just go about managing all of the difficulties that life throws your way. Go you!

Secondly, you mentioned email and I must tell you that I have noticed in my 5+ years here that Europe in general and, specifically, France and Switzerland, are very much telephone cultures and not so much email or text driven like the US. I have found that if I write an email (in French) that explains that I still have difficulty speaking French on the telephone, they will respond via email more quickly and are more understanding. (Usually because they can relate--they have difficulty speaking English on the phone also.)
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  #23  
Old 06.05.2014, 16:37
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Re: Moving to Zurich with disabled child

Hi Sdtrex, your attitude and demeanour will affect your son at this stage more than the school. As for potential bullying, who isn't vulnerable due to being too short/tall, thin/heavy, pale/dark, whatever? Learning to positively deal with it early in life is key.
Persevere - nice that your son has been blessed with an over-average loving parent!
PS suggest you read your son (when age appropriate) a biography of the swashbuckling English knight Sir Jeffrey Hudson - it's inspiring
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  #24  
Old 06.05.2014, 21:18
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Re: Moving to Zurich with disabled child

Thanks for the encouragement and suggestions. I do my best not to get angry in front of my son, just to discuss things with him - then take it up with the teacher.

So far - I'm impressed. The teacher responded within hours to my email and said they have zero tolerance policy for bullying or disrespect for others, and they will be on it.
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Old 17.09.2015, 08:09
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Re: Moving to Zurich with disabled child

We are leaving Switzerland. Tomorrow. A few things we have learned that may help someone in the future:

Our experience was largely positive. People stare, but they aren't malicious. It's just what they do. If you then interact with them, they are often friendly. Kids were great once they got to know our son, he was welcomed and loved at public school.

Insurance is problematic for kids with disabilities developed before they arrived in Switzerland - from some countries. We are from the USA. Our son's disability is from birth. So the Swiss government sees it as not their problem, and insurance will not cover many things that would be covered if he had been born here. This will be different for people from different countries. It's complicated.

Swiss people stick to the rules, but if you find a friendly, kind, and helpful person, they will help you maneuver through the bureaucracy and get what you want. We had this more than once.

The bottom line - our experience was positive, but it requires a certain comfort with ambiguity - we never really had straight answers on whether something was covered by insurance or not, for example, People just described things as hard or easy - not covered or not covered. But be nice and friendly and respectful and you should find your way.

All the best, and goodbye, at least for now.

SDTREX
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  #26  
Old 09.05.2017, 15:27
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Re: Moving to Zurich with disabled child

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Insurance is problematic for kids with disabilities developed before they arrived in Switzerland - from some countries. We are from the USA. Our son's disability is from birth. So the Swiss government sees it as not their problem, and insurance will not cover many things that would be covered if he had been born here. This will be different for people from different countries. It's complicated.

Hello, I am having a similar situation - disabled due to accident abroad and now I am moving to Switzerland. May I please hear more from you on:
(1) which whom did you discuss your insurance matter with?
(2) which government agencies did you contact to discuss your insurance situation?


Thank you so much for your help!! Really appreciate it.
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  #27  
Old 09.05.2017, 18:29
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Re: Moving to Zurich with disabled child

There are two types of insurance. One is your general Health Insurance which will usually not cover anything that is due to a disability, as that is covered by IV (Disability Insurance).
Their Website is here, unfortunately the information provided in English is limited: https://www.ahv-iv.ch/en/

It would probably be best to contact them directly and ask about your specific needs.
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  #28  
Old 09.05.2017, 18:51
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Re: Moving to Zurich with disabled child

IV won't cover you if it didn't occur while you were resident here.

Tom
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  #29  
Old 09.05.2017, 19:20
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Re: Moving to Zurich with disabled child

Well, presumably they may be as they're moving back to Switzerland from an assignment abroad I think looking at their other threads.

Whether you're entitled to help or not, you'll have to wait a year before you can claim. See the FAQ link from this (question 2):

https://www.ahv-iv.ch/en/Social-insu...y-insurance-DI
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  #30  
Old 10.05.2017, 01:16
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Re: Moving to Zurich with disabled child

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Hello, I am having a similar situation - disabled due to accident abroad and now I am moving to Switzerland. May I please hear more from you on:
(1) which whom did you discuss your insurance matter with?
(2) which government agencies did you contact to discuss your insurance situation?


Thank you so much for your help!! Really appreciate it.
Dear Kahhung:

My employer commissioned an opinion from a Swiss law firm. The opinion cost about 10.000 chf! Because my son is a US Citizen, our situation was governed by a social security treaty. We had no trouble getting him basic health insurance that would allow him to be treated for other conditions and kept alive, but we faced some limitations. A minor limitation was that my son could not purchase premium insurance, only basic insurance. More importantly, some therapies and examinations were not covered by insurance unless they could be tied to an illness or accident that were unrelated to the disability. Fortunately, we found a friendly doctor (not swiss) that was willing to diagnose some of his problems as related to something else. The swiss doctor we dealt with actually hinted that if we could get a medical research company to work with her, she would support our son's treatment.

Ultimately, medical care for him sent us back to the US, where, believe it or now, we have easy access to top specialists.

If you aren't from the US, your situation could be completely different. In addition, all this was a couple years ago and of course things change.

I suggest you try to find an association for your disability, consider a lawyer, and talk to the swiss disability/social security office.

Best of luck!
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  #31  
Old 22.06.2021, 08:49
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Re: Moving to Zurich with disabled child

Hello!

I hope it's OK that I'm resurrecting this old thread! My wife has a job offer in ZH, and we currently live in the US. The primary consideration we have in deciding to accept the job is whether our son, who's almost 3 years old, will receive services and therapies in CH for his special needs. (He is a dual US-EU citizen, born in the US.) He has Pitt Hopkins Syndrome (PTHS), which is a rare genetic condition; in terms of symptoms, it has a lot of overlap with cerebral palsy and autism. He requires several hours per week of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. His doctor has also recently recommended he receive between 20 and 40 hours per week of ABA (applied behavioral analysis, a therapy for autism).

So, in deciding whether we can move to CH, we need to figure out (1) that our son will be able to receive the therapies that he needs and (2) that this will be financially feasible for us.

We have been contacting various organizations and government offices in CH and ZH about this question. One of the things we have heard is that if our son's need for these therapies can be demonstrated, then he will receive them; either IV will pay for them completely, or the Krankenkasse will pay with a 10% co-insurance (up to an annual out-of-pocket maximum of 350 CHF). We were greatly reassured to hear that, but then I ran across this thread in EF.

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Insurance is problematic for kids with disabilities developed before they arrived in Switzerland - from some countries. We are from the USA. Our son's disability is from birth. So the Swiss government sees it as not their problem, and insurance will not cover many things that would be covered if he had been born here. This will be different for people from different countries. It's complicated.
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There are two types of insurance. One is your general Health Insurance which will usually not cover anything that is due to a disability, as that is covered by IV (Disability Insurance).
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IV won't cover you if it didn't occur while you were resident here.
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Whether you're entitled to help or not, you'll have to wait a year before you can claim. See the FAQ link from this (question 2):

https://www.ahv-iv.ch/en/Social-insu...y-insurance-DI
And there's also this thread -- https://www.englishforum.ch/family-m...h-schools.html -- where one person writes, 'The child qualified for the IV has to be born in CH or have a CH citizenship', though there seem perhaps to be exceptions to this rule.

So, here are my questions:

1. Is it true that the Krankenkasse will NOT pay for therapies (like Physiotherapie, Ergotherapie, Logopädie, and ABA) that are for a disability (in our son's case, a genetic disease)?

2. Is it true that IV doesn't cover conditions that 'occurred' when one was not a resident of CH? In our son's case, it's a genetic condition, so it 'occurred' at the moment of conception, I guess.

3. Is it true that a child can only get help from IV if they were born in CH or have Swiss citizenship?

4. Is it true that IV will not pay for anything in the first year of a person's residency in CH?

If the answer to those questions is yes, then it looks like -- even if our son can receive the therapies he needs in CH -- paying for those therapies in CH will impossible for us to afford.

We're really excited about moving to Switzerland, and so we're quite sad and worried at having discovered these threads. At the same time, it's better for us to know before my wife accepted the job offer!

Thank you, in advance, to everyone who responds! We are so grateful for the helpful people on this forum!

Sincerely,
Nederlandse Amerikaan
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  #32  
Old 22.06.2021, 09:26
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Re: Moving to Zurich with disabled child

In answer to question 3. The correct and precise answer is that to qualify for IV, the child must be born in Switzerland, or a Swiss Permanent resident (C) or citizen. AND there is an age limit for some diagnoses - eg. condition must be diagnosed before a particular age...



Basically, yes, your salary would be nowhere near enough to pay for those sorts of therapies privately. So if you are able to access those in the USA then I would stay where you are...



You're in this for the long-haul - as it seems with Pitt-Hopkins that lifespan is likely to be normal - so you're going to always be dealing with the now and also looking ahead to plan for his support for the future as well...


Plus, a lot of therapies won't be easily accessible in English, so if you are not fluent in a Swiss national language, then that will may it much harder...
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  #33  
Old 22.06.2021, 11:01
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Re: Moving to Zurich with disabled child

I suggest you contact them to ask specifically about your son and what, if anything, he may be able to claim.

SVA Zürich
IV-Stelle
Röntgenstrasse 17 / Postfach
8087 Zürich

Phone: 044 448 50 00
Fax: 044 448 55 55
E-Mail: info@svazurich.ch
Web page: www.svazurich.ch

Oh, and re your other topic, you'll need to have EU passports for all those eligible to not need a Type D visa to enter Switzerland so make sure you get those organised if you decide to take up the job offer. You will need to travel with those so you don't have entry problems.
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  #34  
Old 22.06.2021, 12:01
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Re: Moving to Zurich with disabled child

Reply to 1 - logopedie depends by the Kanton and usually is not covered by health insurance (basic and supplementary) if the school provides it.
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  #35  
Old 23.06.2021, 02:12
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Re: Moving to Zurich with disabled child

Thank you, swisspea, Medea Fleecestealer, and cinzia_t, for your responses!

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In answer to question 3. The correct and precise answer is that to qualify for IV, the child must be born in Switzerland, or a Swiss Permanent resident (C) or citizen. AND there is an age limit for some diagnoses - eg. condition must be diagnosed before a particular age...
Is this based on what people have experienced? Or do you have a written source for that? I've certainly seen similar statements here on EF, but I haven't yet seen that in any official documentation. (I obviously haven't read everything!) Here's what I did find:

In https://www.ahv-iv.ch/p/10.03.e on p. 49, I see that children must be born within CH in order to claim IV benefits, but this entire brochure applies only to citizens of states that don't have a social security treaty with CH. My son is an EU citizen, so this brochure doesn't apply.

And if I have understood https://www.ahv-iv.ch/p/890.e correctly, then the whole point of the social security agreements that CH has signed with other countries (including the EU) is that citizens of those countries and Swiss citizens will be treated equally when they're in each other's countries. (E.g., French citizens will be treated like Swiss citizens when they're in CH, and Swiss citizens will be treated like French citizens when they're in France.)

I might very well have misunderstood all this, and I'm happy to be corrected! (Like I said, we want to figure this out before we respond to my wife's job offer.)

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I suggest you contact them to ask specifically about your son and what, if anything, he may be able to claim.

SVA Zürich
IV-Stelle
Röntgenstrasse 17 / Postfach
8087 Zürich

Phone: 044 448 50 00
Fax: 044 448 55 55
E-Mail: info@svazurich.ch
Web page: www.svazurich.ch
Absolutely. That's our next action item.

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Oh, and re your other topic, you'll need to have EU passports for all those eligible to not need a Type D visa to enter Switzerland so make sure you get those organised if you decide to take up the job offer. You will need to travel with those so you don't have entry problems.
Of course. But thank you for the reminder! :-)

Sincerely,
Nederlandse Amerikaan
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  #36  
Old 23.06.2021, 09:24
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Re: Moving to Zurich with disabled child

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Hello Everyone -

We are moving to Zurich, our kids will be in public school, and one kid has some special needs. Does anyone have experience with special needs in Swiss public schools? In particular, are special needs kids integrated or isolated? Are they treated well or given a hard time? Are the schools responsive to kids' needs?

As an additional set of questions, can anyone with a disability comment on whether they find Zurich accessible and mobility friendly?

Thanks much,

SDTREX

Hi, SDTREX and welcome to the forum,

I don't have personal experience in this area but in my kids' school and classes there are children with special needs and yes, they are integrated not segregated here. For full disclosure, these kids have cognitive disabilities which are not extremely severe, but they still need a different type of approach during classes, breaks and of course, special needs therapy.

Kids are very understanding imo, I haven't noticed any bullying here. We all know each other from very early childhood, so that may be a factor, but probably not.

I don not think you have reasons to worry too much. Talks with the school and the Gemeinde first, shoot all the questions. They'll have more answers for your particular situation and place of residence.

Courage and my best wishes.
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  #37  
Old 23.06.2021, 09:28
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Re: Moving to Zurich with disabled child

Hm, OP posted back in 2013 so a bit late greenmount. And they left Switzerland in 2015.
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  #38  
Old 23.06.2021, 09:29
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Re: Moving to Zurich with disabled child

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Hm, OP posted back in 2013 so a bit late greenmount.
Yeah, I meant to answer to the one who resurrected the thread

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Hello!

I hope it's OK that I'm resurrecting this old thread! My wife has a job offer in ZH, and we currently live in the US. The primary consideration we have in deciding to accept the job is whether our son, who's almost 3 years old, will receive services and therapies in CH for his special needs. (He is a dual US-EU citizen, born in the US.) He has Pitt Hopkins Syndrome (PTHS), which is a rare genetic condition; in terms of symptoms, it has a lot of overlap with cerebral palsy and autism. He requires several hours per week of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. His doctor has also recently recommended he receive between 20 and 40 hours per week of ABA (applied behavioral analysis, a therapy for autism).

So, in deciding whether we can move to CH, we need to figure out (1) that our son will be able to receive the therapies that he needs and (2) that this will be financially feasible for us.
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  #39  
Old 23.06.2021, 17:51
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Re: Moving to Zurich with disabled child

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He requires several hours per week of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. His doctor has also recently recommended he receive between 20 and 40 hours per week of ABA (applied behavioral analysis, a therapy for autism).

So, in deciding whether we can move to CH, we need to figure out (1) that our son will be able to receive the therapies that he needs and (2) that this will be financially feasible for us.
As a general response please be aware that things are very different here compared to how and what is covered in North America. I would say be very cautious to assume that all these therapies would be available here to your child and at no or minimal cost.

I am not aware of ABA therapy. That may or may not be on offer here, best to check in advance. The other therapies are offered but default is in the local language although many therapists speak English. You would need to seek out one who is comfortable working in English if that is imperative for your child.

For example, speech therapy is handled differently by the cantons. Here is VD it is paid by the canton once the Dr makes the case to the canton authorities and then you need to find a therapist that has space. Also speech therapy is in the local language. If your child is 3, I'm not sure he is fluent in German?, thus not sure what benefit speech therapy in German will be at that age. In my experience speech therapy in English will not be covered. Some cantons do speech therapy via the schools and mandatory school age is 4 in most places, so not sure how that would work under that age.

Also, reading quickly about your child's condition, it seems to also impact intellectual aspects. Be aware that many such children are sent to specialised schools here. Integration into the normal schools is starting in some places but it is still not the norm as it is in USA for many years. This may be good or bad, and also depending also on your expectations. I was told the benefit of such schools is that they have therapists and therapy built into the school to help such children. As your child is close to the schooling age, I would also do some research on this.

Please bear in mind I'm in VD, so things may be different in ZH. Responses below are my experience in VD.

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1. Is it true that the Krankenkasse will NOT pay for therapies (like Physiotherapie, Ergotherapie, Logopädie, and ABA) that are for a disability (in our son's case, a genetic disease)?
Yes, that is my experience and understanding.

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2. Is it true that IV doesn't cover conditions that 'occurred' when one was not a resident of CH? In our son's case, it's a genetic condition, so it 'occurred' at the moment of conception, I guess.

3. Is it true that a child can only get help from IV if they were born in CH or have Swiss citizenship?
These two are related. It was my understanding if not born here or not Swiss they were excluded from IV. I did not have this exclusion as kids are swiss and born here. But as you have cited a SS agreement, maybe that is the way to approach it. I would go with the assumption of not covered until you get a direct confirmation of coverage from the IV authorities.

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4. Is it true that IV will not pay for anything in the first year of a person's residency in CH?
I don't think that is true per my experience. But the whole IV process is not easy nor fast. I would factor in at least 6 months of IV bureaucracy before you get any approval. You will need a lot of supporting Dr diagnosis papers. Whether they need to be in the local language or from a Swiss Dr, I do not know. But if you go this route, it would be beneficial establishing a relationship with a swiss pediatrician or specialist as soon as you arrive as they know the IV system and what needs to be done.

Further, even if accepted and qualified for IV, they may say that certain therapies you child had in USA are not covered nor beneficial per the disability. My daughter's physical therapist mentioned that certain kids with genetic conditions were not covered for physical therapy, thus they got none, although she thought they would greatly benefit from it.

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If the answer to those questions is yes, then it looks like -- even if our son can receive the therapies he needs in CH -- paying for those therapies in CH will impossible for us to afford.
Having a special needs child here will not be easy and likely will incur certain financial costs so think carefully and put aside extra cushion for this. A lot of time is spent coordinating and transferring kid between dr, therapists, schools, specialist Drs., with the parent having to stay on top of it all. Nearly a full time job in itself.
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Old 23.06.2021, 18:16
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Re: Moving to Zurich with disabled child

@NederlandseAmerikaan,
Welcome to the forum, and well done for wanting to find things out properly.

Please be aware that in Switzerland some matters are arranged federally, some cantonally and others by the local municipality in which you live.

For a map of the municipalities in Canton Zurich, see https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemein...ns_Z%C3%BCrich
Matters of your child's education will be dealt with by the municipality.

Medical insurance is compulsory, and cannot ever exclude anyone based on a pre-existing condition. Each medical insurer is a private company, but they have to, according to federal law, provide certain basic cover, which is generally good. The amout of the premium you pay depends upon the municipality in which you live.

The laws applying to the Disability Insurance are federal, but are handled/implemented by the canton in which you live.

That makes it a bit confusing, while trying to find your way. Please remember to check that, in the end, you are dealing with the relevant institution. Having said that, much of the information given here, by users in other cantons, may very well be similarly applied, with only small differences, in your area.
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