Eligibility and Application

If you are a California resident, live in your own home, and already get Medi-Cal benefits, you may be eligible for IHSS if you need the services it provides to stay safely in your own home as an alternative to out-of-home placement.

The 4 most common types of Medi-Cal for people with disabilities are:

  • SSI-linked Medi-Cal
  • Aged and Disabled Federal Poverty Level Medi-Cal
  • California’s Working Disabled Program
  • Aged, Blind, and Disabled Medically Needy Medi-Cal

See DB101’s Medi-Cal program description to learn more about how to qualify for them.

Living in your own home

Your home is the place you choose to live. Some examples of places that could be your own home include a house, an apartment, a mobile home, or a room with board. For IHSS purposes, acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, and community care facilities are not “your own home.” However, if you live in such a facility, you may be eligible for IHSS if you plan to live in your own home in the future. If you are in this situation, an IHSS social worker can complete a preliminary needs assessment while you are still staying at the facility. Once you move out of the facility and into your own home, the IHSS social worker will complete another assessment in your home.

Income and Resource Limits

IHSS has the same resource limits as Medi-Cal:

  • You must have less than $2,000 in personal property if you are single; $3,000 for a couple;
  • One home and one car used to get to medical appointments and life insurance with a combined face value under $1,500 do not count as personal property.

Income rules for IHSS can vary depending on which Medi-Cal category you are enrolled in.

Applying for IHSS

  1. If you already have Medi-Cal or once you are approved for it, call or visit your county In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) office to complete an IHSS application. Once IHSS gets the application, a caseworker will be assigned to do an in-home needs assessment as part of the application process.
  2. Your caseworker will come to your home to complete the needs assessment: that’s an interview to decide if you qualify for IHSS. The caseworker will ask you a series of questions about your mental and physical abilities and limitations; figure out the tasks you can perform safely on your own and the ones you might need help with; and evaluate your living and social situation.
  3. After the needs assessment, IHSS will contact you to let you know if you have been approved or denied. If you are approved, you will be notified of the services and number of hours authorized. If services are denied or you are not happy with the number of hours HISS authorized, you have the right to appeal. The appeals procedure is outlined on the back of the notice you get.