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IHSS Recipients

Important Information


On December 22, 2021, due to the emergence of the Omicron variant, the California Department of Public Health issued an Amendment to the September 28, 2021, Public Health Order.  The Amendment requires IHSS providers to receive a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine after receiving all recommended doses. Providers who are eligible for the booster dose must comply by March 1, 2022. Those who are not yet eligible for a booster dose must comply within 15 days after the recommended time frame for the booster.

Learn more at: Questions & Answers: Adult Care Facilities and Direct Care Worker Vaccine Requirement

NOTE: All other provisions of the September 28, 2021, order are still in effect, including exceptions and exemptions. 


The California Department of Public Health issued a public health order on September 28, 2021, requiring certain providers to be fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine by November 30, 2021.

This health order does not apply to a provider who:

  • Lives with the recipient(s), or
  • Provides services to a family member(s); and
  • Only provides services to a single household.

If your provider is not related to you and/or does not live with you, they must get vaccinated.

Your provider may request for an exemption from the vaccine requirement for a qualified medical reason or religious belief.  To be exempted, your provider must provide you a signed copy of the COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption Form.

*Also available in the following languages:

To qualify for the qualified medical reason exemption, your provider must include a written statement signed by the doctor, nurse practitioner, or other licensed medical professional under the license of a physician, stating that the provider qualifies for the exemption and indicating the length of the exemption (may be unknown or permanent).

If you have determined that your provider is eligible for one of the exemptions, then, you must require your provider to:

  1. Obtain a weekly COVID-19 test at one of the State testing sites (COVID-19 Testing Sites in California) until vaccinated; and
  2. Wear a surgical mask or N95 mask, at all times, while providing services in your home.  Masks may be obtained from the Personal Assistance Services Council (PASC).

NOTE: As the recipient and employer of record, you are responsible for requesting from your provider the proof of vaccination or the completed and signed vaccination exemption form, determine whether your provider is eligible for an exemption, and enforce the vaccination requirements. 

IMPORTANT: If your provider tests positive for COVID-19, they should not be providing IHSS services.  For help with finding a new care provider during your provider’s absence, you can contact:

Basic Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for IHSS you must:

  • Be 65 years old or older, blind, and/or disabled as defined by Social Security Administration (SSA) standards.  Disabled children are also potentially eligible for IHSS;
  • Be a United States citizen or a noncitizen with satisfactory immigration status;
  • Be a California resident;
  • Live in your own home.  Hospitals, nursing homes, and licensed community care facilities are not considered “own home”;
  • Be eligible for Medi-Cal benefits:
  • Receive or be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or State Supplemental Payments (SSP); or
  • Meet all SSI/SSP eligibility criteria except for income or citizenship or immigration status.
  • Applicants who do not receive SSI/SSP payments or Medi-Cal benefits must first be determined to receive Medi-Cal benefits under Medi-Cal rules and regulations;
  • Individuals with income above the SSI/SSP limits, may be required to pay for a portion of their IHSS benefits.  This is called a “Share of Cost”.  A “Share of Cost” means you may be required to pay for a portion of your IHSS benefits directly to your provider.
  • Participate in a home assessment interview; and
  • Obtain a health care certification from a licensed health care professional (physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, etc.) indicating that you are unable to safely perform one or more activities and without IHSS, would be at risk of placement in out-of-home care. Applicants may provide the SOC 873 - In-Home Supportive Services Program Health Care Certification Form to certify their need for IHSS.

*Also available in the following languages:

SOC 873 Spanish (Español)

SOC 873 Chinese (中文)

SOC 873 Armenian (Հայերեն)

SOC 873 Cambodian (ភាសាខ្មែរ)

SOC 873 Korean (한국어)

SOC 873 Russian (Pусский)

SOC 873 Tagalog (Tagalog)

SOC 873 Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt)

SOC 873 Farsi (فارسی)

  • Your health care professional may return this form via fax, U.S. Mail or you may return it in-person.
  • You may submit other acceptable forms of alternative documentation, signed by a LHCP, if the SOC 873 is not available. This documentation must:
  1. Indicate that the applicant/recipient is unable to independently perform one or more activities of daily living;
  2. Describe the applicant’s/recipient’s condition or functional limitation that has contributed to the need for assistance; and
  3. Be signed and dated by the LHCP within 60 calendar days of submission to the Social Worker.
  • Examples of alternative documentation include, but are not limited to:
    • Hospital discharge plans; and
    • Nursing facility discharge plans.
  • Personal property may not exceed $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple.
  • Properties that will not count in determining your eligibility:
  • The home you own and live in;
  • One automobile needed for transportation to appointments or work; and
  • All life insurance policies if the combined face value is not more than $1,500.

Properties that will count

  • Cash on hand;
  • Checking and saving accounts;
  • Value of stocks, bonds, and trust deeds;
  • Value of real property other than the home you own or live in;
  • Additional automobiles and recreational vehicles; and
  • Promissory notes and loans.
Recipient Frequently Asked Questions
Senior man with care worker at home