My IHSS Hours Were Cut. What Do I Do?
California State’s In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS) provides an amazing program for financial support to enable you to stay at home with your child with a disability and keep her or him safe and happy. Children with special needs such as autism, Down syndrome, or cerebral palsy can often take a heavy financial toll on a family. It is common for you to have to stop working in order to take care of your child. But disability benefits such as In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) and Protective Supervision allow you to be employed as your child’s in-home caretaker. But what if you already have IHSS, and they recently cut your IHSS hours? What do you do?
For those who are receiving benefits for IHSS, a cut in hours can be stressful. The first thing to know is that you must act quickly. If you have received a Notice of Action that your hours are being cut or terminated, you must request a hearing within 10 business days to keep your benefits during the appeal process. If you miss the deadline, you still have 90 days to file an appeal, but you will lose your benefits during the process.
File an appeal for more hours
If you’ve applied for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) and have been given a low amount of hours for Protective Supervision, there is hope. You can appeal the decision.
If you have received a Notice of Action that hours are being cut or terminated, you must request a hearing within 10 business days to keep your benefits during the appeal process. If you miss the deadline, you still have 90 days to file an appeal but will lose your benefits during the process. Here’s how you can appeal for more hours:
Request an appeal.
Fill out the back of the Notice of Action form or send a letter to:
IHSS Fair Hearing
State Hearings Division
Department of Social Services
744 P Street, Mail Stop 9-17-37
Sacramento, CA 95814
Be sure to say that you want a fair hearing because you believe your client has not been given enough hours, and give your client’s name and state identification number. You can also call 1-800-743-8525 to request a hearing.
Get everything in writing.
You’ll need written documentation from your client’s doctor stating their needs and the type of care they require. If your client needs protective supervision or paramedical services, make sure that is in the documentation.
Prepare for your hearing date.
If your appeal requires a hearing, prepare the points you plan to make ahead of time, and make sure all of your documents are in order. Ask for a copy of the original assessment and the county’s position statement.
Attend the hearing.
At the hearing, the county will go first to say why hours were cut or why your client shouldn’t receive more hours. They will give lots of evidence. The most important thing for you and your client to do is stick to your explanations of why your client needs more hours. Be prepared to show all the documents you prepared.
Get a decision.
Any change in hours from the appeals process will be effective as soon as the county gets the decision from the appeal.
If this process sounds overwhelming and you feel you need help, you can always reach out to us. Our advocates can lead you through everything, as well as attend the hearing with you.
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.
CONTACT US FOR HELP.
Dial (844) 255-4477 or email us at [email protected]