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Have You Lost Your Job Because of COVID-19? Get Financial Help to Raise Your Child with Special Needs

lost_your_job_due_to_covid-19As a parent, it’s common for us to constantly worry about finances. And now that coronavirus COVID-19 has forced businesses to close, millions of people lost their jobs. And if you are the parent of a child with special needs such as autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy or another disability, it’s even more stressful. Even with stimulus checks and unemployment insurance, these funds are temporary. If you lost your job because of COVID-19, you may qualify for other financial benefits so you can raise your child with special needs.

In-Home Supportive Services Program (IHSS)

California State’s In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS) provides a helpful program to get financial support every month if you are the parent of a child with special needs. And if you have lost your job during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and now take care of your child full time, disability benefits such as IHSS and Protective Supervision allow you to be employed as your child’s in-home caretaker.

Protective Supervision is part of the IHSS program in California. It is for children and adults with a mental impairment that have self-harming and/or dangerous behaviors that they engage in without regard to consequences. These behaviors must be regularly occurring and random. That is why they need someone to supervise them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to minimize injury to themselves.

Do I Qualify for IHSS?

If you lost your job, quit, or can’t get a job because you must care for your disabled child, AND

  1. If no other suitable care provider is available (willing and able), AND
  2. If the child is at risk of out-of-home placement or inadequate care.
  3. If both parents live in the home, one parent may get paid when the other parent is working, in school, sleeping, or disabled.

However, IHSS parent providers will no longer be allowed to work as of July 1, 2020, if the second parent is still out of work or is not in an educational or vocational program or conducting job searches or is not prevented from providing the child with IHSS due to a physical or mental disability by June 30, 2020.

Counties throughout California now must focus on applications and approve needed IHSS services during COVID-19 quarantine. IHSS social workers must make sure new IHSS providers are enrolled. Counties must answer and return phone calls from you and your providers as soon as possible.

IHSS may not stop or decrease your IHSS services until after June 30, 2020.

Paperwork You Need to Submit During COVID-19

Even though IHSS applicants must get a Health Care Certification (SOC 873) form from their doctor and give it to the IHSS program before IHSS services can be provided, right now due to COVID-19 quarantine, you can get IHSS without the SOC 873 form.

If you lost your job and cannot get your doctor to fill in the SOC 873 form because of COVID-19 quarantine, you can get up to 90 days to submit a SOC 873 form to IHSS.

When doing this, first the county will give you IHSS services and 45 days for the SOC 873 form to be completed and returned.

If you need more time, you should call the county and ask for another 45 days. You should explain to the county why your doctor cannot complete the SOC 873 form yet.

IHSS Hearings During COVID-19

All IHSS and Medi-Cal hearings will be by phone until at least May 15, 2020.  You can still ask for an in-person hearing.  In-person hearings will be postponed until hearings stop being by phone.

Face-to-face assessments still must be done when processing an IHSS application. Counties must collect as much information as possible over the phone when a face-to-face assessment is needed. IHSS social workers may also ask you if you have been exposed to COVID-19 before coming to your home. Your IHSS social worker cannot complete an in-home assessment if he/she has COVID-19 symptoms or may have been exposed to COVID-19.

You can find more information online: https://www.cdss.ca.gov/hearing-requests

If you are overwhelmed and you feel you need help, you can always reach out to us.

If you need help with more resources, please contact us.

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 (877) 283-4807 or email us at [email protected]