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How Often Does an IHSS Review Happen?

How Often Does an IHSS Review Happen?

If you're caring for a child with special needs in California, navigating the world of In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) can feel daunting. Understanding the frequency and implications of an IHSS review is crucial for families relying on this support to manage caregiving responsibilities effectively. Here’s a breakdown of how often these assessments occur and what families can expect during the process.

What is IHSS?

IHSS is a program in California designed to support those with disabilities, including children with special needs, allowing them to live more independently in their homes. Services range from basic housekeeping to advanced personal care, depending on the recipient's needs. The program not only supports the individual's well-being but also provides financial compensation to caregivers, often parents or close relatives, who might otherwise have to seek employment outside the home to support their family.

Regular IHSS Review and Assessment

IHSS requires regular reassessments to ensure that the services provided align with the current needs of the recipient. These reviews are typically conducted annually, but the frequency can vary based on several factors, including the stability of the recipient's condition and any significant changes in their needs or living situation.

  1. Annual Reassessments: Every year, an IHSS social worker will conduct an in-home reassessment. This involves evaluating the recipient's current condition and determining if the allocated hours of support are still adequate. This is a comprehensive review that considers medical reports, the effectiveness of the current level of support, and any changes in the family's situation or the recipient's health.
  2. Change in Condition: If there’s a significant change in the recipient's medical condition or care needs, a reassessment can be requested at any time. For example, if a child's mobility decreases significantly or they are diagnosed with an additional health condition, the caregiver can request an immediate review to adjust the support services accordingly.

What Happens During an IHSS Review?

During a review, the IHSS social worker will visit the family's home and speak with both the caregiver and the recipient, if possible. They'll review the tasks performed, the time it takes to complete these tasks, and the overall effectiveness of the care provided. It's important for caregivers to prepare for these visits by keeping detailed records of care activities and any challenges faced in providing care.

Preparation is Key

Preparing for these assessments by maintaining accurate records and documenting any changes in care needs is vital. Additionally, understanding the criteria IHSS uses and aligning your reports with these criteria can help ensure that the assessment accurately reflects the care needs of your child.

Appeals and Adjustments

If a family disagrees with the outcome of an assessment, they have the right to appeal the decision. This includes requesting a state hearing where they can present their case for needing additional support or different services.


A regular IHSS review is a fundamental part of the program, ensuring that the care provided continues to meet the evolving needs of the recipient. By understanding the review process and preparing effectively, families can better navigate the system, ensuring that their special needs children receive the best possible care at home.

Need help? In California, the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program provides crucial financial help for families raising children with special needs. 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 regarding your best interests.

CONTACT US FOR HELP. Dial (877) 762-0702 or email us at [email protected].

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