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Do I Pay Taxes on My IHSS Financial Benefits?

Do I Pay Taxes on My IHSS Financial Benefits?

Protective Supervision is part of the In-Home Support Services (IHSS) program in California, which are services paid for by the state of California to help keep children who are disabled to safely remain at home with their parents. If you are raising a child with special needs such as autism, Down syndrome or cerebral palsy, you might be eligible for IHSS Protective Supervision, which allows financial support of up to $3,000 per month. But do you have to pay taxes on your IHSS financial benefits?

IHSS Protective Supervision Benefits

IHSS is a California government program that provides financial support for in-home caretakers of impaired elders, persons with disabilities, and children with developmental disabilities including autism. While a variety of benefits are available, the most important for families of children with special needs is “Protective Supervision.” When you are approved for Protective Supervision, you will receive an hourly wage to stay home and care for your child as an IHSS provider.

If your child lives in the same household with you, you do not have to pay federal income taxes on IHSS benefits.

How to Apply for IHSS

The IHSS application process involves a written application, an in-home interview with a social worker, and medical records. Once approved as an IHSS provider, there will be ongoing assessments. You can get assistance at every stage of this process whether you are a first-time applicant, or your application has been denied.

Because case workers are so overloaded, you must keep calling every single week and checking in if you have an open case waiting for a decision. Additionally, you must have these documents organized and ready to submit:

  • Dangerous Behavior Log: a list of any self-harming behaviors your child has shown over the past six to 12 months.
  • IHSS SOC 821 Protective Supervision Form: print this form and take it, along with the dangerous behavior log, to the doctor who treats your child.

Do not mail in this form or drop it off at the doctor’s office. Sit in person with the doctor while she fills out the form, while telling her to use your list of dangerous behavior from your log to write on the form. Make sure that most of the boxes are marked severe or at least moderate.

  • Regional Center Individual Program Plan (IPP):

    This is a document created by the Regional Center. An IPP identifies the goals for your child, who will provide services or support to reach these goals and if there is a cost associated with the service or support, who will fund it.

  • Client Development Evaluation Report (CDER):

    This is a document created by the Regional Center. It’s a summary of your child’s abilities and the challenges associated with his or her disability.

  • Individualized Education Program (IEP):

This document will be created by your child’s school. The IEP outlines that your child is eligible for special education and related services to benefit from the general education program. It’s not a contract, but it does guarantee the necessary support and services that are agreed upon and written for your child.

Now look through all three documents: IPP, CDER, and IEP, to see if any of the three mentions any of the dangerous behavior your child engages in and highlight them.

If there is behavior he engages in that are not noted, you could call a meeting and have them added to his school and/or Regional Center reports.

Once you have all the above completed, call your social worker and tell him or her that you are applying for IHSS Protective Supervision. Also, keep track of every phone call, email or in-person contact you have with IHSS, including the date, time, the person you spoke with, and a summary of your conversation.

Meet with the Social Worker

When you meet the social worker for the home assessment, hand him or her the following:

  • Dangerous Behavior Log
  • Completed SOC 821 Form
  • IEP with the items highlighted
  • CDER with the items highlighted
  • IPP with the items highlighted

Always make a complete copy of everything you give to IHSS.

Few things can make such a big difference in the lives of a family as the ability to give your special needs child the full care he or she deserves, without endangering your family finances. If your child has been diagnosed with autism or another development disability, you may be eligible for Protective Supervision.

Unfortunately, applying for and receiving these benefits are notoriously difficult and many families give up after encountering road block after road block. The application process can be confusing, and you need to adequately prepare all the necessary documentation to become an IHSS provider.

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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