An informal meeting is a meeting between you and a regional center administrator. When you file the Fair Hearing Request Form, you can ask for an informal meeting and a mediation before the hearing. If you ask for an informal meeting, the regional center must provide one within 10 days of getting your fair hearing request, unless you agree to another date. The informal meeting is the first step in the hearing process. You do not have to have an informal meeting if you do not want to. Your representative can be there, if you have one.§ 4710.7.
This is your chance to meet with the regional center and convince them to give you the services you need. Even if you cannot agree, you still can understand the regional center’s side and try to agree on some points.
After the meeting, the regional center has 5 working days to send you a written decision.§ 4710.7(b). The decision must list every issue in the appeal and decide on each one. It also must say the facts, laws, regulations, and policies the regional center used to make its decision.
If you agree with the informal decision, you can cancel your request for a hearing. Do this by filling out the “Notification of Resolution” form the regional center provides, which is also found at: https://www.dds.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/DS1804.pdf
The decision goes into effect 10 days after the regional center gets your “Notification of Resolution.”§ 4710.9(a).
If you disagree with the informal decision, you can still go to mediation if you and the regional center agreed. You can also still go to the fair hearing.§ 4710.9(b).