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New IHSS Program Changes for 2021

New IHSS Program Changes for 2021

If you are a parent of a child who has autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, or another disability, it is common to struggle financially. There are many things to pay for, including doctor appointments, therapy, and equipment. That’s why resources like In-Home Supportive Services are so vital—they provide critical financial assistance to you so your child with special needs can have access to everything available to lead a fulfilling life. This year, IHSS has rolled out some program changes for 2021 that may be even more beneficial for your family.

IHSS Program 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. This wage is exempt from federal income taxes.

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

Applying for IHSS Program Benefits

The IHSS application process generally 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.

First time applicants can get help to:

  • Determine if you are eligible
  • Create a plan with you to maximize your benefits
  • Perform all necessary research and complete all paperwork
  • Obtain any required medical records
  • Assist you through the interview and all processing

If you applied for IHSS benefits and were rejected, you can get help to:

  • Review your case
  • Check all records and research the reason for your rejection
  • Assist you in appealing your application
  • Represent you at hearings

How Much Does the IHSS Program Pay?

Recent legislation implemented increases for IHSS program wages and benefits. Specifically, recent state minimum wage increases and budget-related legislation adopted in 2017‑18 instituted both temporary and permanent changes to how counties can increase IHSS provider wages and benefits with varying effects on state and county costs.

On January 1, 2021, the minimum wage increased to $14 per hour.

On January 1, 2022, the minimum wage will increase to $15 per hour.

Currently, as an IHSS Protective Supervision provider, the maximum number of hours you can claim is 283 per month. That equates to $3,962 per month today.

Changes to the IHSS Program for 2021

To ensure continuity of care and to allow children with special needs who have IHSS to remain safely in their homes, CDSS established exemptions for limited, specific circumstances that allow the maximum weekly hours to be exceeded.

IHSS caregivers who met certain requirements before particular dates, or who have extraordinary circumstance, and provide services for two or more live-in family member IHSS recipients and work up to 90 hours per week, may qualify for more hours, as long as they do not exceed 360 hours per month.

This equates to $5,040 per month today.

Every child with special needs deserves full supervised care, and no family should be turned away. 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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