In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Program
The IHSS Program will help pay for services provided to you so that you can remain safely in your own home. To be eligible, you must be over 65 years of age, or disabled, or blind. Disabled children are also potentially eligible for IHSS. IHSS is considered an alternative to out-of-home care, such as nursing homes or board and care facilities.
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.
Eligibility Criteria for all IHSS Applicants and Recipients:
- You must physically reside in the United States.
- You must also be a California resident.
- You must have a Medi-Cal eligibility determination.
- You must 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").
- You must submit a completed Health Care Certification form.
Where To Get Help:
To apply for IHSS, complete an application and submit it to the local county IHSS Office.
How the Program Works
- A county social worker will interview you at your home to determine your eligibility and need for IHSS. Based on your ability to safely perform certain tasks for yourself, 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 for you.
- If you are 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.