Top 4 Parent Questions About IHSS Answered

Event Recap
Mar. 15, 2022Updated Oct. 5, 2022

Your child needs in-home support, but now what? How do you know whether your child qualifies for public funding for in-home care? On March 3, 2022, our Public Benefits Specialist, Lisa Concoff Kronbeck, gave us the breakdown on how Medi-Cal’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program applies to kids ages 0-18 to help parents get started. Check out the top questions and her expert answers from our live event here!

If you missed the event or want to review what we learned, you can watch the full recording here. This will be a recurring event, so keep an eye on our Facebook page for the next one.

What is IHSS?

As Lisa explains, IHSS is an initiative to help elderly people and adults and children with disabilities remain safely in their homes and communities instead of being placed in an institution due to their significant care needs. If you're new to IHSS, listen to her brief overview in this clip:

Who is eligible for IHSS?

Eligibility for IHSS services isn't based on a child's diagnosis but whether their specific care needs exceed that of a typically developing child of the same age, and whether the child is at risk of out-of-home placement without these services. Hear Lisa's explanation in this clip:
During our live event, some parents had questions about whether the inability to perform certain self-care tasks would qualify a child for IHSS. As we explain in our article IHSS: Learn the Essentials, an IHSS case worker will use an age-based functional skills index, along with a ranking scale, to assess your child's ability to perform tasks like bowel and bladder care, ambulation, hygiene, dressing, and respiration, just to name a few examples.

What is a parent provider, and do you qualify?

IHSS can provide funding to help cover a child's care needs for certain tasks beyond what a parent would be expected to provide to a typically developing child of the same age. In some cases, parents who meet those extraordinary care needs for their child can be authorized as the paid IHSS provider for those services for. However, there are some limitations. In the clip below, Lisa explains in what situations parents can qualify as a provider and where it would be permitted to hire outside help:

What should you know before applying for IHSS?

Lisa wants parents to know that there's no such thing as "denial by phone." If an IHSS worker tries to tell you over the phone that your child isn't eligible, don't be discouraged; apply anyway, and if you get a written denial, you can appeal it. During our live event, Alexis P. said, "This is exactly what I am going through. They told me my daughter was not eligible and basically didn't want to continue the application, so I had to speak with a supervisor in office." If your application process doesn't go smoothly, know that you're not alone!

In the clip below, Lisa offers other tips for parents who are applying to IHSS for the first time:

If you have questions about applying for IHSS or other public benefits, make sure to attend our next live event to ask your question in the chat and hear from our experts and fellow parents! Keep an eye on our Facebook page to learn more.
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Contents


Overview

What is IHSS?

Who is eligible for IHSS?

What is a parent provider, and do you qualify?

What should you know before applying for IHSS?

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