Should I Hire a Disability Lawyer to Win My IHSS Appeal?
Are you the parent of a child who has autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, or another type of disability? If so, you may qualify for financial assistance, such In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). If you’ve applied for IHSS and been denied, you can still receive funding by appealing. But should you hire a disability lawyer to help you win your IHSS appeal?
For parents of children with special needs, Protective Supervision, part of the IHSS program, can provide payments every month so you can stay home and properly care for your child. However, the application process is lengthy, and can be frustrating and confusing. For those who are trying to receive benefits for IHSS, a denial or a low number of hours can be stressful. You might think it would be easier to get a disability lawyer to help.
The Advantages of a Disability Lawyer
There are numerous advantages to hiring an experienced disability lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney understands exactly how to present your case to give you the best chances of winning your claim. The key component to any IHSS appeal is providing adequate evidence. In addition to helping you understand what medical information is needed, your disability lawyer can assist you in collecting and presenting the relevant documentation.
If your IHSS case needs to be appealed at a disability hearing, your disability lawyer can prepare you for that meeting, helping you to feel at ease so you know exactly what to expect. He or she will identify and prepare appropriate witnesses on your behalf as well.
The Disadvantages of a Disability Lawyer
However, there is a big disadvantage to hiring a disability lawyer, and that is cost. It can be very expensive to get an attorney to help you with your IHSS appeal, and most families don’t have thousands of dollars to pay for legal aid.
But there is hope. You can appeal the decision yourself or get an advocate instead.
How to Appeal without a Disability Lawyer
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:
- 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]