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What is IHSS? 

IHSS is a federal, state, and locally funded program designed to provide personal and domestic services to aged, blind or disabled individuals in their own homes. A person must sign up for Medi-Cal services to be eligible. This can be done separately from IHSS or at the time information for an IHSS application is gathered. For more information on Medi-Cal, please visit the Medi-Cal section on this website or call (530) 527-1911.

Individuals who receive IHSS services are referred to as consumers or recipients and individuals who provide the services are known as providers or caregivers. Those individuals applying for services are referred to as applicants.

The purpose of this program is to allow the consumers to live safely at home for as long as possible without moving to a costly out-of-home placement facility. Services provided by IHSS are based on need and could include:

  • Domestic services such as cleaning, meal preparation and running errands
  • Personal care services such as grooming, bathing, and bowel and bladder needs
  • Transportation to medical services
  • Protective Supervision

Who qualifies for IHSS?

To be eligible for IHSS, you must meet all of the following conditions:

  • Be unable to live at home safely without help
  • Tehama County resident living in own home or home of another
  • Be 65 years of age or older, blind or disabled of any age
  • Be receiving Medi-Cal benefits
  • Meet low income standards set by SSI/SSP (see next paragraph)

Persons receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI/SSP) automatically meet the program’s financial need requirement. A person with income higher than the SSI/SSP standard may be eligible with a share of cost and be required to pay for part of the IHSS services. In addition to the monthly income limits, there are also limits set by Medi-Cal on the amount of resources that a person can own and still receive the services.

How to apply for IHSS

Anyone who recognizes that a person has a need for in-home assistance may refer a client to IHSS. To apply for IHSS, call (530) 527-1911 and asked to be connected with the Officer Of The Day in Adult Services. The Officer of the Day will gather the necessary information from the caller to start the application process. The information needed on the applicant consists of:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Social Security Number (if available)
  • Date of Birth (if available)

What happens next?

An application and other requested information will be sent to the applicant. If the applicant isn’t receiving Medi-Cal services, a Medi-Cal application will be sent to the home. Once the IHSS application packet and the Medi-Cal application is completed and sent back to the Tehama County Department of Social Services, an IHSS Social Worker will call the applicant or representative to set up an appointment to make a home visit where a needs assessment is completed. Once all necessary information is gathered, the IHSS Social Worker will make a decision to grant or deny the application. A Notice of Action will be received by the applicant stating the decision. If granted, the Notice of Action will state the number of hours granted per month. The process to find or sign up a provider can begin through the Public Authority.

What is the Public Authority’s (PA) role within IHSS?

The IHSS Public Authority is a separate entity from the IHSS Program and is located within the Social Services building. The significant role the Public Authority fulfills for IHSS is to offer services that assist consumers with greater access to providers. This has been accomplished by creating a registry of screened IHSS providers. Aside from establishing a registry, the PA is also responsible for ensuring the potential provider completes all the state mandated requirements including a background check through the Department of Justice and attend an orientation. The orientation will educate the potential provider on the duties of a provider and go over fraud prevention within the program. The PA services are provided at no cost to consumers. The Social Worker will give the applicant information about the PA at the home visit.

Does the consumer have any control in choosing a provider?

Yes, while IHSS regulations determine the range of services, it is the consumer who drives the program. The consumer will hire the provider of his/her choice if the provider completes state mandated requirements. If the consumer does not have a provider, the Public Authority (PA) will assist in this process by sending a list of available providers matched to each consumer’s particular needs. The consumer can then interview prospective providers from the list and hire the one they prefer. The Public Authority’s role is to improve the quality of services without interfering with consumer control.

VIDEO TRAINING IS AVAILABLE: For IHSS Recipient and Provider training videos,  including information and training on the new Electronic Timesheets, visit the following links on the CDSS website:

IHSS Recipient Education Videos

IHSS Provider Resources

IHSS Fact Sheets

New Electronic Timesheets Information and Training

For more information on finding or becoming a provider, contact PA at (530) 527-0276.

For more information on fraud prevention or to report suspected fraud within the IHSS program; contact Adult Services at (530) 527-1911 or call the State Medi-Cal Fraud Hotline at 1-800-822-6222.

Download or print a full list of community resources.