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Can a Parent of a Child with Autism Be a Paid IHSS Caregiver?

Can a Parent of a Child with Autism Be a Paid IHSS Caregiver?

As a parent of a child who has autism, it is common to struggle financially. There are health services to pay for, as well as therapies that are necessary for your child with special needs to lead a fulfilling life. In many situations, as a parent of a child with autism, it is difficult to work at a full-time job because you must take your child to regular doctor appointments and monitor your child at all times in order for him to remain safely at home. But as a parent, can you become a paid IHSS caregiver for your child with autism?

The short answer is yes. You may be eligible to receive benefits such as In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) in the state of California. This funding can be used to meet your child’s daily needs and can help pay the expenses associated with the disability.

IHSS and Protective Supervision Caregiver Benefits

IHSS is a California government program that provides financial support for in-home caretakers of children with developmental disabilities including autism. While a variety of benefits are available, the most important for families of children with special needs is “Protective Supervision.” When you are approved for Protective Supervision, you will receive an hourly wage to stay home and care for your child as an IHSS provider. This wage is exempt from federal income taxes.

Few things can make such a big difference in the lives of a family as the ability to give your special needs child the full care he or she deserves, without endangering your family finances. If your child has been diagnosed with autism or another development disability, you may be eligible for Protective Supervision.

Unfortunately, applying for and receiving these benefits are notoriously difficult and many families give up after encountering road block after road block. The application process can be confusing, and you need to adequately prepare all the necessary documentation to become an IHSS provider.

Applying to Be a Paid IHSS Caregiver

The IHSS application process generally involves a written application, an in-home interview with a social worker, and medical records. Once approved as an IHSS provider, there will be ongoing assessments. You can get assistance at every stage of this process whether you are a first-time applicant, or your application has been denied.

First time applicants can get help to:

  • Determine if you are eligible
  • Create a plan with you to maximize your benefits
  • Perform all necessary research and complete all paperwork
  • Obtain any required medical records
  • Assist you through the interview and all processing

If you applied for IHSS benefits and were rejected, you can get help to:

  • Review your case
  • Check all records and research the reason for your rejection
  • Assist you in appealing your application
  • Represent you at hearings

How Much Does IHSS Pay Caregivers in California?

In California, legislation has been implemented to increase the wages of paid IHSS caregivers. Specifically, recent state minimum wage increases approved in 2017 and 2018 established both temporary and permanent changes to how counties can increase paid IHSS caregiver wages and benefits with varying effects on state and county costs.

On January 1, 2020, the minimum wage increased to $13 per hour.

On January 1, 2021, the minimum wage will increase to $14 per hour.

On January 1, 2022, the minimum wage will increase to $15 per hour.

Currently, as an IHSS Protective Supervision provider, the maximum number of hours you can claim is 283 per month. That equates to a maximum of $3,396 per month in financial benefits you can receive as a paid IHSS caregiver.

Every child with special needs deserves full supervised care, and no family should be turned away. If you feel overwhelmed and you need help, please contact us.

American Advocacy Group is on the front lines every day, making positive change happen for people diagnosed with Autism, Down syndrome and a range of diagnoses across the continuum. As a leading advocate for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, and the premier provider of the support and services people want and need, we understand the system and know how to take action in regard to your best interests.


Dial (877) 762-0702 or email us at [email protected].

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