IHSS stands for "In-Home Supportive Services". This program exists in many states under various names, but all of these state programs must follow certain guidelines set forth by the Federal government under Medicaid rules. In California, Medicaid is called Medi-Cal.
To be eligible for IHSS, one must meet all three conditions:
1. Be aged (age 65 or older) or have a permanent disability as defined by the Social SecurityAdministration,
2. Be eligible for Medi-Cal (with or without a Share of Cost), and
3. Need help at home to stay safe to avoid out-of-home placement.
If you qualify, you can hire someone (almost anyone you want) to work for you as your care provider. Medi-Cal (also known as the taxpayers) will pay that person to perform certain tasks for you to ensure your home is safe and you have essentials such as food, clean clothes, and medication.
The original intent of IHSS was to keep the elderly out of nursing homes. We agree with this idea that elderly persons whose only limitations are that they can't carry the laundry basket or drive to the grocery store to get food should not be placed in institutions, but rather be given limited help to enable them to remain in their own homes as long as possible. This arrangment is less expensive for taxpayers and gives a better quality of life in most situations. The program had/has good intentions.
The road to Hell was paved with good intentions.
Did you know that there are parents being paid to take care of their own children - children as young as 3 years old? Or that we pay wives to help their husbands shower and get dressed? I'll bet you didn't!
Did you know that boyfriend can hire girlfriend to be his care provider and she can get paid from taxpayer money to fix his breakfast (which she shares with him, but lies and says she doesn't) and pick up his Oxy from the pharmacy?
Did you know that you can get on IHSS without really needing it and then just split the paycheck with your care provider? Yep, happens all the time.
The disability lobbyists would have you believe that all IHSS recipients are frail, 90 year old widows who live alone or are quadriplegics who are wheelchair-bound for life. They parade these people around the capitol to drum up sympathy when the gravy train is set to scaled back.
BULLSHIT. If this were reality, we wouldn't be bitching.
Ask anyone who works in IHSS doing assessments and just wait for the tirade about fraud, abuse, and waste. It will be forth-coming.