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How to Fund Disability Services (0-3 Years)

How to Fund Disability Services (0-3 Years)


Published: Mar. 22, 2024Updated: Jul. 1, 2024

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When you have a baby or toddler at home, the days feel chaotic enough tending to basic feedings, bathing, and other care. If you suspect your child has a developmental disability or delay, that can add uncertainty and worry during an already overwhelming time.

There are four key steps for parents of kids ages 0-3 that we recommend as part of the broader Undivided Roadmap. Below is a primer that defines the options and why they matter. When you are ready to get started, an Undivided Navigator can customize your Roadmap to help you attain the services and benefits your child needs and deserves.

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1. Apply for Regional Center Early Start services

Regional Centers are a statewide network of local agencies that serve children and adults with developmental disabilities as defined by California law. Each Regional Center operates independently, so services offered (as well as eligibility criteria for specific services) may vary slightly, but all Regional Centers are governed by the same set of statutes and regulations. Children under age 3 may be eligible for early intervention services from Regional Center; these services can play a vital role in your child’s development.
"Having Undivided help us get set up with Regional Center has been very helpful. We are just finalizing day care, respite care, and social-recreational funding, and that's going to be huge for us." - Undivided client

2. Apply for Early Intervention funding

Early intervention refers to services and therapeutic interventions that allow children to reach their developmental milestones. Because so many developmental milestones happen in the first three years of life, it’s important to start evaluations and therapies as soon as you have concerns. Regional Center helps fund early intervention therapies for children under age 3 who have been diagnosed with, or are at risk for, developmental delays or developmental disabilities.

3. Apply for the Medi-Cal waiver

Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program, which provides health care coverage to many Californians based on a variety of factors including income, adoption/foster care status, and disability. Medi-Cal can help cover medical and therapeutic services, equipment, and supplies for your child, even if you already have primary insurance. The Medi-Cal waiver allows your child to apply for Medi-Cal without regarding your household income.
Families report that Undivided's guidance in applying for Medi-Cal/IHSS resulted in $500-$80,000 of support across the year.
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4. Apply for IHSS

In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) is a Medi-Cal program that provides home-based personal care and related services so that people with disabilities can remain safely in their communities instead of institutions. IHSS can fund care and respite services in your home so that you have additional resources to support your child.
"After joining Undivided, my Navigator helped me branch out and meet other parents of children with special needs, which expanded my social circle and helped me connect with other parents experiencing many of the things I am." - Undivided client

A Navigator is your partner at each turn

Every Undivided Navigator has years of experience supporting families raising kids with disabilities or parenting their own. Partner with Undivided for a free Kickstart to learn firsthand what support feels like!
"It's so helpful to have one place that you can go to get many answers." - Leeza W., with Navigator Kelly since 2020

Contents


Overview

1. Apply for Regional Center Early Start services

2. Apply for Early Intervention funding

3. Apply for the Medi-Cal waiver

4. Apply for IHSS

A Navigator is your partner at each turn

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Undivided Editorial TeamStaff
Reviewed by Brittany Olsen, Undivided Editor

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Each piece of content has been rigorously researched, edited, and vetted to bring you the latest and most up-to-date information. Learn more about our content and research process here.
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Every Undivided Navigator has years of experience supporting families raising kids with disabilities or parenting their own. Partner with an Undivided Navigator for a free Kickstart to learn first hand what support feels like!
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“It’s so helpful to have one place that you can go to get many answers.”–Leeza Woodbury, with Navigator Kelly since 2020
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