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. In such circumstances, your family may be entitled to disability benefits such as In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) and Protective Supervision.
But what if you’ve applied for and obtained these services, and your hours have been cut?
The notification you received may come as a shock, and you may be desperate to find out what you can do. 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.
Here’s how you can appeal for more hours:
Request your 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 child has not been given enough hours, and give your child’s name and state identification number. You can also call 1-800-743-8525 to request a hearing.
Track everything you’re doing down to the minute, from tying shoes to changing bed linens.
Your child should be eligible for protective supervision if he or she demonstrates the following:
You’ll also need written documentation from your child’s doctor stating your child’s needs and the type of care he or she requires. If your child with a disability needs protective supervision or paramedical services, make sure that is in the documentation.
Prepare for your hearing
If your appeal requires a hearing, prepare what you will say ahead of time to prove your child’s need and the hours of care required, 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 your hearing
At the hearing, the county will go first to tell you why your hours were cut or why your child with a disability shouldn’t receive more hours. They will give a lot of proof. The most important thing for you to do is stick to your explanations of why your child needs more hours. Be prepared to go into detail and 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 daunting and you need help, you can always reach out to us. Our advocates can lead you through everything, as well as provide resources to better assist you and your child with special needs.
Go to http://www.americanadvocacygroup.com or call us directly at (877) 762-0702, and we will assist you in getting your child the funding he or she deserves.