Regional Center Appeals: How to Secure Your Current Services While You Navigate the Appeal Process

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Navigating Your Appeal: Keeping Your Services Intact

When you’re faced with an appeal, knowing you can keep your current services provides a sense of security. This is known as ‘aid paid pending.’ Remember, this applies to your existing services, not new ones. Staying on top of certain rules and deadlines is key to this process

Understanding the Deadlines: Your Roadmap in the Appeal Journey

The appeal process is dotted with crucial deadlines. These include the timeframe to initiate your appeal and the moments to express your commitment to continue at each step.

Timeline for Filing an Appeal to Maintain Existing Service

Your Appeal Request Must Be Made on Time.

To qualify for aid paid pending and ensure continuation of your current services while appealing, it’s imperative that the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) receives or postmarks your appeal request within the following timeframes:

• Within 30 days from when you received a Notice of Action

• Before or on the service termination date as specified by the regional center. This termination date is mentioned in your Notice of Action.

Method of Receiving a Notice of Action (NOA) from the Regional Center

The timing of when you get your NOA plays a role in your eligibility for aid paid pending. During your Individual Program Plan (IPP) meeting, the regional center will inquire about your preferred method of receiving NOAs. You have options to receive it via email, regular U.S. mail, or certified mail. The regional center will then dispatch your NOA in the manner you’ve selected.

Steps To Take If You Received a NOA and Want to Keep Your Current Services

When filling out your appeal request form, it’s essential to answer these questions:

 ~ “Have you received a regional center document you want to contest?” Select for NOA and specify the date you received it.

    • If the NOA was emailed, note the date you received the email.
    • If the NOA arrived via regular U.S. mail, indicate the date you received it.
    • For NOAs delivered by certified mail, the relevant date is when you signed for it.

~ “What is the intended start date of the Regional Center’s action?” This specific date can be found in your NOA. Refer to a sample NOA form here:

Providing answers to these questions is vital for DDS to assess your eligibility for aid paid pending.

Steps to Take If You Received a Good Faith Belief Letter and Want to Keep Your Current Services

When the regional center believes you agree with their decision, they are required to issue you a letter known as the Good Faith Belief letter. For detailed insights into mutual consent and good faith belief, visit:

In case you receive a Good Faith Belief letter and disagree with the decision, you have the option to inform the regional center of your dissent. Following this, they will provide you with a Notice of Action (NOA).

Actions to Follow If You Object to the Regional Center's Decision Without Receiving a NOA or Related Document.

Additionally, you have the option to initiate an appeal even in the absence of a NOA or any similar document from your regional center. Guidelines for this process can be found at:

Steps for Keeping Your Existing Services Throughout the Appeals Procedure

Following each stage of the appeal process, it’s your responsibility to assess whether you’re satisfied with the outcome. Additionally, you need to decide if you wish to proceed to the next stage of the appeal. To do this and retain aid paid pending along with your current services, certain deadlines are crucial.

Informal Meeting Stage

Aid paid pending ceases 10 days following the Informal Meeting Decision unless you opt to continue your appeal. Inform both your regional center and DDS if you choose to advance to another stage of the appeal process. This can be done by emailing or calling (833) 538-3723, within 10 days of receiving the Informal Meeting decision.

Mediation Stage

Aid paid pending concludes 10 days after receiving the mediation agreement. If no agreement is reached with the regional center, your aid paid pending ends 10 days post-mediation unless you decide to further appeal. Notify the mediator, regional center, and DDS if you wish to move to the next step. Reach out to DDS by the same email or phone number, within 10 days of either receiving your mediation agreement or the end of your mediation.


Your aid paid pending will cease 10 days following the receipt of the hearing decision.

To extend your aid paid pending, a written request for reconsideration is necessary. Detailed guidance on how to request reconsideration can be found here:

Instructions for this request will be included in your decision. Remember, the deadline to request reconsideration is 15 days from when the hearing officer issued the decision, irrespective of the day you actually received it.


Should you request a reconsideration within the set timeframe, your aid paid pending extends for an additional 10 days following either the decision on the reconsideration or the outcome of a new hearing.

Court Appeal Process

The aid paid pending provision concludes 10 days after you receive either the final hearing decision or the decision on your reconsideration.

In the event of appealing a final hearing decision to the court, you must do so within 180 days from the date you received the decision. The court will then determine whether your aid paid pending should be continued.

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