In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Program

Photo of a child in a wheelchair with colorfull custom wheel covers

Disabled children may be eligible for IHSS. The program will help pay for services provided so the eligible child can remain safely in their own home. 

The types of services which can be authorized through IHSS are housecleaning, meal preparation, laundry, grocery shopping, personal care services (such as bowel and bladder care, bathing, grooming and paramedical services), accompaniment to medical appointments, and protective supervision for the mentally impaired.

When May Children Receive IHSS?

  • When disabled and low-income (receipt of SSI means automatic eligibility)
  • If income too high for SSI, may qualify with share of cost.
  • If parents are out of the house working, school, training.
  • If parents are unable to provide care due to disability or illness.
  • If parents are sleeping or caring for other family members.

The child must also: 

  • Physically reside in the United States.
  • Be a California resident.
  • Have a Medi-Cal eligibility determination.
  • Live at home or an abode of your own choosing (acute care hospital, long-term care facilities, and licensed community care facilities are not considered "own home").
  • Submit a completed Health Care Certification form.

 How the Program Works

  • A county social worker will interview you at your home to determine your child's eligibility and need for IHSS. Based on the information gathered the social worker will assess the types of services you need and the number of hours the county will authorize for each of these services. This assessment will include information given by you and, if appropriate, by your family, friends, physician or other licensed health care professional.
  • A completed Health Care Certification (SOC 873) must be received by the county prior to authorization of services.
  • You will be notified if IHSS has been approved or denied. If denied, you will be notified of the reason for the denial. If approved, you will be notified of the services and the number of hours per month which have been authorized.
  • If approved for IHSS, you must hire someone (your individual provider) to perform the authorized services. You are considered your provider's employer and, therefore, it is your responsibility to hire, train, supervise, and fire this individual.
  • If your county has contracted IHSS providers, you may choose to have services provided by the contractor.
  • If your county has homemaker employees, you may receive services from a county homemaker.

How are IHSS Payments Made?

  • You may contact the social worker assigned to your case to determine the IHSS hourly rate in your county. Because unions negotiate with the employer of record in each county, the wage rates may vary from county to county. The State issues all checks for individual provider payments. If the provider qualifies, the State withholds the applicable amounts for disability insurance and Social Security taxes.  

Quick Links

To apply for IHSS, complete an application and submit it to your county IHSS Office.

IHSS Applications

IHSS Application in English
IHSS Application in Armenian
IHSS Application in Chinese
IHSS Application in Spanish


Information and Resources

For more information and resources visit the In-Home Supportive Services Program website. This resource is designed to assist county eligibility workers and other partners who provide services to the public.

If you are a member of the public we encourage you to contact your county social services agency.