First steps if you agree or not

If your child does not qualify for EI, the first thing to do is decide if you agree.

  • If you agree, there are still many options to support your child's needs.

  • If you disagree with the decision, there are ways to dispute it and try again.

Here's what you can do:

If you're ok with the decision:

  • Think about what other kind of support you need. Activities for your child? Counseling for family members?

  • Ask your EI program what other services you can get.They may run a community playgroup that your child can still join. Or they can give you advice about other resources.There are lots of supports that you can get, especially if you have Masshealth.

  • Call Family TIES for more ideas: 1-800-905 TIES (8437)

If you think your child should qualify:

    • Ask if your child may qualify based on"informed clinical opinion". (Use that term!) This means the evaluator can use their judgement and consider other information that was not in the formal evaluation.

    • Ask for another evaluation. You have this right. Talk to your intake coordinator about your options.

    • Get more information. Talk to your child's doctor. Ask for a developmental screening or evaluation. Remember, you know your child better than anyone. There may be some other tests that will confirm your concerns.

    • Start a formal complaint process or try mediation. (See the section on Complaints)

You can also look for the services on your own. For example, you can hire your own therapist to work on speech, behavior, or whatever you think your child needs help with. Your insurance may pay for this.

See our Resource Directory to search for providers near you. (Click on it to open in a new tab.) You can even see which ones accept Medicaid, which is MassHealth.


Sources: EOHHS, MA DPH