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Can I Get IHSS If I Already Have SSDI?

Can I Get IHSS If I Already Have SSDI?

If you are taking care of a child with a disability like autism, you could qualify for financial benefits as an In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) provider. In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) is a California government program that provides economic support for in-home caretakers of impaired elders, persons with disabilities, and children with developmental disabilities. But what if you already get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)? Can you still get IHSS too?

Qualifications for SSDI

Generally, a parent’s income and resources are considered when you apply for SSDI for your child. This means that part of the amount of money you make at work and other financial resources count against the child in determining whether or not the child is eligible for SSDI.

Does this include IHSS?

However, Social Security does not count the following as a resource for purposes of determining a child’s SSI eligibility:

  • Parents’ pension or retirement funds (such as Individual Retirement Accounts, KEOGH, or tax deferred annuities) even if the fund could be cashed in. 20 Code of Federal Regulations Section 416.1202(b).
  • Resources used for self-support such as a small business’ inventory and operating bank account or tools, equipment, or a second vehicle used while at work or necessary in order to get to work. 42 United States Code Section 1382b(a)(3).

Social Security does not count the following as income for purposes of determining a child’s SSI eligibility:

  • Income received by a parent for providing In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) to a disabled child. IHSS income is SSI exempt income. 20 Code of Federal Regulations Section 416.1161(a)(16).
  • Through the Community First Choice Option (CFCO), IHSS that is provided by a parent to a child is covered by Medi-Cal and the income received by the parent is Medi-Cal exempt income.

Additionally, income and resources counted for purposes of determining a child’s financial eligibility for SSI and the amount of the child’s SSI check cannot be counted again to determine the Medi-Cal eligibility of other members of the family.

Is Your Child Eligible for IHSS?

When a person or couple is eligible to become an IHSS provider, a social worker comes to the home to assess the need for services.

To be eligible for Protective Supervision, your child must have:

  • A mental impairment or mental illness that causes functional limitations in:
  1. Memory (e.g. forgetting things, people, places, to start or finish a task, etc.)
  2. Orientation (e.g. inability to recognize and adapt to time, people, places, environment, surroundings etc., needed to live and complete tasks.)
  3. Judgment (e.g. making decisions which put the individuals’ health and/or safety at risk),


  • The impairments must cause your child to experience confusion and an inability to self-direct his or her behaviors so as to keep himself or herself safe and free from harm or injury.


  • The county must also determine that your child needs to be observed twenty-four-hours-a-day in order for him or her to safely remain at home. This does not mean that the provider has to be present and watching the individual at all times. It can include observing your child in some alternative way while he or she is left alone for a fixed period of time.

County staff is also required to explain the availability and need for Protective Supervision services and whether or not out-of-home care would be an appropriate alternative to Protective Supervision.

And as always, if you feel overwhelmed and you need help, please contact us.

American Advocacy Group is on the front lines every day, making positive change happen for people diagnosed with Autism, Down syndrome and a range of diagnoses across the continuum. As a leading advocate for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, and the premier provider of the support and services people want and need, we understand the system and know how to take action in regard to your best interests.


Dial (877) 762-0702 or email us at [email protected].

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