In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Program
The In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program provides in-home assistance to eligible aged, blind and disabled
individuals as an alternative to out-of-home care and enables recipients to remain safely in their own homes. Over
520,000 IHSS providers currently serve over 600,500 recipients. To learn how to apply for services:
Get Services IHSS.
As part of the changes made to California’s COVID-19 vaccine plan, a new high risk medical/disabled group is being
added to receive vaccinations beginning March 15, 2021. IHSS recipients aged 16 to 64 are considered eligible to
receive COVID-19 vaccine under this criteria. Recipients over 65 years of age are already eligible to be vaccinated.
CDSS sent notices informing IHSS recipients about the changes made to California’s vaccination plan. IHSS recipients
aged 16 to 64 can use the letter to verify they are an IHSS recipient if needed.
IHSS Tools and Resources for Emergency Situations
Power Outage Resources for IHSS Recipients and Providers -
These tools and resources can be used to prepare for emergency situations, including power outages and
Important Program Information
About the IHSS Program
The administration of IHSS is a complex partnership that includes the following entities: program recipients, the
California Department of Social Services (CDSS), Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), counties, public
authorities, program advocates, providers, and employee unions.
IHSS is currently comprised of four programs:
- The original IHSS program, now named IHSS-Residual (IHSS-R), began in 1974 and is a state-and-county funded
program with 65% State and 35% county dollars of the non-federal share. IHSS-R recipients make up less than 1.5%
of the overall IHSS population.
- The Personal Care Services Program (PCSP) began in April 1993, and was the first IHSS program to obtain federal
funding for recipients. PCSP recipients are eligible for full-scope Federal Financial Participation (FFP), and
these Medi-Cal services are funded with 50% Federal, 32.5 % State, and 17.5% County dollars. PCSP recipients
make up about 53% of the overall IHSS population.
- The IHSS Plus Option (IPO) began in September 2009 and replaced the IHSS Plus Waiver (IPW) demonstration program
(more information below on the IPW). Recipients are also eligible for full-scope FFP Medi-Cal. IPO provides
assistance to recipients who have parent-of-minor or spouse providers, or who receive Advance Pay (AP) and/or
Restaurant Meal Allowance (RMA). Since the inception of the Community First Choice Option (CFCO) in 2011 (more
below), the IPO recipients make up a little over 2.5% of the overall IHSS population.
- The Community First Choice Option (CFCO) was established through the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (enacted March
23, 2010) as a new State Plan option. CFCO provides home and community-based attendant services and supports for
individuals who are eligible for medical assistance under the State Plan who meet specific income criteria and
meet the Nursing Facility Level of Care (NF LOC). CFCO provides States with 6% additional federal funding for
services and supports. CFCO was approved with an implementation date of December 1, 2011. CFCO recipients make
up about 43% of the overall IHSS population.
IHSS assessments are completed during home visits at the initial intake assessment and annual reassessments.
Recipients may request for a reassessment of need at any time if their needs or circumstances change. County social
workers continuously monitor recipients’ cases and have frequent contact with recipients to ensure their needs are
appropriately met through program services. IHSS social workers complete a needs assessment for each applicant or
recipient using the following criteria: the Functional Index Rankings, the Annotated Assessment Criteria, and the
Hourly Task Guidelines (HTGs).
Service authorizations are assessed during the needs assessment, which is a comprehensive review of the recipient’s
medical history/diagnosis, medications/purpose, emergency contacts, physicians’ information, household composition,
functional index rankings, mini-mental health assessment, necessary referrals to Adult Protective Services (APS),
Child Protective Services (CPS), Fraud, community services, etc., language preferences and whether an interpreter is
needed, and a full biopsychosocial assessment. The social worker needs to document all service needs and justify
service authorizations in the case narrative.
IHSS Provider Enrollment Process
Upon approval of the recipient’s service authorizations, the social worker will assist the recipient in obtaining an
IHSS care provider.Care providers may include, but are not limited to, family members, friends, neighbors, or
registered providers through the public authority.
Time Sheet Processing
After the care provider has been successfully enrolled and is approved as the IHSS provider, s/he will receive time
sheets in the mail retroactive to the date of application. The IHSS program has two pay periods from the 1
st through the 15th and the 16th through the end of the month. Care providers will
complete these time sheets based on the hours they have provided care to the IHSS recipient. Care providers and
recipients will sign the time sheets and submit them to the county to process payments through the statewide Case
Management, Information, and Payrolling System (CMIPS).