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Where Do I Get Financial Help to Raise My Child with Special Needs?

financial help




Raising a child with special needs such as autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or another disability can be costly. Throughout their lives, your child may require expensive treatments, therapies, or surgery, medical equipment, modifications to your house and car, and constant care. Parents often end up taking extensive time off work, or one parent may stop working to become a full-time caretaker. It is common for you to struggle to provide for your family. In California, there are programs that provide financial help so you can raise your child with special needs. Read More

What Does a Special Needs Advocate Do?

special needs advocate



A diagnosis looks different for every child with special needs. Learning about the wide world of resources for your child, including special needs advocacy, can help you make informed decisions for your family. But what exactly does a special needs advocate do?  Read More

Creating a Long-Term Financial Plan for Your Child with Autism

financial plan




Raising your child with autism who will require long-term support can be overwhelming. There are legal and financial matters to consider, your child’s individual needs, and the effect all your decisions will have on everyone else in the family. How do you figure out the costs? And what is the best way to create a long-term financial plan for your child with autism?

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Does Down Syndrome Qualify for IHSS?

Therapies for Children with Down Syndrome and How to Pay for Them




Raising a child with Down syndrome who requires constant supervision is difficult even in the best of times. And if you are struggling financially, it can seem even more daunting. You have to work and pay the bills, but your child needs 24-hour care. How do you juggle all the responsibilities? Fortunately, there are resources available to assist you, such as In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). But does Down syndrome qualify for IHSS?

IHSS for Down Syndrome

In Home Supportive Services is a program in California that provides funds to either hire a caregiver or receive payment as the caregiver for your child.

It can help you financially to stay home and take care of your child with Down syndrome—so you can go to all the doctor appointments and therapies, you personally can supervise the services, and you can monitor what your child receives.

There are three different IHSS programs: The Medi–Cal Personal Care Services Program (PCSP), The IHSS Independence Plus Waiver Program (IPWP) and The Original or Residual IHSS Program (IHSS–R). The PCSP and IPWP programs are funded with federal, state and county dollars, while the IHSS–R program is funded with state and county dollars only. Each of these programs provides the same services but have different eligibility criteria.

PCSP: Recipients are eligible because they have qualified for Medi–Cal on basis of age, blindness, or disability. Most IHSS recipients are part of the PCSP program.

IPWP: Recipients are eligible because they have qualified for Medi–Cal and are also part of one of the following groups: parent provider for a minor child, spouse providers, advance pay cases and meal allowance cases.

IHSS–R: Recipients do not meet PCSP or IPWP requirements and usually have Satisfactory Immigration Status, which denies them federal reimbursement.

Services IHSS Provides

Protective Supervision: safeguard from injury for persons with mental impairments

Domestic: meal preparation, cleaning, laundry, and taking out the garbage

Transportation: driving to medical appointments and accompaniment

Personal Care/Non–Medical: bathing, feeding, and toileting

Paramedical Tasks: assistance with medications, bowel and bladder care, or catheter insertion

Eligibility for IHSS

If you are a California resident and receive Medi-Cal benefits, you may be eligible for IHSS. Eligibility is assessed with an evaluation regarding whether your child needs the services it provides to stay safely in your own home as an alternative to out-of-home placement.

How to apply for IHSS 

You must complete an IHSS application. As part of the application process, there are many pieces of documentation that will need to be submitted accurately, such as a medical certification form and similar forms.

Once IHSS receives your application, a caseworker will be assigned to conduct a needs assessment. During the needs assessment, the caseworker will come into your home and ask you questions about your child’s physical and mental capacity in order to determine what he or she can and cannot do. Your living situation will also be evaluated. After the needs assessment, the IHSS caseworker will contact you and let you know if you have been approved or denied the service.

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]

Does My Child Qualify for Special Education?

Special Education






Raising a child with special needs can be a complex and demanding job. You manage your child’s wellbeing and development while maintaining the rest of your family’s life. Giving your child that extra care so he or she can succeed at school can sometimes be overwhelming. That’s why there are specialized programs at school to help your child get the education he or she deserves. But does your child qualify for special education?

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