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How Do I Get Paid for Taking Care of My Disabled Child in California?

I wish I had known more about the resources that were available back when I really could have used the help.

Even if you were a workaholic before your child’s disability, you may have had to cut way back on your hours or even quit your job altogether so you can care for your son or daughter’s needs. Whether you went from a double-income household down to a single income or you went from one job to none, chances are if you live in California, you are feeling the crunch.

Disabled Child

For me, one of the biggest difficulties of caring for my special needs child was the constant fear that I’d lose my job while I was struggling to pay the rent in Los Angeles. I had to take time off to go to doctors and therapists, waste time on the phone after insurance denials, and go to countless IEP meetings. Every meeting meant sitting in traffic on the freeway.

I wish I had known more about the resources that were available back when I really could have used the help.

I wish I had known more about the resources that were available back when I really could have used the help. It could have allowed me to spend more time focusing on my daughter during the darkest days of coping with her condition while alleviating a whole lot of mom guilt.

If you’re a parent who needs help covering the costs associated with living in California while you’re caring for a disabled child, help is available. You may be able to become a paid family caregiver. Keep scrolling to find out if your child’s disability may qualify you for financial assistance. I’ll also include information that can help you apply.

Disorders That May Qualify You as a Family Caregiver

If your child’s disorder has caused mild impairment, you most likely won’t qualify. However, if your child has been seriously impaired by the following or any other condition, it’s definitely worth applying.

Cerebral Palsy

If your child suffers from a severe form of cerebral palsy (CP), you may not realize how much your expenses are going to be until after the statute of limitations has passed and it’s too late to seek compensation. Visit California Cerebral Palsy Lawyer page to learn more about filing a lawsuit to help cover your expenses. The statute of limitations in California is eight years from the time of the injury.

This is the most common motor disability found in children, and it typically happens due to a brain injury during birth. It can also be caused by infections and malformations that affect the brain. CP can cause a wide range of devastating symptoms. These include:

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  • Difficulty walking or being unable to walk at all
  • Extreme muscle weakness and stiffness
  • The inability to support the body
  • Hearing and vision problems
  • Feeding and swallowing disorders

Early intervention is essential to give your kid the best shot at living their best life, but how can you pay for it all when you’re worried about paying your utility bills? This is where becoming a paid caregiver can come in handy.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Severe forms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can cause it to become very difficult to leave the house with your child if they have difficulty coping with any changes to their routine. They may also have trouble changing focus. In my household, even something as simple as saying we were going to McDonald’s and then deciding to go to Burger King instead could lead to an hours-long meltdown.

Individuals with severe autism may engage in tactile activities like putting their hands in their dirty diapers, which makes it pretty much impossible to find childcare. Kids with ASD may also be completely nonverbal or have limited verbal ability. They also may require intense and costly visits to therapists on a regular basis.

These are just two of the more common serious childhood disabilities, but there are many others. If your child has Down syndrome, trisomy 13, or muscular dystrophy, you may qualify for assistance.

How to Find Out if You Qualify to Be a Paid Family Caregiver

If your income is under the limit and your child is severely disabled, you may be able to get help through the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Program. This program can provide assistance with everything from housecleaning to grooming to bowel and bladder care.

To learn more about becoming a paid family caregiver, visit the federal government’s Caregiver Support page.