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Departmentof Human Services - County of Sonoma Empower, Support, Protect  
Welcome to In-Home Supportive Services -  IHSS    


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OVERVIEW (What is In-Home Supportive Services?)

IHSS is a Sonoma County Human Services Department program designed to help low-income elderly and people of any age living with a disability remain living safely and independently in their own home.  IHSS is an alternative to out-of-home care. Clients of the program select their own caregiver. The program pays the wages of caregivers for providing services necessary to maintain safety and independence in their home.  Services are limited to tasks the individual is unable to do on their own.

Who is Eligible?

A person must be a legal California resident living in his/her own home who needs assistance to remain safely in their home and is either:

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

If you are not sure if you are eligible, you can apply for IHSS and your eligibility will be determined by an Eligibility Worker located at the IHSS office.

You may also find useful eligibility information by clicking on the following link provided by 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.  The services  may include:

  • Domestic Services – sweeping, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, dusting, and picking up. 
  • Services Related to Domestic – 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.

How Does It Work?

Senior women cookingOnce IHSS receives a referral, and financial eligibility is determined, a social worker is assigned to the case.  The social worker will make an appointment for a home visit to assess what services would be needed in order for the client to maintain their safety and independence 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 and includes a yearly home visit by their social worker.  The client or the social worker may at any time request another assessment if there has been any change that affects the need for service.

The client is considered the employer for their caregiver.  The client is responsible for hiring, supervising and firing the caregiver.  IHSS processes payments to caregivers including notification of share of cost (co-payment), if any.  The client is in charge of supervision and signing the caregiver’s time sheets.

Where Can I Find a Caregiver?

IHSS clients are responsible for finding their own caregiver. Clients are responsible for hiring, supervising and firing their caregiver.  IHSS pays the wages of a caregiver once the caregiver is hired.  The client is in charge of supervision and signing the caregiver’s time sheets.  Caregivers can be:

  • A family member
  • A friend
  • A neighbor
  • A screened caregiver selected from the Sonoma County Public Authority Caregiver Registry

If you would like more information regarding finding a caregiver through the Public Authority Caregiver Registry, select the following link: Information is taken over the phone and a Provider Enrollment Form will be mailed to the caregiver.  Both the client and the caregiver will need to sign the form before a time sheet is mailed  to the caregiver.

How To Apply

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. You do not need to come into the office to apply.  The entire process is handled over the telephone. The Application Process:

  • Call (707) 565-5900 to make a referral
  • Call will be routed to the Initial Assessment Unit (IAU) who will describe the services available
  • Referral will be forwarded to an Eligibility Worker who will screen for financial eligibility
  • If the referral meets financial eligibility, a social worker is assigned and will contact the client for an initial home visit to determine the amount of services for the client - You can expect the process to take 30 days

The office is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00AM to 5:00PM.
Sonoma County In-Home Supportive Services
3725 Westwind Boulevard
Santa Rosa, CA

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

IHSS Payroll

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.

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

The IHSS Payroll office is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30AM to 4:00PM.

Mailing Address:
Sonoma County IHSS Payroll
P.O. Box 1539
Santa Rosa, CA  95402

Physical Address:
Sonoma County IHSS Payroll
3725 Westwind Boulevard, Suite 101
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Contact Us

A social worker is available to answer questions and to help determine whether a person or couple is eligible for IHSS between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Most information is given over the telephone so a visit to our office is not necessary.

Sonoma County In-Home Supportive Services
3725 Westwind Boulevard
Santa Rosa, CA 95402

Phone: (707) 565-5900
Fax: (707) 565-5980