Prepare for the IHSS In-Home Visit

Jul. 2, 2021Updated Oct. 5, 2022
You and your child will be interviewed in your home to determine eligibility and need for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). Based on the information they gather, IHSS will assess the types of services needed and the number of hours they’ll authorize for each service. This assessment will include information given by you and, if appropriate, by your family, friends, physician, or other licensed healthcare professional. Learn about what you need to know before, during, and after the in-home visit here.

Before the visit

After you submit your initial paperwork, you will receive a notice from IHSS including the time and date of your in-home visit, along with a list of any documentation you will need to provide during the visit. This may include medical documentation, copies of assessments, and identification and proof of eligibility to work in the United States, if you plan to be your child’s provider.

Your child must be present for the visit. If you and your child are unavailable during the time slot assigned by IHSS, you must notify the caseworker as soon as possible to set a new appointment. If you are not home when the caseworker arrives, your application will likely be denied.

For further in-depth reading on preparing for the caseworker’s home visit, see Disability Rights California’s publication “IHSS Self-Assessment and Fair Hearing Guide.” Be aware that this guide is meant for both children and adults, so some services may not be applicable.

5 things to bring to home visit infographic

During the visit

IHSS uses a “functional index ranking” to determine age-appropriate skills based on the Adapted Vineland Social Maturity Scale. The caseworker will interview you about your child’s self-care skills in the areas listed on this chart, so it may be useful to review it in advance and think about your child’s age and skill level for each self-care task that a typically developing child would be expected to perform independently. Although this chart uses numeric ranking, your caseworker will not ask you to rank your child’s skills on that basis; you should be prepared to discuss them qualitatively by describing what your child can and cannot do.

You may also wish to provide the caseworker with copies of your child’s ABA assessments, Individualized Program Plan (IPP), and/or Individualized Education Plan (IEP), if you think they will be beneficial to your child’s case.

If you know that you will be applying for protective supervision and/or paramedical services, you may want to have these documents already prepared for the caseworker, along with documentation of need. If you are requesting paramedical services, the caseworker may visit your home again with a nurse from IHSS to go over the specific services on the form.

You should also be prepared to fill out additional forms when the caseworker arrives. Some common documents you may be asked to fill out include:

  • Tax forms (W-4 and I-9) to confirm identification and eligibility to work in the United States.

  • SOC 2298, the Live-In Provider Self-Certification, which confirms that you are a live-in provider and your IHSS income is tax-exempt.

  • SOC 450, the Voluntary Services Certification that lists people who are voluntarily providing unpaid services to the child and what services they are providing. You should write, “Nobody is volunteering to provide IHSS-eligible services without payment.”

  • SOC 825, the 24-hour care plan for protective supervision. This form does not require great detail; it is simply meant to ensure that arrangements have been made for 24-hour coverage for a child who requires 24-hour supervision. A sample response might read, “8:00 a..m. to 3:00 p.m. at school with 1:1 aide. I provide all supervision outside of school hours.”

Here are some tips from Undivided's Public Benefits Specialist, Lisa Concoff Kronbeck, to keep in mind when gathering this documentation:

After the visit

After your child’s home visit, you should gather and submit any additional documentation that you and the caseworker have discussed. This may include further medical documentation, or protective services and paramedical supervision forms and documentation if you did not have them already prepared for the home visit.

As we mentioned in our article about the application process, the IHSS office usually will not let you know if required documentation is missing or lost; they will often simply issue a denial letter or neglect to award hours for the service (for example, if the protective supervision documentation is missing).

To ensure a smooth application process, confirm that IHSS received all paperwork submitted on your child’s behalf, including documentation and forms submitted by medical providers. Have your child’s case number available whenever you call to confirm receipt of documents. Repeat this step every time you submit a new batch of documents.

Tip: Keep copies of everything you submit, along with the date you submitted the documents. You should also ask your doctor to provide you with a copy of any documents they send to IHSS, should anything need to be resubmitted.




Before the visit

During the visit

After the visit

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Related Parent Questions

How do I apply for IHSS paramedical hours?
Paramedical services are services ordered and directed by the child’s physician or other licensed medical provider. Write down each paramedical service they have ordered, about how long it takes you to perform the task, and how frequently it occurs.
How many In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) hours can I receive?
An IHSS recipient is classified as severely impaired if they are authorized for 20 or more hours per week of non-medical personal services, paramedical services, and meal preparation. A severely impaired IHSS recipient can be authorized for up to 283 hours per month.
Can I get protective supervision for a child under five years old?
Small children generally require very close supervision whether they have a disability or not. However, age cannot be the sole deciding factor in denying protective supervision. Your documentation, including logs of injuries and prevented injuries, will be key to securing this service.

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