In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Overview

The IHSS program is designed to maintain Medi-Cal eligible-aged adults, disabled adults and children, safely in their own homes. Without IHSS services, recipients would require out-of-home care. A set number of hours are authorized each month for in-home assistance with domestic and personal care tasks. Each recipient chooses an individual provider and the program pays for the cost of authorized services. Some recipients must pay a Medi-Cal Share of Cost. A social worker provides limited case management, an annual home visit and consultations with medical providers, family members and other support systems.

Through IHSS, qualified recipients may receive assistance with daily tasks, such as:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Grooming
  • Feeding
  • Laundry
  • Shopping
  • Toilet Assistance
  • Washing Dishes

Anyone who recognizes that a person is in need of in-home assistance may refer a client to IHSS by calling (707) 784-8259. Once a referral is received, an applicant will be required to submit an SOC 873 Health Care Certification completed by their doctor. A social worker will be assigned to the case to conduct an assessment to determine the applicant's need, including the functional need for specific services and the amount of time authorized to perform the services. The determination will take into consideration the applicant's medical condition, living arrangement and resources that may already be available.

The applicant will be notified regarding the approval/denial of the IHSS application. If denied, a notice will be sent explaining the reason for the denial. If approved, the client will be notified of the services and amount of hours per month that have been authorized.Depending on the amount of the client's monthly income, they may be required to pay a share of cost for these services.

Annual Reassessment for services are required. Adjustment to service needs may be made resulting in decrease or increase in amount of authorized hours.

Once approval for IHSS is established, the client must hire an IHSS care provider to perform the authorized services. A friend or relative may serve as a caregiver, or the client may contact the IHSS Public Authority Registry to request a list of providers to interview. Once a caregiver is selected, the client is considered to be the provider's employer. The client will provide supervision and sign the provider's time sheets, as well as take on the responsibility to hire, train and, if necessary, fire the individual. Clients and Providers will complete timesheets via the Electronic Services Portal (ESP) at

Working together, IHSS and the caregiver ensure that each client is able to remain in familiar surroundings – safely, comfortably and with as much independence as possible.

For information on eligibility and how to apply for IHSS, please click on the "IHSS Eligibility" link on the Options menu at left.

To complete an application, call (707) 784-8259.

To report suspected fraud in the In-Home Supportive Services program, call (707) 784-8271.