If your child has a disability, there are many steps you can take to give him a happy, healthy, and rewarding life. And if your family is struggling financially, you may be eligible to receive benefits such as In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). This funding can be used to meet your child’s daily needs and can help pay the expenses associated with her disability. But, what if you already get financial benefits such as SSI? Can you apply for IHSS and keep your SSI as well?
What is IHSS?
Like SSI, In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) is a program government-run program offered by the state of California. IHSS is designated to help children as well as the elderly who have disabilities to safely remain in their own homes when they are not able to fully care for themselves. It is an alternative to out-of-home care in nursing homes and institutions.
What are the qualifications for IHSS?
If you are a California resident and receive Medi-Cal benefits, you may be eligible for IHSS. Eligibility is assessed with an evaluation regarding whether your child needs the services it provides to stay safely in your own home as an alternative to out-of-home placement.
Applying for IHSS when you already have SSI
Can you keep your SSI and still apply for IHSS? Yes. IHSS payments will not affect a child’s SSI because this is considered exempt income under SSI rules. When IHSS rules changed to allow Medi-Cal funding for parent providers, these payments became income and property exempt under all of the state’s Medi-Cal programs for IHSS provided to children under 21.
How Much Does IHSS Pay in California?
Similar to SSI, IHSS offers financial benefits to families with children with special needs. Recent legislation created various options for counties to implement In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) provider wage and benefit increases. Specifically, recent state minimum wage increases and budget-related legislation adopted in 2017‑18 instituted both temporary and permanent changes to how counties can increase IHSS provider wages and benefits with varying effects on state and county costs.
On January 1, 2019, the minimum wage increased to $12 per hour.
On January 1, 2020, the minimum wage will increase to $13 per hour.
On January 1, 2021, the minimum wage will increase to $14 per hour.
On January 1, 2022, the minimum wage will increase to $15 per hour.
Currently, as an IHSS Protective Supervision provider, the maximum number of hours you can claim is 283 per month. That equates to $3,396 per month today.
How Long will the Application Process Take?
Also like SSI, there is an application process for IHSS. The application must be processed within 30 days following the application. This includes eligibility determination, the needs assessment, and the notice of action. An exception to the 30-day requirement may be made when a disability determination has not been received within the 30-day period, or the person has not moved into his or her own home.
If you feel overwhelmed and you need help, please contact us.
American Advocacy Group is on the front lines every day, making positive change happen for people diagnosed with Autism, Down syndrome and a range of diagnoses across the continuum. As a leading advocate for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, and the premier provider of the support and services people want and need, we understand the system and know how to take action in regard to your best interests.
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