The Lanterman Act says every person with a developmental disability, should get individualized services and supports to live the most independent and productive life they can.Sections 4501, 4502, 4646(b), 4646.5(a)(1). A regional center may not apply general policies that prevent you from getting services based on what you want and need.See Williams v. Macomber, 226 Cal.App.3d 225 (1990) in which a California Appellate Court ruled that the denial of home day-care services on the basis of a general policy of denying such services to … Continue reading
Each regional center does, however, have its own policies, which are used as guidelines for purchasing services and supports for consumers. These Purchase-of-Service (POS) policies usually explain requirements for getting a service and sometimes set limits on the amount or frequency of the service. Policies vary from regional center to regional center. DDS must review all regional center POS policies to make sure they comply with the Lanterman Act before the policies can start.Section 4434(d).
The amount and type of services you get must be decided at your individual IPP meeting. So, POS policies cannot prevent you from getting services or set strict limits on the amount of a service you show you need to address your IPP goals and objectives. Every POS policy must have an exception for individual circumstances. Unfortunately, regional centers do not always make this clear. If your regional center service coordinator tells you the support you want is beyond what the regional center provides under its POS policy, ask for a copy of the policy and for the exception to the policy. You can appeal if you believe you need particular services or supports from the regional center despite the POS policy.
For example, a regional center policy that limits independent living skills (ILS) training to two years violates the law that says regional centers must provide services based on your individual needs. A policy with these limits cannot be used to deny ILS training if you can show you need more than two years to achieve your goals. For the same reason, a policy that does not allow the purchase of in-home nursing respite for any child who uses a respirator would violate the law if the child’s IPP goal is to live at home and they need in-home nursing respite to make that possible.
Some regional centers have mostly fair POS policies. Others do not. The decision about what services or supports you need must be made in the IPP process and must be based on your individual needs.Section 4646(a)&(b). If you are denied a service because of a POS policy that sets unfair limits, you can file an appeal. You can also file a complaint to challenge the policy itself as having an illegal cap on services. For more information on appeals and “Section 4731 Complaints,” see Chapter 10.
|↑1||Sections 4501, 4502, 4646(b), 4646.5(a)(1).|
|↑2||See Williams v. Macomber, 226 Cal.App.3d 225 (1990) in which a California Appellate Court ruled that the denial of home day-care services on the basis of a general policy of denying such services to minors with working parents violates the Lanterman Act’s requirement that services to be provided for each consumer must be selected “on an individual basis.” The Court said that “the Regional Center’s reliance on a fixed policy is inconsistent with the Act’s stated purpose of providing services ‘sufficiently complete to meet the needs of each person with developmental disabilities’ [referring to section 4501].” Williams, 226 Cal.App.3d 225, 232.|