In Home Support Services (IHSS)
IHSS is a program designed to help low-income elderly and people of any age living with a disability remain living safely and independently in their own home. IHSS is an alternative to out-of-home care. Clients of the program select their own caregiver. The program pays the wages of caregivers for providing services necessary to maintain safety and independence in their home. Services are limited to tasks the individual is unable to do on their own.
Who is Eligible?
A person must be a legal California resident living in his/her own home who needs assistance to remain safely in their home and is either:
• Receiving full-scope Medi-Cal.
• Meets the financial requirements for Medi-Cal, but may not be receiving Medi-Cal.
• Receiving SSI/SSP (Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment benefits).
• If you are not sure if you are eligible, you can apply for IHSS and your eligibility will be determined by an Eligibility Worker located at the IHSS office.
What Kind of Help is Available?
When a person or couple is eligible for IHSS, a social worker comes to the home to assess the need for services. The services may include:
• Domestic Services – sweeping, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, dusting, and picking up.
• Services Related to Domestic – meal preparation, meal clean-up, laundry, and shopping.
• Personal Care – bathing, grooming, bowel and bladder care, feeding, dressing, respiration, ambulation, care and assistance with prosthetics and other services.
• Transportation – transportation to medical appointments.
• Protective Supervision – behavior monitoring due to chronic cognitive impairment
How Does It Work?
Once IHSS receives a referral, and financial eligibility is determined, a social worker is assigned to the case. The social worker will make an appointment for a home visit to assess what services would be needed in order for the client to maintain their safety and independence in their own home. Needs are based on the client’s individual medical condition or disability and their level of ability. After the client has been authorized for IHSS, the case is reviewed annually and includes a yearly home visit by their social worker. The client or the social worker may at any time request another assessment if there has been any change that affects the need for service. The client is considered the employer for their caregiver. The client is responsible for hiring, supervising and firing the caregiver. IHSS processes payments to caregivers including notification of share of cost (co-payment), if any. The client is in charge of supervision and signing the caregiver’s time sheets.