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financial help

Can I Get Financial Help for My Child with Autism?

As a parent of a child with autism, are you constantly worrying that you don’t have enough money to provide the best care for your child? Your fears are understandable, since studies estimate that the costs of raising one child with autism in the United States is $17,000 annually. These expenses include doctor visits, specialized care, and therapy. But can you get financial help for your child with autism?

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autism disability

Can I Claim Disability for My Child with Autism?

Autism is a neurodevelopment disorder that affects communication and social interaction skills. It is thought to be present from birth and is usually recognized by three years of age. Not everyone with autism displays the same behaviors. There are many signs of autism and they may be experienced by varying degrees. So many parents of children who have just been diagnosed often ask: Is autism considered a disability?

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ihss program

How the IHSS Program Changed in 2021

If you are a parent of a child who has autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, or another disability, it is common to struggle financially. There are many things to pay for, including doctor appointments, therapy, and equipment. That’s why resources like In-Home Supportive Services are so vital—they provide critical financial assistance to you so your child with special needs can have access to everything available to lead a fulfilling life. This year, the IHSS program changed some elements for 2021 that may be even more beneficial for your family.

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diagnosis of autism

What Should I Do After My Child Receives a Diagnosis of Autism?

Once your child has been first diagnosed with autism, a thousand emotions may rush through your body: fear, confusion, anger, guilt, anxiety, relief, sadness. You are not alone, and it is common to feel this way. There are several questions, and so much information to examine. The important thing to remember is that, although there is no known cure for autism, there is hope. And even though getting a diagnosis of autism for your child can be a life-changing event for you and your entire family, there are ways to deal with it constructively, step by step.

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down syndrome

Can I Get Disability for My Child with Down Syndrome?

If your child has Down syndrome , there are many steps you can take to give him or her a happy, healthy, and rewarding life. To qualify for any kind of disability benefits administered through the SSA, specific medical criteria must be met. If there is a medical diagnosis of Trisomy 21 or Translocation Down syndrome, your child will automatically qualify for disability benefits. But there are other government programs available in California for financial assistance, and it can be possible to receive all these financial benefits to help your family provide the best life possible for your child with Down syndrome.

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iep meeting

Get Ready for Your First IEP Meeting

An Individualized Educational Program (IEP) must be put in place once you find out that your child is eligible for special education services. At the IEP meeting, the decisions regarding special education and related services are made so that an individualized educational plan can be created. But how do you get ready for your first IEP meeting?

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Can I Get Funding for My Child with Autism?

On average, it costs a family $1.4 million to $2.5 million to raise a child with autism, compared to the cost to raise a child who does not have special needs, which is around $300,000. It’s understandable then, that more than forty percent of families with a child with autism report experiencing significant financial stress. Many parents find that they cannot hold a full-time job at all. So can you get funding for your child with autism?

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Divorce with a Child with Special Needs

When you have a child with special needs, it seems like going through a divorce is more emotional and complicated. Many parents feel alone and powerless, facing the challenges of taking care of your child’s health, education, and long-term planning for the future all by yourself. So how do you get through a divorce with a child with special needs?

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ihss hours

Get More IHSS Hours

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been tough for parents of children with special needs with schools transitioning to online education, basically cutting out special education programs. As a parent of a child with special needs like autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or another disability, it can be difficult to find the best resources, especially if we are in the midst of a difficult time or a new diagnosis. And if you have In-Home Support Services (IHSS), and you haven’t maxed out, you could qualify for more IHSS hours due to schools closing.

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ihss appeal

Can I Appeal My IHSS Decision?

If you have California’s In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS), you know it provides amazing financial support to enable you to stay at home with your child with special needs. Children with 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) allows you to be employed as your child’s in-home caretaker. If you already have this program, can you appeal your IHSS decision to get more hours?

For those who are receiving benefits for IHSS, sometimes it may still be stressful to make ends meet. But there is a way to appeal your decision and get more hours. Here are the steps:

How to file an IHSS 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 IHSS decision.

Here’s how you can appeal IHSS for more hours:

Request an IHSS 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 it all 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

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 your 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.

Wait for 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 Disability Association is dedicated to the wellbeing and protection of children with disabilities and actively provides support to enhance their quality of life. Whether you are dealing with federal or state benefits or struggling with a school district to get proper education for your child, we have the resources to help you. Many individuals and families managing a disability are not aware of the wide array of services available to them, or they do not know how to apply for these benefits in a way that is likely to succeed.

Contact us for help. Dial (888) 323-2133 or email us at [email protected]