If you are a parent of a child with special needs like autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or another disability, can apply for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). In California, this is a program that provides financial assistance and grants up to $3,000 per month for you to stay at home as your child’s caretaker, while receiving an hourly wage to take care of your child. Part of the application process is an assessment by a state case representative. But are you ready for your IHSS home assessment interview?
The amount of IHSS you get depends on how many hours of care your child needs. A county social worker calculates the hours of need after doing an IHSS home assessment. This is an assessment of your child’s limitations in doing activities of daily living. After the social worker does the home assessment interview and calculates the hours of need, the social worker compares the home assessment interview to the hours of need to make sure that your child is getting the correct number of hours he actually needs.
To best prepare for this interview, read the information below. While the process is fairly straightforward, you will feel more confident and relaxed if you know what to expect.
The key is to make sure you have as much information as possible that shows how your case matches the IHSS requirements. It is important that you have every piece of documented evidence of why your child needs IHSS financial assistance. Your child’s IEP should also be present, as well as any documents from his doctor or other healthcare providers. Also, ABA goals to stop wandering such as the Stop/Go activity can also be helpful in your case. It is beneficial to keep a Dangerous Behavior Log to share with the social worker.
Any medical information can help your case as well. Get doctor’s notes, results from medical tests, and information about any therapies. Ask for statements from teachers or other professionals who know how the disability affects your child.
Upon entering your home, department officials must identify themselves, show photo identification, and their badge. The representative must be professional at all times, and must act according to the law. This means that they may not infringe upon your constitutional rights or the constitutional rights of anyone else, including searching your home or removing physical items of evidence, or treating you with disrespect. An inspection of your home or your possessions has to be necessary for verifying your eligibility and your child’s need for services.
Remember that the application process can be very lengthy, and you may need to seek the help of a disability advocate to present your case.
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.
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