IHSS application processing and reassessments

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) reiterates the In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) requirements for processing applications, completing reassessment, and issuing Quality Improvement Actions Plans.  

Individuals have the right to apply for IHSS services or make an application through another person on their behalf. Counties are required to accept IHSS applications by telephone, by fax, or in person.  If the county has the capability, it must also accept applications online and by email. The applicant’s protected date of eligibility is the date the applicant requests services. Case Management, Information and Payrolling System (CMIPS) will automatically check for Medi-Cal eligibility. If the applicant is ineligible for Medi-Cal when they apply, they may be authorized services back to the protected date of eligibility. Prior to authorization of IHSS services, recipients must submit a Health Care Certification form (SOC 873) completed by a licensed health care professional, except when the recipient is at imminent risk of out of home placement.

People at imminent risk of out of home placement can be granted IHSS immediately, and be given 45 days to submit the health care certification, and can have up to 90 days for good cause.  

For purposes of monitoring counties’ compliance with application processing, CDSS will use the protected date of eligibility, and a 90-day timeframe to allow for the 45 days which may be necessary to complete the required Medi-Cal eligibility determination and the Health Care Certification form.

Counties must reassess individuals’ IHSS eligibility every year, and each time a recipient notifies the county of a change in circumstances. Counties should prioritize Communities First Choice Options (CFCO) annual reassessments because these recipients are typically most vulnerable. 

Although CDSS requires 100% compliance with reassessments, CDSS will issue a Quality Improvement Action Plan for counties that are below 90% compliance rate for CFCO recipients and an 80% compliance rate for all other recipients.  (ACIN I-58-21, June 14, 2021.)