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Who Is Eligible for IHSS in California?

Who Is Eligible for IHSS in California?

Are you taking care of an elderly loved one, or a child with a disability? 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, such as autism and Down syndrome. How do you find out if you are eligible for IHSS in California?

While a variety of benefits are available, the most important for families of children with special needs is “Protective Supervision”. An IHSS provider may receive an hourly wage to observe and monitor a disabled child when he or she needs 24-hour supervision and can continue to safely stay at home. This wage is also exempt from federal income taxes.

Is Your Child Eligible for IHSS?

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.

The In-Home Assessment

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.

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.

How to Apply for IHSS

To apply as an In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) provider, you must fill out an application and submit it to your local county IHSS office. Protective Supervision services can be difficult to obtain and require clear documentation to prove the need for financial benefits.

If you need help, we are here for you.

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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