In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)

Eligibility and Application

If you are a California resident, you may be eligible for IHSS if:

  • You live in your own home
  • You get Medi-Cal benefits
  • You have a disability and need personal assistance during your day, and
  • You need IHSS to stay safely in your home as an alternative to out-of-home placement, such as assisted living or nursing facilities.

If you do not get Medi-Cal yet, learn more about qualifying for it in DB101’s Medi-Cal article.

Living in your own home

Your home is the place you choose to live. Some examples of places that IHSS considers a home are a house, an apartment, a mobile home, a room in a dormitory, or a room with board. You do not live “in your own home” if you live in an acute care hospital, long-term care facility, or community care facility. If you live in one of those facilities, it may be possible to apply for IHSS and move into your own home. IHSS can do a preliminary needs assessment while you are still staying at the facility. Once you move out of the facility and into your own home, IHSS will do another assessment in your home.

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 contact you and schedule a time to visit your home and understand your needs.
  2. Your caseworker will come to your home and do a needs assessment to figure out if you are eligible for IHSS and what services you will get. The caseworker will ask about your mental and physical abilities and limitations; identify the tasks you can perform safely on your own; identify the tasks 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, IHSS will also let you know the kinds of services and number of hours you will get. If services are denied or you think that you need more IHSS hours than were approved, you have the right to appeal. The appeals procedure is outlined on the back of the notice you get.

Learn more