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Have You Heard About In-Home Support Services (IHSS)?

IHSS can be an enormous benefit to parents who are raising children with disabilities like autism, Down syndrome or cerebral palsy. For qualified families, the state of California pays an individual caregiver (a parent) to stay home and care for a developmentally disabled child. Not only does this ease the constant worrying about money, these benefits can help pay for therapies and other treatments, or simply daily expenses that become difficult if you have to take time off or you are unable to work completely.

While a variety of benefits are available, the most important for families of children with special needs is In-Home Support Services (IHSS) and “Protective Supervision.”

When you are approved for Protective Supervision, you could qualify for up to $3,000 a month in payments. This wage is also exempt from federal income taxes.

IHSS eligibility

If you are a California resident, you are eligible for IHSS if your child:

  • Is eligible for SSI/SSP or Medi–Cal
  • Is blind or disabled
  • Is living in a home, apartment or abode of his or her choosing (not including a hospital, nursing home, assisted living or licensed care facility)
  • Is unable to live safely at home without care

How much money can I get for IHSS?

Payments are calculated by the hours of service needed for your child. The County Social Services Agency is responsible for doing a needs assessment for each family at the time of application, every twelve months thereafter, and whenever the county has information that the recipient’s physical/mental condition or living/social condition has changed. The number of hours authorized may change with each evaluation.

The assessment evaluates:

  • Your child’s physical/mental condition, living/social situation, and ability to perform various functions of daily life
  • Your statement of need
  • Medical records/physicians’ documents
  • Other information the case manager may consider necessary and appropriate to assess the need

Few things can make such a big difference in the lives of a family as the ability to give your child with special needs the full care he or she deserves, without endangering your family finances. If your child has been diagnosed with autism or another development disability, you could be eligible for Protective Supervision.

Very few people know about this program and the state makes very little effort to let families know that it exists. Oftentimes when families do get informed about the program and call-in to request services, they are denied or they are granted far fewer monthly hours than they deserve.

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.

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