Should I Get an IHSS Advocate for My Child with Special Needs?

If you have a child with a disability such as autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or another disability, you know that the system is complex. You already feel the stress of having to take care of his health, educational, and emotional needs. This doesn’t even include having to cope with a drastically lowered income because of reduced work hours or having to pay someone else for childcare. An IHSS advocate can help you.

In Home Supportive Services and Protective Supervision Benefits

IHSS is a California government program that provides financial support for in-home caretakers of children with developmental disabilities including autism. While a variety of benefits are available, the most important thing for families of children with special needs is “Protective Supervision.” When you are approved for Protective Supervision, you will receive an hourly wage to stay home and care for your child. This wage is exempt from federal income taxes.

Few things can make such a big difference in the lives of a family as the ability to give your special needs child the full care he or she deserves, without endangering your family finances. If your child has been diagnosed with ASD or another development disability, you are eligible for Protective Supervision. But the application process can be confusing, and at present only 10% of eligible families receive this credit.

What is an IHSS Advocate?

An advocate is a person who speaks or writes in support of, on behalf of, or in defense of another person or cause.  An IHSS advocate for a special needs child does all of this for parents with children with exceptional needs.  This professional has knowledge and expertise concerning the laws, courts, and special education and their applicable federal and state regulations and works within the bounds of these laws. When you find an IHSS advocate, he or she will inform you, as the parent, of your child’s rights and will assist your family in negotiating to maximize your financial benefits.

How an IHSS Advocate Helps

The IHSS application process generally involves a written application, an in-home interview with a social worker, and medical records. Once approved, there will be ongoing assessments. An IHSS advocate can assist at every stage of this process whether you are a first-time applicant, or your application has been denied.

For first time applicants IHSS advocates will:

  • Determine if you are eligible
  • Create a plan with you to maximize your benefits
  • Perform all necessary research and complete all paperwork
  • Obtain any required medical records
  • Assist you through the interview and all processing

If you applied for IHSS benefits and were rejected, an advocate will:

  • Review your case with you
  • Check all records and research the reason for your rejection
  • Assist you in appealing your application
  • Represent you at hearings

If you feel overwhelmed and you need help, 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 info@americandisabilityassociation.org.