In-Home Supportive Services

The In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program provides help to individuals who are unable to remain safely at home without assistance. The IHSS program pays for a wide variety of services, including housecleaning, shopping, meal preparation, laundry, personal care and paramedical services.

Who Is Eligible for IHSS?

IHSS pays for services to California residents who live at home, or who are currently institutionalized but wish to live at home. This fact sheet focuses on individuals or couples who meet the following eligibility rules for SSI/SSP:

  •     Condition: disabled, or blind, or 65 or older, and
  •     Countable Asset Limits (excluding home, one car, and other specific property.): Single, $2,000; Married, $3,000.

Note: There are other ways to qualify for IHSS, and special rules apply for non-citizens.

What Amounts Will IHSS Pay?

If an individual or couple meets both the Condition and Countable Asset rules (above), monthly income (not all income is counted) is compared to the SSI/SSP payment level. In California, the 2020, SSI/SSP payment level is $943.72 for individuals and $1,582.14 for couples (the level differs for blind persons, where only one spouse is eligible and in certain other cases).

  • If monthly income is at or below the SSI/SSP payment level, IHSS will pay the full cost of services, or
  • If monthly income is above the SSI/SSP payment level, services will be paid for but the individual or couple must pay a “share of cost” (equal to the individual’s or couple’s monthly income minus the applicable SSI/SSP payment level).

What About Repayment?

In certain circumstances, the State may seek to recover payments made to Medi-Cal recipients and recovery may only occur after the recipient’s death, and not during the lifetime of a surviving spouse.  IHSS payments are not recoverable under this program and cannot be recovered in any other manner. 

Who Provides the In-Home Services?

In Los Angeles County, the services are provided by service providers chosen directly by the service recipients. A service recipient arranges directly with the service provider. Service providers may include family members, with special rules applying to spouses. The County maintains a list of service providers and can provide their names and telephone numbers.

How to Apply

In Los Angeles County, call the IHSS office at 888-944-4477 or 213-744-4477. Keep track of the dates and names of persons spoken to, and keep a copy of the application and other paperwork. A social worker will visit the applicant(s) to determine what types of services are needed and how many hours of service will be allowed.