How We’re Funded
The State of California has a commitment to provide services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities throughout their lifetime. These services and supports are provided through a combination of federal, state, county and local government services, private businesses, support groups and volunteers.
The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) provides leadership and funding for these services and supports through state-operated developmental centers and contracts with twenty-one agencies called regional centers. The regional centers have offices throughout California to provide a local resource to help find and access the many services available to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
There is no charge for diagnosis and assessment for eligibility. Once eligibility is determined, most services 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. There may also be a co-payment requirement for other selected services.
Regional centers are required by law to provide services in the most cost-effective way possible. They must use all other resources, including generic resources, before using any regional center funds. A generic resource is a service provided by an agency that has a legal responsibility to provide services to the general public and receives public funds for providing those services. Some generic agencies you might be referred to are the local school district, county social services department, Medi-Cal, Social Security Administration, Department of Rehabilitation and others. Private health insurance may need to be used for some therapies as well. Other resources may include natural supports. This is help that you may get from family, friends or others at little or no cost.