There is no legal limit to the cost of your SLS services. But, the law says all services and supports regional centers buy must be “cost-effective.”Sections 4512(b), 4646(a), 4651(a), and 4685(c)(3). Regional centers must purchase services from the least costly provider of services that meets your needs.Section 4648(a)(6)(D).
Cost-effective is defined as “obtaining the optimum results for the expenditure.”Title 17 Cal. Code Regs. section 58501(a)(6). The goal of the Lanterman Act is to help people with developmental disabilities to live like people without disabilities. Most adults without developmental disabilities live independently. So, money spent on SLS meets the highest priority and gets the greatest results intended by the Lanterman Act.
Cost-effective services still must meet your needs. When selecting the “least costly provider,” you and the regional center must consider providers whose services are of similar quality and who can meet your needs.Section 4648(a)(6)(D). The cost of your SLS must not be more than the cost of one year’s services and supports in a suitable licensed residential facility.Title 17 Cal. Code Regs. section 58617. This limit is called the “cost-cap.” Each regional center uses it differently, but they cannot stop you from receiving SLS because of a “cost-cap.”
The regional center and your IPP team may look at cost in deciding on a provider or a method of reaching a goal. But, cost cannot be the only consideration.Section 4512(b). The regional center and your IPP team must also consider quality of services and your preferences. No one can make you accept the cheapest service if it will not meet your needs. But, if a cheaper vendor can help you achieve your goal, you may have to use that vendor.
If your regional center wants to change to your SLS, it must either:
- hold an IPP meeting and reach agreement with you about the change, or
- give you a written notice with reasons for the proposed change and how you can appeal.Section 4689(p)(3).