How to Get IHSS Even If You’ve Been Denied

Have you tried to get In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) for your child with special needs, but you’ve been denied? When you are a parent of a child with a disability like autism or Down syndrome, an IHSS denial can be stressful. You know you need financial help to take care of your child who needs supervision 24 hours a day. You’ve had to cut your hours or you can’t work at all because you have to stay home.

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Find the Right Care for Your Child with Special Needs

As a parent, searching for childcare is tough. You want to find someone who truly cares for your child, who takes his best interests to heart, and who is reliable, devoted, and honest. If you have a child with special needs, searching for someone is even more complex: you may have to ask more questions to find the right person who matches your requirements.

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Does My Child with Down Syndrome Qualify for Financial Benefits?

Down syndrome is a disability that is usually diagnosed very early in a child’s life. It is probably one of the most common and visible disability in existence, and there are increased efforts to mainstream children with Down syndrome into society. While all of these factors may make the disability seem less severe than it actually is, many families with a child with Down syndrome rely on financial benefits to survive.

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Does My Child with Autism Qualify for IHSS?

Having a child with special needs usually comes with more expenses. And if you are already struggling financially, deciding to spend money on a service for your child with autism means that you won’t be able to spend money on something else for your family.

Sound familiar? This situation is very common for families dealing with autism: they battle the challenges in quiet desperation. Most do not realize they could qualify for thousands of dollars a year through programs like In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS).

In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)

Programs such as In-Home Support Services (IHSS) can relieve some of the stress on your family by providing funding that your child with autism may need in order to continue living at home. Within IHSS, there is a more intensive service called Protective Supervision. The Protective Supervision service is for children living with autism who need constant observation 24 hours per day to protect them from injuries, hazards, or accidents. Many of the behaviors that can cause injury, hazards or accidents in children with autism are wandering, eloping, darting away, or climbing.

Eligibility for IHSS

In order to be eligible for IHSS or to access the Home and Community Based services funding of the Regional Center system, you must apply for and obtain Medi-Cal eligibility (Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid system). Medi-Cal eligibility has three common linkage options:

1.     Income based eligibility for low income families or children through Covered California

2.     SSI eligibility which provides Medi-Cal linkage automatically, or

3.     DDS waiver also known as “Institutional Deeming.”  Many children with autism will qualify for the non-income based Medi-Cal, which may be available regardless of family income

How to Apply for IHSS

You must complete an IHSS application to apply for the program. 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 with Down syndrome’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.


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