What is IHSS?
The In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program helps elderly, blind and disabled people to safely remain in their own homes when they are not able to fully care for themselves or handle routine household tasks. IHSS encourages independence and self-reliance, when possible, and is an alternative to out-of-home care in institutions or nursing facilities.
Services authorized by IHSS to help you remain safely in your home include:
- Domestic (housekeeping)
- Related Services (meal preparation, meal clean-up, laundry, shopping for food and errands)
- Personal Care (assistance with: ambulation, transfers, respiration, bathing/hygiene, dressing, eating, bowel and bladder, medications, repositioning and Paramedical)
- Accompaniment to medical appointments
- Protective Supervision for persons with cognitive impairments
How Do I Apply for IHSS?
If you are a Fresno County resident, you can apply by calling our office Monday thru Friday, between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM at (559) 600-6666 and select Option 1 ”To Apply” after making your language selection. If you need translation services, we can call you back using an interpreter service.
Or, if unable to call, you may request an application here and a Social Worker will call you back to start the application.
Once we receive your information we treat it as confidential. We will not be able to provide updates to anyone else without your permission.
Information Needed to Apply for IHSS
Whether you are calling to apply for IHSS on your own behalf or on the behalf of someone else, please have as much of the following information as possible:
- Full Name
- Home address (and mailing address, if different)
- Telephone and cell number
- Social Security Number
- Date of Birth
- Marital status
- Preferred spoken and written language
- Income information
- Name and phone number of a back-up contact
It is important to let the staff member know if you, or the person on whose behalf you are calling, is:
- Terminally ill and receiving hospice
- About to be discharged from a hospital, rehabilitation facility or nursing home
- Has a caregiver or someone direct their care
- Has a mental impairment
- Difficulties with communication (language, speech impediments)
- Involvement with other community agencies [example: Central Valley Regional Center (CVRC), Fresno Madera Area Agency on Aging (FMAAA)]
Basic Eligibility Requirements
- You must be:
- Aged (65 or older), or
- Blind, or
- Disabled (disability must be one that will last longer than one year).
- You must physically live in the US, California and Fresno County.
- Don't live in Fresno County? Find your county IHSS office.
- You must live at home or in an abode of your own choosing
- Hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities and residential care homes do not meet the IHSS "own home" requirements.
- You must meet low-income financial requirements
- Qualify for Medi-Cal based on your income, or
- Receive Supplemental State Income (SSI)
- You must have functional limitations that prevent you from caring for yourself.
- You must be able to remain safely at home with IHSS provided.
- You must provide IHSS with a Health Care Certification form filled out by your physician.
Application Process Overview
- Applications are taken by IHSS over the phone. Your case number will be given to you when you apply.
- If not already approved for Medi-Cal, applicants will be referred to apply.
- The Health Care Certification form will be mailed to you to take to your physician.
- An IHSS Social Worker will visit you at your home to discuss your functional strengths and limitations to evaluate if IHSS will help you remain safely at home. The Social Worker will also review information provided by your physician on the Health Care Certification form.
- The IHSS Social Worker will send you a Notice of Action to let you know if you have been approved or denied for IHSS.
- If approved, your Notice of Action lists the services and hours that you have been authorized.
- If denied, your Notice of Action will state why you were not approved.
IHSS Recipient Responsibilities
Persons approved for IHSS are responsible to hire, supervise and terminate providers. Providers can be a family member, spouse, parent, friend, neighbor or hired from the Provider Registry.
- Send your chosen provider to the Fresno County IHSS Public Authority to become an Enrolled Provider.
- Direct and train provider(s) to accomplish the services authorized
- Review and approve the provider's timesheets twice a month
The IHSS Social Worker must be notified within 10 days if any of the following occurs:
- Your health changes and you are hospitalized or placed in a nursing or rehab facility.
- You moved or changed your phone number, fill out the Change of Address/Telephone (SOC 840) form and send it to the IHSS Office.
- There are changes in your living situation, such as:
- There has been a significant change in your need for assistance
- There are more or less people living in your home
- Your financial situation changed
- You will be temporarily away from your home