In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)


Step-by-Step Guide to Apply for In Home Supportive Services (IHSS)


In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) is a state program that helps pay for
at-home services for low-income elderly, blind or disabled persons, so that they can remain safely in their own home. Disabled children are also eligible for IHSS.

Some of the services that can be approved through IHSS include:

  • housecleaning and laundry
  • making meals and grocery shopping
  • personal care services (such as bowel and bladder care, bathing, grooming etc.)
  • taking you to doctors’ appointments or treatment
  • protective supervision for the mentally impaired

Once you have been approved for IHSS, you will need to hire a “provider,”
someone who will receive the payment from IHSS for providing these services for you. You are considered the “consumer/recipient.”

If a family member is currently taking care of you, they can apply to be an IHSS provider and must go through the IHSS application process. For instructions on completing a “provider” application, please see Application Process for Providers section of this guide.



Who is eligible to receive In-Home Supportive Services?

You may be eligible if you:

  • Are 65 years of age, disabled or blind
  • Have a physical disability and are at risk for placement at a care facility
  • Need someone to help you with taking care of yourself at home
  • Physically live in the United States and are a California resident
  • Have received eligibility for Medi-Cal. If not, the IHSS social worker can help with this.
  • Live at home or in a relative’s home. Acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities and licensed community care facilities are not considered “home.”
  • Submit a completed Health Care Certification form from your health care provider.

You must also meet these criteria to be eligible:

Personal property may not be more than $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple
[Property that counts includes: cash, checking and savings accounts,
stocks, bonds, trust deeds, real estate/property (not the home you own
or live in), cars and recreational vehicles, promissory notes and loans.
Property not counted includes: the home you own and live in, one car
needed for transportation to medical appointments or work, and all life
insurance policies if the combined face value is $1,500 or less.]



Step 1: Submit an application. See the following instructions below in

“How to Apply” in your county.

You must be eligible for SSI and Medi-Cal benefit to be eligible for IHSS.
[If you are receiving SSI payments or Medi-Cal benefits, an IHSS social
worker will make a home visit to determine eligibility for IHSS.
If you do not receive SSI payments or Medi-Cal benefits, talk with the IHSS social worker about your eligibility.]

Step 2: During the home visit, the IHSS social worker will evaluate the types of IHSS services you need. Based on the type and amount of help you need, IHSS will authorize the number of hours you quality for. The IHSS Social Worker will gather this information from you and if appropriate from your family, friends, physician or health care team.

You will receive a written notice for the approval or denial of Medi-Cal
benefits and IHSS. If approved for IHSS, the services and number of hours
per month that have been authorized will be listed on the notice.

Step 3: Once approved for IHSS, you as the “consumer/recipient” must hire someone (the IHSS service provider) to help you.

  • You, as the IHSS consumer/recipient will be considered the “provider’s employer.” It is your responsibility as the IHSS consumer to hire, train, supervise and, if necessary, fire your “provider.”
  • If you cannot find someone to hire as your “provider,” the IHSS social worker may be able to find someone for you. The IHSS agency has a database of approved providers who have cleared the requirements to be providers, including background checks.



There are a few ways to apply for IHSS, depending on the county in which you live. You can complete an application and mail it, fax it or take it in person to your county IHSS office (recommended for expedited processing). You can also apply by calling your county’s IHSS office.

Important: Gather Required Information Before Applying
It is helpful to have the following information when applying:

  • Social Security number and card
  • Telephone number
  • The number of people living in the home with the applicant and their ages
  • Income and assets information
  • Utility bill (for proof of address)
  • Your health information, including doctor’s name and telephone number

Los Angeles County
Call: In Los Angeles County, you can apply by phone by calling
(888) 944-IHSS (4477) or (213) 744-IHSS (4477) or complete
the application SOC 295 – Application For In-Home Supportive
Services, available at SOC 295 (1/15) – Application For In-Home Supportive Services .
Los Angeles County now allows individuals to print and mail or fax in an application.

Print and mail the completed application to:
IHSS Applications
2707 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90007

You may also print and fax the application to Metro IHSS by secure fax to (213) 947-4591. For questions, please call the IHSS Helpline at (888) 822-9622 or visit the Los Angeles County IHSS website at

Riverside County
Riverside County offers three ways to submit your application:
1. Call: (888) 960-4477 to apply by phone on Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding county holidays.
2. Online: Apply at
3. Email: Submit your completed SOC 295 application available at SOC 295 (1/15) – Application For In-Home Supportive Services via email to:

For additional questions, please visit:

San Bernardino County
You (as the consumer/recipient), your family, friends, physicians or anyone
who has knowledge about your needs can make a referral to IHSS by calling.

Call: You must make a referral for IHSS to the San Bernardino County
Department of Aging and Adult Services by calling the IHSS
Central Intake Unit at (877) 800-4544.

For more information for San Bernardino County can be found at



The person who you hire to provide the services for you is called a “provider.” If you do not know who you would like to hire, the IHSS social worker may be able to find someone for you.

All IHSS providers must complete all of the following enrollment requirements:

Step 1: Complete and sign the IHSS Provider Enrollment Form (SOC 426)
available at SOC 426 – In-Home Supportive Services Provider Enrollment Form

  • Submit the completed form to the county in person.
  • Bring original photo identification or Social Security card to verify provider’s identity. The county will photocopy these and return the originals.

Step 2: The provider must attend an on-site provider orientation to learn about IHSS rules and requirements for being a provider. Your county’s IHSS office will tell you when and where you can attend an orientation session. Please contact your county IHSS office to find out their IHSS provider orientation process.

Step 3: Complete and sign the Provider Enrollment Agreement, SOC 846
available at SOC 846 – In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Provider Enrollment Agreement. The SOC 846 states that the provider
understands and agrees to the rules of the IHSS program and the responsibilities of being an IHSS provider.

Step 4: Submit fingerprints and pass a criminal background investigation
from the Department of Justice. The provider is responsible for paying for
the cost for this service.


The State of California provides resources and information on IHSS.

*IHSS Consumer Education Videos
*IHSS Applications — also available in Spanish, Chinese and Armenian
*IHSS Provider Resources

Download the step-by-step guides:

Click on each language to download

Introduction and Services and IHSS program

Spanish Video

Chinese Video

Armenian Video