COVID-19 extension of exceptions to IHSS regulations

The California Department of Social Services has issued guidance regarding extension of  exceptions to In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) regulations because of COVID-19.

Effective August 4, 2020 until the end of the National Emergency, initial assessments for IHSS applicants can be conducted by videoconference for applicants who have been exposed to, present symptoms of, or test positive for COVID-19.

Counties must immediately begin doing reassessments.  Counties that suspended reassessments must conduct all outstanding reassessments that were suspended by December 31, 2020.  Until the end of the National Emergency, counties can conduct reassessments by videoconference.

Until December 31, 2020, when assessments and reassessments are conducted by telephone or videoconference, counties may accept self-attestation in lieu of original signatures on most required forms.  Original signatures are required for the request for paramedical services, designation of authorized representative, and request to provide waiver.

Until December 31, 2020, counties can continue to allow new IHSS applicants who cannot get a SOC 873 certification form from their health care provider to be considered at imminent risk of out of home placement.  Applicants should have an additional 45 days for good cause to submit a SOC 873 after the county requests it.

Paid sick leave for COVID-19 for IHSS providers will continue in effect until December 31, 2020.  The IHSS provider backup system and additional $2 for backup providers established in ACL 20-29, summarized here, will remain in effect until December 31, 2020.

The requirement for an in-person orientation for new IHSS providers and signing of the Provider Enrollment Agreement will continue to be waived until August 31, 2020.  Effective September 1, 2020, orientations can be conducted either in-person or by videoconference.  Providers enrolled between April and August, 2020 must complete the provider orientation and sign the Provider Enrollment Agreement by December 31, 2020.  In person presentation of government issued photo identification and Social Security card continues to be waived until December 31, 2020.  Until then, counties can accept mailed photocopies or faxes of those documents.  (ACL 20-75, July 6, 2020.)