Who is Eligible for Services?
To be eligible for services, a person must have a disability that begins before the person’s 18th birthday, be expected to continue indefinitely and present a substantial disability as defined in Section 4512 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code. Eligibility is established through diagnosis and assessment performed by regional centers.
Infants and toddlers (age 0 to 36 months) who are at risk of having developmental disabilities or who have a developmental delay may also qualify for services. The criteria for determining the eligibility of infants and toddlers is specified in Section 95014 of the California Government Code. In addition, individuals at risk of having a child with a developmental disability may be eligible for genetic diagnosis, counseling and other prevention services. For information about these services, see Early Start.
Services Provided by Regional Centers?
Regional centers provide diagnosis and assessment of eligibility and help plan, access, coordinate and monitor the services and supports that are needed because of a developmental disability. There is no charge for the diagnosis and eligibility assessment.
Once eligibility is determined, a case manager or service coordinator is assigned to help develop a plan for services, tell you where services are available, and help you get the services. Most services and supports are free regardless of age or income.
There is a requirement for parents to share the cost of 24-hour out-of-home placements for children under age 18. This share depends on the parents’ ability to pay. For further information, see Parental Fee Program. There may also be a co-payment requirement for other selected services. For further information, see Family Cost Participation Program.
Some of the services and supports provided by the regional centers include:
Information and referral
Assessment and diagnosis
Lifelong individualized planning and service coordination
Purchase of necessary services included in the individual program plan
Assistance in finding and using community and other resources
Advocacy for the protection of legal, civil and service rights
Early intervention services for at risk infants and their families
Planning, placement, and monitoring for 24-hour out-of-home care
Training and educational opportunities for individuals and families
Community education about developmental disabilities