IHSS cares for seniors

In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)

IHSS helps low-income elderly and people of any age living with a disability remain living safely and independently in their own homes. IHSS is an alternative to out-of-home care.

IHSS clients find, select and supervise their own caregivers. IHSS Payroll pays the wages of caregivers for providing services necessary to maintain safety and independence in their home.

Services are limited to tasks the client is unable to do on their own.

Who is Eligible for IHSS?

A person must be a legal California resident living in his/her own home who needs assistance to remain safely at home, and one of the following:

  • Receiving full-scope Medi-Cal.
  • Meet the financial requirements for Medi-Cal (through may not be receiving Medi-Cal).
  • Receiving SSI / SSP benefits (Supplemental Security Income / State Supplementary Payment).

If you're unsure, you can apply for IHSS and eligibility will be determined by an Eligibility Worker at the IHSS office.

Find more eligibility information through the California Department of Social Services.

What Kind of Help is Available?

When a person or couple is eligible for IHSS, a social worker comes to the home to assess the need for services. These may include:

  • Domestic Services - sweeping, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, dusting and picking up. 
  • Related Domestic Services - meal preparation, meal clean-up, laundry and shopping. 
  • Personal Care - bathing, grooming, bowel and bladder care, feeding, dressing, respiration, ambulation, care and assistance with prosthetics and other services.
  • Transportation - transportation to medical appointments. 
  • Protective Supervision - behavior monitoring due to chronic cognitive impairment.
  • Paramedical - activities that are invasive to the body and are recommended by a physician.

Once Referred, What are the Next Steps?

Once IHSS receives a client referral and financial eligibility is determined, a social worker is assigned to the client. The social worker will make a home visit to assess the services needed for the client to remain safely and independently in their own home. Needs are based on the client's individual medical condition or disability and their level of ability.

After the client has been authorized for IHSS, the case is reviewed annually, with a yearly home visit by the social worker. The client or social worker may request another assessment at any time client changes affect the need for services.

Clients are their caregivers' employers. The client is responsible for hiring, supervising, signing caregivers' time sheets and firing the caregiver. IHSS Payroll processes payments to caregivers, including notification of share of any cost (client co-payment). 

How Do I Find an IHSS Caregiver?

IHSS Clients are responsible for finding, hiring, supervising, signing caregiver time sheets and firing their caregivers. Once a caregiver is hired, IHSS Payroll pays the person's wages. 

You can hire a caregiver who is:

To find a caregiver through the Public Authority Caregiver Registry, visit www.sonomacounty-ihsspa.org. Client information is taken by phone, then a Provider Enrollment Form mailed to the caregiver for completion. The client and caregiver must both sign the Provider Enrollment Form before a time sheet is mailed  to the caregiver.

How To Apply

(707) 565-5900
Fax: (707) 565-5957

Anyone can refer a potential client to the IHSS Program. People may call for themselves, or a neighbor, family member, hospital staff or other community organization may also make a referral. The application process is handled by telephone. The office is open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.– 5 p.m. 

The Application Process takes about 30 days:

  • Call (707) 565-5900 to make a referral
  • Call is routed to the Initial Assessment Unit (IAU) who will describe the services available
  • Referral is forwarded to an Eligibility Worker who will screen for financial eligibility
  • If the referral meets financial eligibility, a social worker is assigned and contacts the client for an initial home visit to determine the services needed.

IHSS Payroll

(707) 565-2852
Fax: (707) 565-5919

The main function of IHSS Payroll is to process caregiver/provider time sheets to ensure prompt and accurate payments. In addition to processing time sheets, IHSS Payroll also:

  • Sends out time sheets and caregiver/provider packets
  • Answers questions about payroll issues, for example, issues with paychecks, hours, and share of cost (SOC)
  • Answers questions about how to get a caregiver/provider started with IHSS. IHSS Payroll can answer your questions by phone or e-mail.

IHSS Payroll can answer your questions by phone or e-mail. The office is open Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m..

Contact Information

In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)
Adult and Aging Services
Human Services Department

A social worker is available to answer questions and to help determine whether a person or couple is eligible for IHSS.

Most information is given over the telephone so a visit to our office is not necessary.

Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
3725 Westwind Boulevard
Suite 101
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.510185, -122.796579

Contact Information

IHSS Payroll
Adult and Aging Services
Human Services Department
Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Physical Address
3725 Westwind Boulevard
Suite 101
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.510185, -122.796579
Mailing Address
PO Box 1539
Santa Rosa, CA 95402

Senior Resource Guide

Senior Resources Guide thumbnail 75

Download a directory of services, agencies and programs assisting seniors, dependent adults and caregivers.


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