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I Can’t Work Because My Son Has Autism. Help!

I Can’t Work Because My Son Has Autism. Help!

If you are a parent of a child with developmental disabilities like autism, there are many avenues to get financial assistance. Especially if you cannot work full-time because your child with autism needs round-the-clock care. How can you get paid to stay home with your child with autism?

In some cases, you can receive payments from county, state, or federal agencies for being your child’s caregiver. You may also be eligible for other services, like food, housing, and medical care.

But often figuring out what you are entitled is difficult and overwhelming to say the least. If you live in California, and you can’t work, the first thing you want to do is contact your regional center for help and resources by clicking this link:

Then, do some research online regarding the following financial assistance services:

Medicaid Waivers

California has a program for individuals with developmental disabilities like autism called a Medicaid Waiver, which is designed to provide support services and care to allow an individual to remain at home or in the community, rather than in an institution or hospital. The benefits provided by this waiver program generally provides coverage for medical treatments, respite care, transportation, in-home support, and more.

In-Home Supportive Services

For qualified families, the state of California has a program called In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), which pays an individual caregiver to stay home and care for a developmentally disabled child. Many of the behaviors that can cause injury, hazards or accidents in children with autism are wandering, eloping, darting away, or climbing. Parents who have been deemed caregivers are granted a specific number of paid hours every month so your child can remain safely in his own home, as it is considered an alternative to out-of-home care such as board and care facilities. IHSS pays up to around $3,000 per month.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Children with qualifying disabilities whose families meet SSI’s low income and asset requirements are eligible to receive monthly cash payments intended to help families meet their child’s needs. Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a monthly government payment through Social Security that was created to support people who are disabled. To help support them financially, individuals with autism may be eligible to receive SSI. Information on this and other programs can be found at

Private or Non-Profit Organizations

Some private organizations and non-profits offer family grants, scholarships, and other types of financial help specifically to individuals with autism to help pay for autism-related expenses.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

This program provides temporary financial assistance and other services to assist low-income parents in caring for their children in their home, while promoting job preparation, work and marriage. Eligibility requirements and monthly cash assistance vary by state and are not limited to families raising a child with a disability.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

This program (formerly called Food Stamps) provides low-income individuals assistance with purchasing food through an electronic debit card. It is available for families who meet the household eligibility requirements, as determined by their state. SNAP is not limited to children or adults with disabilities, but there are special eligibility provisions for individuals with disabilities.

And as always, 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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