kids looking at a notebook held by a woman

Eligibility Under the Lanterman Act

There are three categories for services under the Lanterman Act:

  • People who meet the Lanterman Act’s definition of developmental disability
  • People who are at high risk of having a child with a developmental disability
  • Babies and children under age 3 who are at risk of becoming developmentally disabled

A “developmental disability” is a disability that starts before age 18, is expected to continue indefinitely, and is a “substantial disability” for that person. To be eligible for services under the Lanterman Act, you must have one of the following developmental disabilities:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Epilepsy
  • Autism
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Other conditions closely related to intellectual disability or that require similar treatment

In addition to having one of the above listed underlying disabilities, the disability must also be a “substantial disability” for that person in that the disability imposes significant functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity:

  • Self-care
  • Receptive and expressive language
  • Learning
  • Mobility
  • Self-direction
  • Capacity for independent living
  • Economic self-sufficiency

In order to qualify for services under the Lanterman Act, the regional center will do an assessment. You and your family are encouraged to take part in the assessment. If you are found eligible for services an IPP meeting must be held within 60 days of the assessment. If the regional center finds you ineligible for services and you disagree, you have the right to appeal by requesting a fair hearing.

Our experienced attorneys review regional center assessments and apply assessment findings, and along with parent input, to help make a determination about eligibility. We advise parents on obtaining independent assessments if there is a disagreement with the regional center assessment. In addition we have extensive experience in representing families at IFSP and IPP meetings and we appeal decisions denying child eligibility.