California’s protection & advocacy system

For legal assistance call 800-776-5746. For all other purposes call 916-504-5800 in Northern CA

or 213-213-8000 in Southern CA. TTY 800-719-5798.


Med-Cal Mental Health Entitlement!!!

April 2001, Pub #5055.01

Did you know that there is an entitlement to mental health services in California? It’s true. It’s been true since the Medi-Cal program started in 1966. Children, adults and older adults who qualify for Medi-Cal are entitled to needed services. Federal and state laws mandate it.

Medi-Cal mental health services expanded greatly with the adoption of targeted case management in 1991 and rehabilitative mental health services in 1993. These services can be provided in a variety of community settings and at home if necessary. Each county must provide all covered services including the following:

  • Targeted Case Management (aid to access housing, supports, work)
  • Mental Health Services (counseling, assessment, service plan development)
  • Rehabilitation (individualized assistance with recovery goals)
  • Crisis Intervention, Stabilization, & Residential Services (including at home)
  • Transitional Residential Programs (up to 18 months)
  • Medication Support Services (including informed consent and plan development)


    • If you are a consumer, you have a right to services based on your goals. All services must be provided in accordance with a service plan that you should sign, and receive a copy of.
    • If you are a family member, you are encouraged to participate with your loved one.
    • If you are a provider, you can support a beneficiary to receive desired services.
    • If you are an advocate, you can assist a client in appealing the denial of a service.


Federal law requires that all services be provided with reasonable promptness. Waiting lists due to program funding limitations are illegal.

Disability Rights California is funded by a variety of sources, for a complete list of funders, go to