In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Program:
The IHSS is a statewide government run program which is part of the Department of Aging. Each county directs the program under the California Department of Social Services. It helps pay for the medical services provided for seniors living with dementia so that they may live safely and independently in their homes. The IHSS is funded by the state, county, and federal funds. Depending on an individual’s countable income, (the amount of income that the state accounts for when figuring out if the individual is in a position to receive benefits, not all of the income is counted in this situation), payment might be required for a part of the cost of the services known as the share of cost (SOC). The SOC accounts for both earned and unearned income.
To be eligible for IHSS services:
Individual must be eligible for Medi-Cal or SSI/SSP
Are disabled/65 years or older
Are living in a home, apartment, residence which the individual has chosen(hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted livings don’t count)
Are not able to live on their own homes without support and care
Services offered include:
Transportation as well as accompaniment to medical appointments
Paramedical services (if ordered by physician)
How to Qualify:
To qualify for the IHSS, a needs assessment must be conducted by a county social worker. A needs assessment measures an individual’s ability to complete daily activities such as eating, getting around the house, shopping, and taking medication. The purpose of the needs assessment is to find out the what services are required for that individual from the IHSS. Once the needs assessment is completed a letter (Notice of Action)will be sent from the IHSS to notify the individual of the services and the number of hours per month which have been granted to them. California has qualified 195 hours/moth for the non-severely impaired and a maximum of 283 hours/month for the severely impaired. The county social worker must perform a needs assessment every year and the hours allocated to the individual may change with each assessment. If services have been rejected or there is a need for more hours, an individual has the right to appeal by requesting a state hearing. Information regarding this process is on the back of the Notice of Action. The program expects the individual to hire their own provider, (it could be a spouse, child, close friend) to perform this service. They will get paid for the number of hours they serve from the IHSS, (wages vary based on county). If the individual is not able to find one, however, the IHSS will provide one for them. This service is tremendously useful for people who are dealing with dementia and want to still live in the comforts of their own home.
To contact the IHSS office in your county and start the application process visit: