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Can I Get Financial Benefits for My Child with Down Syndrome?

If you’ve recently learned that your child has or will have Down syndrome, there are many steps you can take to give him or her a happy, healthy, and rewarding life. Thanks to government programs available in California, it can be possible receive financial benefits to help your family provide the best life possible for your child with Down syndrome.

Not only does this ease the constant worrying about money, these financial benefits can help pay for therapies and other treatments, or simply daily expenses that become difficult if you have to take time off or you are unable to work completely.
Conditions like Down syndrome are recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as potentially disabling and you or your child may be qualified for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits through one of both of the SSA’s disability programs. However, there are financial limitations to this program.
If you live in California, another option is In-Home Support Services (IHSS). IHSS is a California government program that provides financial support for in-home caretakers of children with developmental disabilities including Down syndrome. While a variety of benefits are available, the most important 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.

Are you eligible for IHSS?

If you are a California resident, you are eligible for IHSS financial benefits if your child:

  • Is eligible for SSI/SSP or Medi–Cal
  • Is blind or disabled
  • Is living in a home, apartment or abode of his or her choosing (not including a hospital, nursing home, assisted living or licensed care facility)
  • Is unable to live safely at home without care

How much money can I get for IHSS?

Payments are calculated by the hours of service needed for your child. The County Social Services Agency is responsible for doing a needs assessment for each family at the time of application, every twelve months thereafter, and whenever the county has information that the recipient’s physical/mental condition or living/social condition has changed. The number of hours authorized may change with each evaluation.
The assessment evaluates:

  • Your child’s physical/mental condition, living/social situation, and ability to perform various functions of daily life
  • Your statement of need
  • Medical records/physicians’ documents
  • Other information the case manager may consider necessary and appropriate to assess the need

The State allocates monthly services hours to a maximum of 195 hours per month for non–severely impaired applicants and 283 hours per month for the severely impaired. This can translate to up to $3,000 a month in financial benefits, if eligible.
Few things can make such a big difference in the lives of a family as the ability to give your child with special needs the full care he or she deserves, without endangering your family finances. If your child has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or another development disability, you could be eligible for Protective Supervision.
If this process sounds daunting and you need help, you can always reach out to 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 (844) 255-4477 or email us at

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