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3 Ways to Get Paid with a Financial Program in California

If your child has autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or another disability, he may be eligible for a financial program that offers benefits. In California, there are 3 programs that will pay you so you can stay home and take care of your child with special needs.

But which program is the best for your family? And are you eligible to participate in these programs? For example, sometimes your income, veteran status, marital status, the value of your assets, or whether or not you are currently employed or the type of insurance you have can impact your eligibility for paid caregiver programs.
The following are 3 main ways to get paid to take care of your child with a disability:

In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)

This is the top financial program offered in California. In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) is a Medi-Cal financial program (Medicaid in California is called Medi-Cal). It provides support to children with special needs. This includes personal care and assistance with household chores so they can remain in their own homes. You do not need special medical training to become a provider for this financial program.
California’s IHSS financial program is very broad in the range of persons who can be hired. Siblings, adult children, nieces, nephews, friends and even spouses can all participate in the financial program. This means that you, as a parent of a child with special needs, can be the provider who gets paid to take care of your child.
However, your child must be assessed to have a need for assistance. You also must meet Medi-Cal’s strict financial eligibility requirements. Assistance determining eligibility and qualifying for IHSS is available. Seeking an advocate who can walk you through the process is helpful in getting approved for the financial program.

California's Paid Family Leave Act

The Paid Family Leave (PFL) Act allows you to take time off from your job to care for your child with a disability. You continue to receive a percentage of your salary. The actual percentage will vary but usually California provides up to 70%. While you are not formally being paid to be a caregiver, you do continue to receive compensation from your job while you are caring for your child. To be eligible to paid as a caregiver under PFL Act, you must be related to your child who requires care. More specifically, eligible relations include parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, grandchildren, children, siblings, spouses, or registered domestic partners. You must also be employed and taking time off from your job to provide care. The financial program allows caregivers to take up to 6 weeks off.

California CalWORKS (TANF)

CalWORKs is a welfare financial program that gives cash aid and services to eligible needy families in California. If you do not have a lot of money and you need housing, food, utilities, clothing or medical care, you may be eligible to receive immediate short-term help.
In order to qualify for this financial program, you must be a resident of the state of California, responsible for a child who is a minor, a U.S. national, citizen, legal noncitizen, or permanent resident, have low or very low income, and be either under-employed (working for very low wages), unemployed or about to become unemployed.
If you feel overwhelmed and you need help, please contact us.
American Advocacy Group is on the front lines every day, making positive change happen for people diagnosed with autism, Down syndrome and a range of diagnoses across the continuum. As a leading advocate for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, and the premier provider of the support and services people want and need, we understand the system and know how to take action in regard to your best interests.
Dial (877) 762-0702 or email us at

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