In-Home Supportive Services

The In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Program provides services to more than 600,000 low-income older adults and people with disabilities, including children.

Public Authorities have trained and registered more than 576,000 providers throughout California, allowing some of the state’s most vulnerable populations to remain with greater independence safely in their homes instead of in an out-of-home institutional care facility.

IHSS providers assist with a wide variety of care services, including:

  • cleaning
  • meal preparation
  • bathing
  • grooming
  • dispensing medications

There is a maximum of 66 hours per week that a provider can work, but there are exemptions to this policy.

To qualify for IHSS, a recipient must be 65 years or over, blind, or disabled and in most cases have income at or below the level necessary to qualify for the Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Program (SSI/SSP). Children with disabilities are also potentially eligible for IHSS. County social workers perform an assessment to determine the number of hours and type of services needed to authorize an IHSS consumer. The consumer or his/her guardian/conservator is responsible for hiring, firing, and supervising their individual provider.


The IHSS program allows individuals to live at home rather than in an institutional setting like a nursing home. The program can enhance the quality of life by making it easier to live at home, and it reduces the time and financial burden on family and friends. By preventing or delaying the transition to a facility like a nursing home or other long-term care facility, the program can save money for the state.

Individual Eligibility Requirement

  • Current recipient of Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP)
  • Eligible for SSI/SSP, with the exception of income in excess of the SSI/SSP income levels
  • Eligibility for SSI/SSP, including income, but without SSI/SSP
  • Qualified Medi-Cal recipient who meets SSI/SSP disability criteria

Eligibility Criteria for All IHSS Applicants and Recipients

  • Residency in California and reside in the United States
  • Medi-Cal eligibility determination
  • Reside at home (acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, and licensed community care facilities are not eligible)
  • Complete a Health Care Certification form

Authorized Services

Services are based on the provision of personal care. Types of services that can be authorized through IHSS include:

  • housecleaning
  • meal preparation
  • laundry
  • grocery shopping
  • personal care services (ex: bowel and bladder care)
  • bathing
  • grooming
  • paramedical services
  • accompaniment to medical appointments
  • medication management
  • protective supervision for the mentally impaired

IHSS recipients are generally eligible to receive up to 283 hours per month of assistance. 

Contact your county Public Authority office for further information.