Assessing IHSS applicants when being discharged from out of home placement

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued a reminder to counties regarding completing preliminary assessment of In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) eligibility for applicants and recipients who are being discharged from hospitals, medical institutions, or non-medical out-of-home placements.

IHSS applicants can be preliminarily assessed and services authorized prior to discharge from the out-of-home placement.  The social worker can help the applicant apply for IHSS while they are in the out-of-home care facility and they must determine what services the applicant will need when they return home.

When there is a referral for an IHSS applicant in an out-of-home facility, counties must complete the assessment in the out-of-home facility.  Counties can get permission from the applicant to work with the facility’s discharge planner or other personal to coordinate documentation for IHSS eligibility.  Counties should prioritize the most vulnerable applicants.

The county must conduct a second needs assessment to determine final service needs when the applicant returns to their own home.

Existing IHSS recipients must inform the county when they are admitted to a hospital or other out-of-home care facility in order to determine services that will not be provided while the recipient is in the facility.  When an IHSS recipient is discharged from an out-of-home care facility and the recipient reports they have additional needs when they return home, the county must do a reassessment.  This reassessment may include working with the facility discharge planner, the recipient’s doctor, or other personnel who are helping with discharge.

Counties should provide all needed IHSS documents to the applicant/recipient prior to discharge.  Counties can email these documents.  With permission, counties can provide the IHSS documents to facility staff.  Counties can work with facility staff to assist in completing documentation.  Discharge paperwork can be accepted instead of the IHSS SOC 873 certification form.  If discharge is to another county, the counties must work with each other.

If the applicant has a provider for when they return home, the social worker should confirm whether they have gone through the provider enrollment process, and if not provide information about how to do that.  If the applicant does not have a provider, the social worker should connect the applicant with the County’s Provider Registry.  (ACIN I-62-23, December 7, 2023.)