In-Home Supportive Services

The Details

From the State
updated December 30, 2020

The Benefit

In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) provide people with low-income who have disabilities or are 65 years old or older with in-home and personal care services to help them live safely in their own homes. Services you can get include:

  • Domestic services, such as sweeping, vacuuming, taking out the garbage, wheelchair cleaning and battery recharging, and changing bed linens
  • Related services, such as meal preparation and cleanup, laundry, and shopping
  • Personal care services, such as feeding, bathing, grooming, dressing, bowel and bladder care, and help with medications
  • Transportation to medical appointments or alternative sources of services like day programs
  • Removal and cleanup of yard hazards
  • Heavy cleaning
  • Protective supervision for cognitively or mentally impaired persons to safeguard from self-injury or hazard
  • Paramedical services, as ordered by a physician, such as injections, range of motion exercises, and catheter insertion
  • Help with personal care services at a disabled person’s workplace, but not with job-related services.

IHSS is often seen as an alternative to out-of-home placement, such as assisted living or nursing facilities.

IHSS does not provide 24-hour care. If you need 24-hour care, you will need to make other arrangements for your non-IHSS hours, such as through a Home and Community-Based Waiver (HCBW). To learn more about HCBWs, contact the Department of Health Care Services In-Home Operations at 1-916-552-9105 (Northern California) or 1-213-897-6774 (Southern California).

Your Responsibilities with Your Care Provider

You are responsible for hiring, firing, and supervising your care provider. If your county has contracted IHSS providers, you can hire them to provide you with the necessary services. You can also hire a friend, relative, neighbor, or other care provider.

Wages for IHSS care providers vary from county to county. You and your care provider must submit timesheets for all authorized services provided. The state will handle payment of your care provider(s) unless you are getting advance pay.

The In-Home Supportive Services Consumer Training Handbook (PDF) offers detailed information about how to supervise a care provider, including issues like hiring, firing, communication, safety, and handling payment. There is more information about this on the California Department of Social Services’ website.

Advance Pay
Advance pay means the state sends you funds before your In-Home Supportive Services are performed, so you can pay your care provider directly. To get advance pay, you must be considered “severely disabled,” meaning yo