Families can often make sacrifices to support their children and make sure they live joyful and productive lives. If you have a child with autism, sometimes it means that you have to pay a lot of money to improve your child’s quality of life with doctor visits and therapy. Luckily, there are disability benefits to help you with the medical and living costs that can add up quickly.
In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) is a federal program that provides financial assistance so you, as your child’s caretaker, can give the best supervision and care for your child in the comfort of your own home. This means that you can receive an hourly wage to take care of your child.
This is compensation so the government does not have to pay for your child to be in the care of a government institution, which was the norm in the past. Due to the increasing parental wish to keep their children at home, integrate them into their local communities, and send them to the special needs programs provided by their own school districts, most of the institutions were closed down and the government offered to pay the families to be the caregivers instead. And even though the government is saving a lot of money by paying parents directly instead of maintaining these institutions to stay open while also paying for doctors, nurses, administrators and staff, these benefits are not easy to get and the process to apply is long and complex.
How to Prepare
Before you apply for IHSS benefits, you need to make sure you have all the required information.
This mostly includes medical information that will help your case. Try to get doctor’s notes, results from medical tests, and information about any therapies. Of course, a diagnosis from the doctor will help too. For children, ask for statements from teachers or other professionals who know how autism affects your child.
If you are very detailed on the application and bring as much information as you can, you may have a better chance of being approved.
The Application Process
Successfully receiving disability benefits for autism can be accomplished by accurately completing the IHSS application process. These benefits can be helpful when it comes to paying for therapy and other treatments, or simply affording daily expenses that become difficult when families are unable to work.
The key is to make sure you have as much information as possible that shows how your case matches the IHSS requirements. Remember that the application process can be very lengthy, and you may need to seek the help of a disability advocate to present your case.
During the IHSS application process, you will undergo a home interview, which includes a visit from a social worker who will assess the capabilities of your child.
During the interview with the county representative, it is important that you have every piece of documented evidence of why your child needs IHSS. Your child’s IEP should also be present, as well as any documents from his doctor or other healthcare providers. Also, ABA goals to stop wandering such as the Stop/Go activity can also be helpful in your case. It is beneficial to keep a Dangerous Behavior Log to share with the social worker. Once the case is approved, you will get a Notice of Action, which breaks down all the hours of total need for which most come from Protective Supervision.
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.
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