Are you searching for a program that will benefit your family? Have you had to stop working to take care of your mom, dad, or a close relative? Are you having a diffcult time making ends meet because of the financial strain of not being able to work so you can take care of your loved one? If this sounds like you or someone you know, then In Home Support Services (IHSS), may be the answer for you. IHSS is a Colorado Medicaid waiver program that allows families to be financially compensated for the home health care they provide to their loved ones. This fairly new Medicaid program has proven to be extremely beneficial to many families. Colorado is one of a few states that actually has programs that will not only help families get the home health care assistance that they need, but will actually allows family members to provide this care and get paid while they do it.
What is In Home Support Services?
For example let’s say that Jon Snow is a 70 year old father who has dementia and other chronic illnesses. Mr. Jon needs home health care assistance which was approved by Colorado Medicaid. IHSS is a program that if approved, actually allows Jon Snow’s children or other family/friends to provide this care and to be paid for providing that care. The main point of this program is for Jon to have more autonomy in choosing who cares for him, which could potentially be his own loved ones instead of someone who he doesn’t even know from some random home health care companies staff. Jon will also team up with a IHSS provider that will support Jon through this process and this approved provider will also hire and pay the care providers that Jon chooses to hire which could potentially be his own family.
As a patient directed program, IHSS has many advantages such as:
- Family members, friends or neighbors are able to be financially reimbursed for the care they provide to their loved ones who are approved for this service
- The patient receives the best care possible as family members are usually the ones providing the care
- The patient controls most care decisions with extensive autonomy. This includes the ability to select their care provider as well as the IHSS agency they want to work with
To qualify for IHSS one must be in unstable health, need assistance with homemaking, personal care, and/or health maintenance activities. Individuals must be able to direct their own care or appoint an authorized representative. Client must also qualify for Medicaid.
How to apply for IHSS
If you or your loved one meet the qualifications above you may apply to the program by contacting your local Single Entry Point Agency (SEP), Community Center Board Agency (CCB), or a local private case management agency. The agency you contact will assign a case manager to the qualifying client. The case manager will then assist them in applying for one of the two waivers within the IHSS program. The Elderly, Blind, and Disabled (EBD) waiver is for those who need help due to being elderly, blind, or disabled. There is also the Spinal Cord Injury waiver (SCI) that is for individuals who have suffered a spinal cord injury that has caused significant physical impairment. Once the most suitable waiver is determined for the individual, the client is given an IHSS provider list. The client then must do their research in order to determine which agency best fits their physical and financial needs.