What is IHSS?
In Home Supportive Services, or also known as IHSSS, is a program that is a statewide program in California that is overseen by each county under the direction and administration of the California Department of Social Services. IHSS provides specific services for eligible individuals who are over the age of 65, blind, or disabled. This specific program is funded by federal, state, and county dollars.

Primary Goal of IHSS?
The goal of IHSS is to provide individuals the opportunity to live in their own personal residence and receive assistance in the comfort of their own home without the need for out of home care.

Am I Eligible?
The eligibility requirements to receive IHSS include:

  • Reside in California.
  • Are blind, disabled, or 65 years of age or older.
  • Reside in a home, apartment, hotel, family residence (any residence except for a hospital nursing home, or licensed care facility.
  • Must be enrolled in Medi-Cal.
  • If an individual receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or meets all the Medi-Cal income eligibility requirements, he/she may receive IHSS services.

What Services are Provided Through IHSS?
Some of the services that are provided include:

  • Personal care that is non-medical which include dressing, bathing, feeding, grooming toileting
  • Domestic and related services which include cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, taking out the garbage, changing linens
  • Paramedical services such as assisting with injections, medications, wound care, bowel and bladder (catheter) care under the direction of a licensed medical professional
  • Transportation and accompaniment to and from doctor appointments or alternative sources of services such as day programs
  • Protective Supervision for individuals with a mental health disability or cognitive disability to prevent self-harm, injury, or hazard

Does My State Provide Similar Services?
Every state has their own rules, regulations, and services. One way to research if the state in which you reside in provides similar services related to IHSS is to visit your state’s website and inquire about such services. As each state has a different name for the service. One great website to consider is which provides Medicaid Home Care Benefits information by state.

In addition, we strongly recommend reaching out to a Special Needs Planning Attorney in your state who can guide you and assist you with any specific questions you may have. To find a Special Needs Planning Attorney in your area please visit

DISCLAIMER: The information provided by CPT is for informational purposes only and is intended to be used as a non-legal guide prior to consultation with an attorney familiar with your specific legal situation. CPT is not engaged in the practice of law or in rendering legal advice or counsel. No such legal advice or counseling is either expressly or impliedly intended. This form is not a substitute for the advice or counsel of an attorney. If you require legal advice, you should seek the services of an attorney. © 2017 CPT All rights reserved.

​Sources/Further Reading:
Urbatsch, K., & Fuller, M. (2016). Administering the California special needs trust: A guide for trustees and those who advise them (2nd ed.). Bloomington, IN: IUniverse.