What government-funded programs are available to support your child?
Accessing public agencies isn’t easy. Undivided helps families navigate the various public agencies such as Regional Center, Medi-Cal, IHSS, and more.
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How can Undivided help?
1. Learn about Regional Center services
We’ll help you learn all about Regional Center’s early intervention program, services for school-age children, the Self-Determination Program, and how to advocate for each.
2. Make the most of Medi-Cal
Even if Medi-Cal is your secondary insurance coverage, it can be hugely beneficial to pay for your child’s therapeutic needs.
3. Untangle IHSS fact vs. fiction
Take advantage of our essential IHSS tools covering the first phone call to your annual visit. We’ll help you learn the language and know your child’s rights.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is early intervention?
Prior to age three, children across California can receive early intervention services from Regional Centers if they have been diagnosed with, or are at risk for, developmental delays or developmental disabilities. Early intervention for children under age three is provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the federal law governing special education. Many children receive occupational, physical and speech therapy from the Regional Center during this time, along with center-based programs and other early intervention services.
What services does the Regional Center provide after age 3?
Depending on circumstances and a little luck, your specific Regional Center might provide:
- Behavioral services
- Social skills classes
- Social-recreational services and camps
- Child care services
- Incontinence supplies and medical equipment/supplies
- Copayment assistance
For details about these and other services, see Regional Center Eligibility and Services After Age 3: Transition from Early Intervention to Lanterman Act.
What happens if a family’s income is too high to get Medi-Cal?
Several government benefit programs, including IHSS, require that your child be enrolled in Medi-Cal before you can access services. For some families, however, parental income exceeds Medi-Cal’s qualifying threshold. If this is the case for your family and your child is a Regional Center client, your child can enroll in full-scope Medi-Cal — which provides the full range of covered benefits, not just emergency services — using the Medi-Cal Home and Community-Based Services for the Developmentally Disabled Waiver. The HCBS-DD waiver is an institutional deeming waiver that is designed for individuals with developmental disabilities regardless of parental income, as long as your child’s personal income and resource levels fall below program thresholds. See Medi-Cal’s Institutional Deeming Waiver 101 to learn more.
If a family has private insurance, can they still use Medi-Cal?
Families who already have health insurance coverage for their child can still benefit from Medi-Cal, as it may be used as a secondary insurance to pay for certain expenses that your primary health insurance doesn’t cover. Check out our article about using Medi-Cal as secondary insurance to learn more about how to enroll, how to get medically necessary supplies and services covered, and how to handle treatment authorization requests (TAR).
What diagnoses are eligible for IHSS?
IHSS eligibility isn't based on a child's diagnosis but on their care needs. Children with disabilities may be eligible for IHSS to the extent that their disability-related care needs exceed those of a typically developing child of the same age.
For children, authorized services may include personal care services, meal preparation, paramedical services (medical services that are prescribed and monitored by a medical provider), accompaniment to medical appointments, and protective supervision (supervision to prevent injury to themselves or others due to severe impairments in judgment, orientation and/or memory).
What is IHSS protective supervision?
Protective supervision is an IHSS service for recipients who require 24/7 supervision to prevent injury to themselves or others due to severely impaired judgment, orientation, and/or memory (their words). IHSS does not provide funding for 24/7 supervision, but it does award a block of hours to cover a portion of this need. Read more in IHSS: Protective Supervision and Paramedical Services.
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