Intake Process & Eligibility: Overview
If you have a developmental concern about yourself, your child, or a family member, the Intake Department will be your first contact at Westside Regional Center. Our goal is to make this experience positive for you and your family.
People reach out to us for many reasons. The individual may be referred by the school, medical staff, a friend, or be self-referred. Intakes may occur at any age, though the developmental issue must have started prior to the age of 18. The intake process is a FREE service, which is provided to all regardless of citizenship status.
The Early Start Program, for children birth to three years old, will require a series of contacts to help assess your child. Your story is important to us, as you know your child best. Your observations are part of the assessment process. Several professionals will be contacting you to gain more information and perform assessments on your child to better understand their needs.
The Lanterman Program is for individuals over the age of three. We will ask you to complete the intake interview and a psychological assessment.
The intake process is a team effort and all participants, including the family members, are encouraged to respond to phone calls and emails in a timely manner. The regional centers must complete the intake process within 45 days for infants and toddlers under three. For individuals over the age of three and adults, the process must be completed within 120 days. Once the assessments are done, an eligibility team will review all the information. You will be notified of the eligibility decision by your assigned intake counselor.
To start the intake process, please submit an online application. Try to submit as many documents as you can to help us better understand the developmental needs of the individual applying for services. These documents may include the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) from schools, medical documents, and other records. Collecting of these records can be an ongoing process during the intake. We also know that for young children this may be the first assessment and you may not have any prior records. And that is fine. Once you complete the application and attach as many documents as you can, please do not forget to sign the consent. It will allow us to move forward with assessments and evaluations.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO APPLY FOR YOURSELF OR SOMEONE ELSE IN YOUR CARE, PLEASE SUBMIT AN ONLINE INTAKE REFERRAL. APPLICANTS OR FAMILY MEMBERS, SELECT “APPLY”. PROVIDERS SENDING REFERRALS, SELECT “PROVIDER REFERRAL”.
What Happens After I Submit a Referral?
Once a referral is submitted, our intake team will follow up with the contact person listed to guide them through the next steps, such as performing assessments and collecting documents. Our eligibility team will review any developmental, social, medical, psychological, and/or educational information to get a clear picture of the person being referred. Early Start eligibility determination may take up to 45 days, while intake under the Lanterman Act services may take up to 120 days. There is no cost to you for any of the assessments or other services that we provide during the intake process.
What Number Do I Call with Intake Questions or If I Need Assistance with the Application?
What Do I Do If I Disagree with the Intake Decisions or Have Other Complaints?
Sometimes people disagree with our decision about the ineligibility of regional center services. When you receive written notification of not being eligible, you will also receive information about how you can appeal this decision. We encourage you to appeal if you believe that the decision was not right.
DDS website offers multiple options for applicants, family members, vendors, and providers for filing appeals and complaints.
Where Can I Find Additional Information or Resources?
- The criteria for determining eligibility for infants and toddlers are specified in Section 95014 of the California Government Code.
- The criteria for determining eligibility for individuals over three years of age and adults are defined in Section 4512 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code.
- The criteria for determining eligibility for a child who is three or four years of age and not otherwise eligible for regional center services according to W&I Code section 4512(a)(2).
- Click here to view Intake & Eligibility Resources: Ages Birth to Three
- Click here to view Intake & Eligibility Resources: Ages Three & Older
- Click here to view Generic & Community-Based Resources
What is the Intake Portal and How Do I Login?
We would like to invite you to create an online account. It will allow access to the online Intake Portal including submitted applications, eligibility updates, appointments, and other resources. For individuals and family members who submitted the online application, please select the Family Login blue button below and follow the instructions to create your account on the Intake Portal. This feature is available only for those who applied on and after September 15, 2022.