The Multipurpose Senior Services Program May be the Answer to Staying at Home Rather than Going to a Nursing Home


The Multipurpose Senior Services Program May be the Answer to Staying at Home Rather than Going to a Nursing Home

Multipurpose Senior Services Program gives you services and supports to stay at home as long as possible. The goal is to keep you from going to a nursing home. It is a Medi-Cal home and community based waiver. It gives you extra help so you can stay in your own home. This pub tells you about the program. It tells you how to get the services. It tells you about the services you can get. If Medi-Cal tells you that you cannot have the services, the pub tells you what to do.

What is the Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP)?

MSSP provides services and supports to help you remain at home for as long as possible. The goal is to keep you from being placed in a nursing home. It is a Medi-Cal home and community-based waiver which can provide you extra sources of help to keep you in your own home.

If you are married and ineligible for Medi-Cal because of too many resources and/or too much income, you may still be able to qualify for MSSP.

Who Qualifies for MSSP Services?

In order to qualify, you must be:

  • At least 65 years old;
  • A person with a disability who is at risk of going to a nursing home. To determine whether you are eligible for MSSP, a nurse will evaluate you;
  • Currently eligible for Medi-Cal and not receiving services through another home and community-based waiver. If you are currently in a hospital or nursing facility and want to get out, there are special rules that don’t count a lot of your spouse’s income and resources that make it easier for you to qualify. If you are not currently eligible for Medi-Cal because of resources or spousal income, or you would have a share-of-cost, see below regarding payment of transitional services.
  • Residing within a county that has this program - See Attachment B for a current list of counties who have this program.

What Kinds of Services are Available?

Services Available include:

  • Senior Center programs
  • Money management help and counseling
  • Case Management – Usually performed by a nurse and social worker who will:
  • Assess your health and other needs
  • Develop a care plan to meet those needs
  • Arrange for the needed services
  • Monitor your well being
  • Provide advocacy
  • Information and referral
  • Respite – short term care for you by someone other than the person who cares for you when he or she needs a short break

Housing assistance may include:

  • Physical adaptations
  • Assistive devices
  • Emergency assistance in relocating
  • Temporary lodging expenses in certain circumstances
  • Assistance to restore utility services
  • Repair or replace home essentials like a stove, refrigerator, or bed
  • Legal services
  • Minor home safety repairs
  • Transportation
  • Escort to doctors appointments
  • Telephone reassurance
  • Friendly visiting
  • Health and psychological assessments
  • Nutrition services
  • Home health care
  • Preventive health care
  • Homemaker chore service
  • Meals at home or at a location
  • Adult daycare including adult day health care
  • Personal care assistance to maintain hygiene, personal safety, and activities of daily living
  • Protective supervision – 24-hour supervision for persons who are very frail or may suffer a medical emergency
  • Communication services – translation and interpretive services and provision for an emergency response system
  • Equipment purchase

MSSP and Payment of Transitional Services

If you incurred expenses for services while at an institution to help you get back home, and you did not qualify for Medi-Cal at the time you got those services or had a share-of-cost, Medi-Cal will pay for services provided during the last six months of your stay at the institution.

Services Medi-Cal will pay for are called “transitional services” which help get you out of an institution. Services include occupational therapy, physical therapy, and other rehabilitative services, architectural modifications in your home, and case management while at the institution to help you get out.

If you are married and are returning home to a spouse or are already living at home with your spouse, there are special resource and income rules that apply that can make it easier for you to qualify.

Will I Have to Pay Anything to Get These Services?

No, there is no cost to you.

Can I Get MSSP if I Am Getting In-Home Support Services (IHSS)?

Yes. You can get both.

Will the Services I Get Under IHSS be Reduced if I Get MSSP?

If you are currently getting the maximum number of IHSS hours, these hours cannot be reduced if you get some in-home help through MSSP.

If you are not getting the maximum number of IHSS hours, any in-home help through MSSP will not affect your IHSS hours.

How Do I Apply?

See the list at the end of this fact sheet. Look up your county and call the number that is listed. Say, “I think I need MSSP services.” You can also call 1-800-510-2020 for your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA).

What Can I do If I Am Denied MSSP?

You can appeal and ask for a fair hearing. In addition, you have the right to receive a written explanation as to why you are being denied MSSP. The written explanation will explain what you can do to appeal. You can call Disability Rights California for assistance.

How Can I Get More Information About MSSP?

If you have access to the internet, go to this website:

I Do Not Qualify for MSSP, Are There Any Other Programs That May Help Me?

Call your Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for information and referral services in your community. For the phone number to your nearest AAA office call: 1 800 510-2020

Multipurpose Senior Service Program Contacts (By County) Also available at –

Disclaimer: This publication is legal information only and is not legal advice about your individual situation. It is current as of the date posted. We try to update our materials regularly. However, laws are regularly changing. If you want to make sure the law has not changed, contact DRC or another legal office.