The Documentation You Need to Get Max IHSS Funding

Want to stay home to take care of your child with autism, but can’t afford it? The state of California provides payment to you as the caregiver for your child with special needs through a program called In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). The right documentation will make or break your chances of being approved for funding.

If your child has a disability like autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or epilepsy, you might be eligible for funding through IHSS. You can now go to all the doctor appointments and therapies and personally supervise the services and monitor what your child receives without worrying about scheduling time off from work or taking a day without pay.

But applying for IHSS is tough. You must submit documentation that proves your child needs a caregiver with him all the time. This means you have to give specific details of your child’s special requirements so that others who review the case will be able to understand the need for services and hours authorized.

When applying for IHSS, you must give all the details that show your child’s challenges and the risk they pose to your child. You should explain exactly how In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) will reduce the risk. In addition, you must remove all sentences that are only your opinion or the opinion of someone else; instead, simply report observed behaviors and environmental conditions.

Here are a few examples that reflect two different ways to document Functional Index (FI) ranking and/or hours authorized.

Insufficient Statement: My child needs total care.
Best Statement: My child has cerebral palsy and she needs assistance with basic daily living activities. She requires help with all ADLs and IADLs because she lacks the focus to perform any domestic and related services or personal care, including:

  • Maintaining Continence: the ability to use a restroom
  • Transferring: seated to standing and getting in and out of bed
  • Personal Hygiene: bathing, grooming and oral care
  • Dressing: gross motor skills like lifting a leg up to put on pants and fine motor skills in order to undo a zipper
  • Eating: feeding herself

Insufficient Statement: My child has autism and needs Protective Supervision.
Best Statement: My child has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) according to the physician’s evaluation on the form SOC 821, and he has a history of running away from adults at school and in the community, leaving the classroom without permission, and leaving the house when the family is not looking. He is non-verbal, so he cannot ask for help, and multiple times he has been found wandering in the street, unable to recognize danger such as cars driving by.

Along with your own detailed documentation, you should also provide the physician’s evaluation that demonstrate elements of your child’s behavior and cognitive limitations that could assist the social worker in concluding that Protective Supervision is needed. This includes additional information that should be gathered about current behavior that your child exhibits that places her at risk for injury that others involved in the care of your child such as involved family members, the Regional Center, Mental Health, Day Care Centers, schools, etc. are aware of.

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.