In addition to special education, other publicly funded services may be available to your child. Many are administered through the Developmental Disabilities Administration, so be sure to apply for an eligibility determination. Keep in mind that you must reapply for eligibility before your child turns 4 and again, before age 10. There are also some more instances when it may be necessary to re-apply. It’s up to you to follow through with these re-determinations in order to maintain eligibility.
Typical services available through DDA include Personal Care, nursing care, family support, out-of-home placement, respite, therapies, assistive technologies and case management. Many of these services, however, may have long waiting lists. Be sure to ask your child’s case manager about services and to get added to appropriate waiting lists.
DDA also has home and community-based waiver programs to prevent out of home placements; however, waiver enrollment is limited. A waiver is an agreement to receive services in your own community rather than a state institution. Family income is not considered as part of eligibility. Ask about placing your child on the home and community-based waiver enrollment database. For more information about DDA services, see DDA Services.
For financial assistance, contact the Social Security Administration about disability benefits. Eligibility for supplemental security income, known as SSI, is the gateway to additional services, such as Medicaid. For more information and to apply for disability benefits, call toll-free 1-800-772-1213.
After becoming eligible for SSI, contact your local community services office in the blue pages of your phone book for information about applying for Medicaid and other services with the Department of Social and Health Services, known as DSHS. It is listed in the blue pages of the phone book under the state government section.
If your child is eligible for Medicaid, one of the best resources is called EPSDT, which stands for Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment. With EPSDT, children can get a regular checkup and treatment for problems found during the exam. If your child is on Medicaid, call 1-800-562-3022 to find EPSDT services near you.
PARENT RESOURCES AND SUPPORT
Parent to Parent is a great place to connect for support, information, resource and referral. Parent to Parent is operated by and for parents of children with special needs. Call toll free at 1-800-821-5927 or visit Parent to Parent online.
For health care services, the state offers medical assistance based on income and eligibility through programs such as:
An organization called Within Reach, formerly Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, provides local and state resource information on health care coverage, specialty services, recreational opportunities and more to families of children with special health care needs in Washington State. For answers to your questions call the Family Health Hotline toll-free at 1-800-322-2588 or visit WithinReach.