California Children’s Services (CCS) 101

Article
Jun. 15, 2021Updated Nov. 11, 2022

California Children’s Services (CCS) is a state program that provides and funds diagnostic and treatment services to children under age 21 with CCS-eligible medical conditions. CCS can be an avenue of assistance for children with significant medical needs who are not Regional Center clients.

What Services Does CCS Provide?

Services funded via CCS include:

  • Hospital and surgical treatment

  • Medical case management

  • Physical and occupational therapies

  • Labs and imaging

  • Medical equipment

Who Is Eligible for CCS?

CCS-eligible medical conditions, include, among others:

  • Congenital heart defects

  • Hearing and vision impairments

  • Chronic lung disease

  • Diabetes

  • Muscular dystrophy

  • Blood disorders

  • Cerebral palsy

  • Epilepsy (with specific qualifying factors)

You can find a complete list of eligible conditions at the Department of Health Care Services CCS eligibility website.

In addition to having a CCS-eligible medical disability, your child also needs to meet the following criteria in order to access services:

  • Your child must be a California resident under age 21.

  • Your family adjusted gross income (AGI) must be less than $40,000 OR your out-of-pocket medical expenses for your child must be expected to exceed 20 percent of your family’s income.

  • Family income is NOT a factor for children who:

    • Need diagnostic services to confirm they have a CCS-eligible medical condition.

    • Were adopted with a known CCS-eligible medical condition.

    • Are applying only for services through the Medical Therapy Program.

    • Have full-scope Medi-Cal with no share of cost — meaning that you never pay for some of the costs of services provided to your child each month. (For families of children who are Regional Center eligible, it may be worthwhile to investigate Medi-Cal enrollment under the institutional deeming waiver so that income will not be a factor for CCS.)

How Are CCS Services Funded?

As with most public programs, private insurance is treated as the primary avenue of funding. A prescription and written denial from your private insurance should be submitted with any request for specific CCS services.
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Contents


Overview

What Services Does CCS Provide?

Who Is Eligible for CCS?

How Are CCS Services Funded?

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Related Parent Questions

Who is eligible for California Children’s Services (CCS)?
CCS eligibility is usually based on income: ​​a family’s adjusted gross income must be less than $40,000, or the child’s out-of-pocket medical expenses must be more than 20% of the family’s income. However, if the child is a Medi-Cal recipient, CCS will not look at family income.
What is Head Start?
California Head Start offers early learning programs for children with and without disabilities ages 0 to 5. These programs are federally funded and free to low-income families, foster children, those experiencing homelessness, and those who meet other eligibility requirements.
Is my child eligible for Social Security benefits?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers cash benefits for some children with disabilities. The child’s disability needs to have lasted or be expected to last for at least 12 months, or is expected to shorten the child’s life span.

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