California Eliminates Parent Provider Rules for Minor In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Recipients

Press Release

California Eliminates Parent Provider Rules for Minor In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Recipients

Hispanic IHHS woman caring for wheelchair-bound disabled boy in the kitchen, giving him a drink while smiling.

(Sacramento, CA) A huge burden on families with children who need IHSS has been removed as a result of DRC’s advocacy with the state. On December 21, 2023, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) released guidance implementing changes in state law that remove restrictions on when parents can be paid IHSS providers for their minor children with disabilities. These changes also eliminate unnecessary barriers to hiring a non-parent provider, and ensure that children with disabilities in California can access the caregiving services they need to remain living safely at home. 

This important new guidance is the result of years of advocacy led by Disability Rights California (DRC) to end state policies strictly limiting access to services for minor IHSS recipients. Prior to these changes, parents could only be paid providers if there was no other suitable provider available and the parent was prevented from full-time employment due to the care needs of the child. And a non-parent provider could only be hired if parents were not able or available to care for the minor child, among other eligibility requirements. The changes to state law and new guidance eliminate these restrictions, effective February 19, 2024.  

These changes also address longstanding inequities impacting minor recipients living with a parent who does not have satisfactory immigration status. Under the old rules, children who were eligible for, and needed IHSS, were denied services based on their parents’ immigration status. As a result these children went without any services at all, no matter how great the need. Under the new guidance, their authorized IHSS hours may now be covered by a non-parent provider.

Impacted families should contact their county IHSS office to discuss how these changes will affect them. In certain situations, the county may need to switch the recipient to a different IHSS program in order to pay a parent provider. Before agreeing to any changes, families should confirm with the county that moving to a different program will not result in any changes to the recipient’s IHSS hours. A list of county IHSS offices can be found here.  

If you or someone you know has any questions about these changes to the IHSS provider eligibility rules for minor recipients, please contact DRC at 1-800-776-5746 or TTY 1-800-719-5798.  

Media Contacts

Melody Pomraning
Communications Director
Disability Rights California


Disability Rights California (DRC) – Is the agency designated under federal law to protect and advocate for the rights of Californians with disabilities. The mission of DRC is to defend, advance, and strengthen the rights and opportunities of people with disabilities.