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Regional Center Timelines

Regional Center Timelines


Published: Jun. 5, 2024Updated: Jun. 5, 2024

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Regional Centers have certain timelines they need to follow. Here are some of the most common statutory timelines you’ll want to know about.

Intake: New Regional Center clients

If you’re applying for Regional Center services for a child over age 3, the Regional Center must:

  • Assist with your application within 15 business days of your request
  • Complete any needed assessments of your child within 120 calendar days (60 days if delay would cause risk to your child’s health or safety)
  • Meet with you to develop the IPP within 60 days of your child being assessed and found eligible

Regional Center application timeline flow chart

Our article How to Get Started with Regional Center goes into details about each of these steps.

Note that Regional Clients in Early Start services have expedited timelines:

  • From initial referral, the Regional Center has 45 days to perform assessments and develop your child’s IFSP.
  • If you’re transferring from another Regional Center, services at the new RC must begin within 30 days.
  • If you disagree with a Regional Center decision for your child under 3, you can file a written appeal within 30 days of receipt of the decision.
  • Appeal hearings in the early intervention program must take place within 30 days of OAH’s receipt of your request for hearing.

Individualized Program Plan (IPP) Process

The Regional Center must:

  • Give you access to records within 3 business days of your request
  • Notify you within 10 days if your service coordinator is changing
  • Develop your IPP within 60 days of your child being assessed and found eligible
  • Hold an IPP meeting within 30 days of your request
  • Provide 24 hours’ notice if they are recording your IPP meeting
  • Meet again within 15 days if not everything can be resolved at your IPP meeting
  • Provide a Notice of Action within 30 business days if the Regional Center wants to reduce, terminate, or change any services in the IPP
  • Provide you a translated copy of the IPP within 45 days if you request a different language

Transfer of Regional Centers

  • If you transfer Regional Centers, services at your new Regional Center must begin within 30 days.
  • If your new Regional Center doesn’t have services or supports, they must hold an IPP meeting within 30 days.

Appeals

Here are timelines related to communicating with the Office of Administrative Hearings:

  • When the Regional Center wants to terminate or reduce existing services, you must appeal in writing within 60 days of receiving the NOA, or within 30 days if you want to keep services in place.
  • The informal meeting must take place within 10 days of OAH’s receipt of your hearing request form.
  • After the informal meeting, the Regional Center representative has 5 working days to provide you with a written decision.
  • If a mediation is requested, the mediation must take place within 30 days of the appeal request.
  • If you opt to go on to a fair hearing, the hearing must take place within 50 days after you filed your hearing request.
  • After the hearing, the administrative law judge has 10 days to write a decision. The hearing decision must be issued no more than 80 days after you initially requested the appeal, although timelines may be extended if you requested a postponement for good cause.
  • If you disagree with the administrative law judge’s decision, you have 180 days to file appeal documents in Superior Court.

    For more information relating to appeals and fair hearings, see the full breakdown in our appeals articles for age 3+ or age 0-36 months depending on your child’s age.

What if Regional Center isn’t responding?

If you have been waiting longer than the timelines above for a response from your Regional Center, you may wonder what your options are for moving things along. See our article about Regional Center appeals for detailed information about filing a Section 4731 complaint (for current Regional Center clients) or a citizen complaint (not currently a Regional Center client).

If you need urgent assistance and can’t reach your service coordinator, you can call your Regional Center and ask to speak with the “service coordinator of the day.”

If your service coordinator has been generally unresponsive or problematic, you can ask to speak with their supervisor and/or request assignment to a new service coordinator. If their behavior was egregious (e.g., if you believe they discriminated against you or violated your rights), you can file a Section 4731 complaint.

For more information, check out this advocacy manual titled Rights Under the Lanterman Act, published by Disability Rights California. It’s available in sixteen languages!

Contents


Overview

Intake: New Regional Center clients

Individualized Program Plan (IPP) Process

Transfer of Regional Centers

Appeals

What if Regional Center isn’t responding?

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Author

Lisa Concoff KronbeckUndivided Public Benefits Specialist
Reviewed by Brittany Olsen, Undivided Content Editor

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