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Can I Still Apply for IHSS During COVID-19 Quarantine?

California State’s In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS) provides a helpful program to get financial support every month if you are the parent of a child with special needs such as autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy or another disability. And if you have lost your job during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and now take care of your child in quarantine, disability benefits such as IHSS and Protective Supervision allow you to be employed as your child’s in-home caretaker. But can you still apply for IHSS during COVID-19 quarantine?

How to Qualify for IHSS

  • If you quit your job or can’t get a job because you must care for your disabled child, AND
  • If no other suitable care provider is available (willing and able), AND
  • If the child is at risk of out-of-home placement or inadequate care.
  • If both parents live in the home, one parent may get paid when the other parent is working, in school, sleeping, or disabled.

Apply for IHSS

Counties throughout California now must focus on applications and approve needed IHSS services during COVID-19 quarantine. IHSS social workers must make sure new IHSS providers are enrolled. Counties must answer and return phone calls from you and your providers as soon as possible.
IHSS may not stop or decrease your IHSS services until after June 30, 2020.
In order to show that your child is eligible for Protective Supervision and IHSS, you need extensive paperwork proving that your child is at risk of injury if left unsupervised at any time during a twenty-four-hour day. This documentation must give clear examples of things your child will do things to hurt him or herself or that he or she is in harm’s way if left alone. This includes:

  • A list of injuries
  • Medical documentation
  • Third-party letters
  • Additional letters from doctors
  • Other forms

Documentation During COVID-19 Quarantine

Even though IHSS applicants must get a Health Care Certification (SOC 873) form from their doctor and give it to the IHSS program before IHSS services can be provided, right now due to COVID-19 quarantine, you can get IHSS without the SOC 873 form.
Here is how it works: If you cannot get your doctor to fill in the SOC 873 form because of COVID-19 quarantine, you can get up to 90 days to submit a SOC 873 form to IHSS.
When doing this, first the county will give you IHSS services and 45 days for the SOC 873 form to be completed and returned.
If you need more time, you should call the county and ask for another 45 days. You should explain to the county why your doctor cannot complete the SOC 873 form yet.

The IHSS At-Home Assessment

Counties can put off the in-home reassessment through June 30, 2020. Most reassessments will be done by phone through June 30, 2020.
Face-to-face assessments still must be done when processing an IHSS application. Counties must collect as much information as possible over the phone when a face-to-face assessment is needed. IHSS social workers may also ask you if you have been exposed to COVID-19 before coming to your home. Your IHSS social worker cannot complete an in-home assessment if he/she has COVID-19 symptoms or may have been exposed to COVID-19.
Social workers must take precautions during home visits. This includes maintaining a six-foot distance between you and other people in your home and using Personal Protective Equipment, when needed.
The assessment evaluates:

  • Your child’s physical/mental condition, living/social situation, and ability to perform various functions of daily life
  • Your statement of need
  • Medical records/physicians’ documents
  • Other information the case manager may consider necessary and appropriate to assess the need

If you are overwhelmed and you feel you need help, you can always reach out to 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.
Dial (877) 762-0702 or email us at

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