In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Program
What is this service?
The In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Program helps pay for services provided to aged, blind, or disabled individuals who are limited in their ability to care for themselves and cannot live at home safely without in-home care. IHSS is considered an alternative to out-of-home care, such as nursing homes or board and care facilities.
Some services that can be authorized through IHSS include: housecleaning, meal preparation, laundry, grocery shopping, personal care services (such as bowel and bladder care, bathing, grooming and paramedical services), accompaniment to medical appointments, and protective supervision for the mentally impaired.
State informational video: IHSS Introduction and Services
County of San Luis Obispo: Residents: Apply for IHSS
Non Residents: County IHSS Office Contact Information
Who can use this service?
To be eligible for IHSS Services, a person must meet the following conditions:
• Be disabled, blind, or age 65 or older (children potentially eligible)
• Unable to live safely in their own home without assistance
• Meet financial need requirement
What is the Eligibility Criteria for all IHSS Applicants and Recipients?
• Must have Medi-Cal Eligibility.
• Must submit a completed Health Care Certification form.
• Must physically reside in the United States.
• Must also be a California resident.
• Must live at home (acute care hospital, long-term care facilities, and licensed
community care facilities are not considered "own home").
Who can make a referral? Anyone who recognizes a person is in need of in-home assistance may make a referral to IHSS.
Is there a charge for this service?
This service is provided free of charge.
What is the process?
Step 1: Complete an IHSS Application or Referral
County of San Luis Obispo Residents to start an application call the Atascadero Office at (805) 461-6110 or Arroyo Grande Office at (805) 474-2103.
Step 2: Complete Health Care Certification
Complete a Health Care Certification (SOC 873) and submit it to the Social Services Department. A completed Health Care Certification must be received before the County is able to authorize services.
Step 3: County Social Worker Interviews
A County Social Worker will interview an applicant in their home to determine eligibility and need for IHSS. Based on ability to safely perform certain tasks for themselves, the Social Worker assesses the types of services needed and number of hours authorized for each service. The assessment includes information from applicant and, if appropriate, their family, friends, physician or other licensed health care professional.
Step 4: Applicant Notified
An applicant is notified if IHSS has been approved or denied. If an applicant is denied, the applicant is notified of reason for denial. If an applicant is approved, the applicant is notified of services and number of hours that are authorized per month for those services.
Step 5: Applicant Approved
If an applicant is approved for IHSS, the Recipient must hire a Provider (caregiver) to perform the authorized services. The Recipient is considered the Provider's employer, and therefore it is the Recipient's responsibility to hire, train, supervise, and fire the individual Provider.
Step 6: Finding a Provider
If a Recipient does not have a Provider, they may hire someone from the IHSS Public Authority Caregiver Registry. Contact your IHSS Social Worker to request a provider from the Registry.
When and where is this service offered?
To apply, call the office nearest you in the County of San Luis Obispo Monday-Friday, between 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Atascadero: (805) 461-6110
Arroyo Grande: (805) 474-2103
Location, directions and hours of operation
Click on location name to show hours of operation, directions and phone information
Morro Bay Social Services
600 Quintana Road Morro Bay , CA 93442
Tel: (805) 772-6405
Fax: (805) 772-6409
SLO Social Services- Higuera
3433 South Higuera San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Arroyo Grande Social Services
1086 East Grand Avenue Arroyo Grande, CA 93420
681 West Tefft Street Suite 1 Nipomo, CA 93444
Atascadero Social Services
9415 El Camino Real Atascadero, CA 93422
Paso Robles Social Services
406 Spring Street Paso Robles, CA 93446
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find more information about the IHSS Program?
What are potential IHSS Services?
What is a Medi-Cal Share of Cost?
- This is the dollar amount a recipient must agree to pay out of pocket before Medi-Cal will pay benefits. Share-of-Cost is determined by the amount of income reported on the Medi-Cal case.
Share-of-Cost Fact Sheet (English/Spanish)
Are there any tips for hiring and working with a Provider?
What do I need to know about reviewing and approving my provider’s timesheet?
I need a Provider, who can I call?
If you need a provider, please contact your assigned IHSS Social Worker who will make a referral to the IHSS Public Authority Caregiver Registry (link to Caregiver Registry flyer).
The IHSS Public Authority Caregiver Registry has a list of approved screened home care providers who can be matched with IHSS Recipients needing assistance, so they can remain at home safely. All IHSS providers who are a part of the Caregiver Registry have completed state mandated requirements.
What is Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?
The informational video below explains overtime, travel time pay, violations, and provides instructions for completing timesheets and travel claim.
2016 Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) New Program Requirements (English/Spanish)
What is Protective Supervision?
Protective Supervision is a special service for IHSS clients. Eligibility to the service is based on California regulation. The purpose of this service is to keep the client from putting themselves in harm’s way.
Protective Supervision Fact Sheet (English/Spanish)
Protective Supervision for Minor Children (English/Spanish)
How are my Authorized Hours determined?
Authorized Hours are based on several factors, including the recipient’s functional abilities and limitations. If you have questions about your authorized hours or feel that they need to be adjusted for a change in circumstance, contact your Social Worker.
Functional Index Ranking and Hourly Task Guidelines (English/Spanish)
Functional Ranking Criteria (English)
What if I don’t agree with a decision made by my Social Worker?
As an IHSS recipient, you have a right to understand what is happening with your application and program services. If there is ever a situation where you have concerns or questions about your case, contact your Social Worker. If you are unable to resolve your concerns with your Social Worker or a Supervisor, you always have the right to request a fair hearing.
IHSS Recipient Right to File a Fair Hearing (English/Spanish)
Contact Social Services
Child and Adult Hotline Information:
- If you suspect there is an emergency requiring immediate intervention, call 911
- To report suspected child abuse or neglect call the 24 hour Child Abuse Hotline at (805) 781-KIDS (5437) or toll free 1-800-834-KIDS (5437)
- To report suspected elder abuse or neglect call the Adult Services Hotline at (805) 781-1790 during regular business hours, or after business hours call (844) 729-8011