Category Archives: Benefits Updates

Updates on Social Security, In home support services, conservatorships and Regional Center Matters covered by the Lanterman Act.

California Disability Rights IHSS Services

IHSS stands for In-Home Supportive Services. IHSS provides services to
adults and children with developmental disabilities who live in the
community in their own or family homes.

Some services provided by IHSS are:
-Personal care, which includes assistance with walking or moving around,
bathing, bowel or bladder care, dressing, feeding, grooming, menstrual care,
repositioning and skin care.
-Domestic Services, which includes cleaning, chores, shopping, preparation
of food, laundry, meal cleanup, menu planning, and restaurant meal
allowance.
-Other services such as heavy cleaning, protective supervision, respite
care, teaching and demonstration, transportation, and yard hazard abatement.

If you want to know if you are eligible visit:
http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/cdssweb/PG135.htm

For those who are trying to receive benefits for IHSS, a denial can be
stressful.

The process for challenging a denial can be daunting because there are
timelines and a hearing involved. The matter can also involve the courts. If
you are denied IHSS, here is a little bit of information you should know. To
determine whether you should file an appeal you should ask the question: Is
the county decision appropriate, and are there laws and medical records to
support the appeal? If the person is already receiving IHSS services, file
the request for appeal during the 10 calendar days BEFORE the Notice of
Action is effective. The benefits will not change until there is a hearing
and a decision is issued. A request for hearing MUST be filed within 90
calendar days after the date of the county action or inaction. A written
request for a rehearing must be filed within 30 calendar days of receipt
after the decision is received. A request for a state hearing may be written
or oral and there is a request form on the back of the Notice of Action. The
request for a state hearing should include: the aid program involved (i.e.,
IHSS), the reason for the disagreement with the county action, if an
interpreter is needed and what kind, and a copy of the applicable Notice of
Action.

The IHSS denial challenge process can be very complicated involving
witnesses and evidence. Also, since an appeal to a court of competent
jurisdiction is involved, it is critical that your initial appeal of denial
be based on solid evidence. If you believe you require an IHSS appeal of a
denial or, you are appealing a final decision of an appeal and are prepared
to appeal to a court of competent jurisdiction, you should consider hiring
an attorney.

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Filed under Benefits Updates, Disability Rights, Education Law Updates, Special Education Update

Budget Cuts and Impact on Litigation

As a litigator in civil rights and special education, it is impossible to ignore the impact of the state’s budget woes on litigation.

Often, we’re asked “Should I sue”?

When choosing the litigation route i.e. bringing your case to a Judge and/or Jury to decide, there are so many factors beyond even the facts of your case to consider.  This is because judges and juries are people too. They represent the people who may have been foreclosed upon, or the person who just doesn’t like your tie. These folks are potentially your neighbors or people just like you and your family. They have preconceived notions and ideas.

Yes, it is true that not all cases can avoid going through the court processes, but often times (and the caselaw and rules of court suggest this) the preference is to keep your case out of court – yes I’m an attorney who makes a living out of going to court – but I’m telling you the cost benefit with budget crisis in all aspects of our lives makes litigation a true last resort option

Here are just a few things to consider before you ask “Should I sue”?:

1. Have I tried all informal means of resolving my case by problem solving, considering alternative solutions to resolve my matter or involving a neutral person with experience in your matters such as an attorney or in special education cases, a mediation only option (no attorneys allowed).

2. Is there some other process available to me such as an internal complaint process, a state or federal complaint process or an internally offered mediation process?

3.   Will my potential for “damages” I can obtain through a lawsuit be worth the the benefit? This includes your time (taking off of work to spend 5-10 or more days in court, paying experts etc.), cost (experts, discovery, copies) and attorney’s fees.

4.  What are the risks of losing and your willingness to appeal your case.  In civil rights cases we are seeing a huge sympathy for “broke” states and state entities and civil rights are being harder and harder to win making an appeal a much likelier chance.

5.  If your suing simply to vindicate a right, make sure that you have the financial and emotional staying power to fight your case as long as necessary.

This is not an exhaustive list but it would be doing any person or groups of persons who intend to sue for civil rights litigation – of any kind – not to advise them of these facts.

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Filed under Benefits Updates, Civil Rights Litigation, Education Law Updates, Employment Law Updates, Special Education Update