How I Got Approved for IHSS Protective Supervision

Guest Post by Ronda Cook

My son also Autism Spectrum Disorder. I can tell you what I did that was successful in getting him protective supervision in three and a half months:

About Protective Supervision

Protective Supervision is part of the IHSS program in California. It is for children and adults with a mental impairment that have self-harming and or dangerous behaviors that they engage in without regard to consequences. These behaviors must be regularly occurring and random. That is why they need someone to supervise them 24 hours a day 7 days a week to minimize injury to themselves.

An example of this behavior would be called eloping or wandering away. Many children with autism engage in this behavior. they will leave a safe space and go somewhere dangerous without realizing they could be seriously injured.

Other examples of behavior that some children exhibit that qualify for protective supervision are climbing up high, banging their head on the floors, walls or people, punching or slapping themselves in the face, scratching themselves until they bleed.

If your child engages in any of the examples I listed above or similar activities without regard to the consequence, you should pursue getting Protective Supervision.

Step One: Applying for IHSS

If you are not already in the IHSS program, please take a look at: How to Apply for IHSS

Step Two: Applying for Medi-Cal

If you are having trouble qualifying for Med-cal, or you are given a high Share of Cost, please take a look at: How to Avoid Share of Cost for Medi-cal and IHSS

Step Three: Applying for Protective Supervision

If you feel your family member might meet the qualifications, then call your social worker and ask for an assessment for protective supervision.

You have to remember these people have lots and lots of cases. At a bare minimum you should be calling every single week and checking in if you have an open case waiting for a decision. This is how my son got Protective Supervision quickly:

🌸 First make a Dangerous Behavior Log which is a list of any self-harming behaviors he has done over the past six to 12 months. (See sample pages below)

🌸 Next Google IHSS SOC 821 protective supervision form. Print form and take it to the doctor that treats him along with the hazard log. Sit with the doctor while he fills out the form and tell him to use your examples of self injurious behavior to write in the form. It’s best if most are marked severe or at least moderate– there are three check boxes.

🌸 Next gather his Regional Center Individual Program Plan (IPP). This is a document created by the Regional Center.

🌸 Then gather his Client Development Evaluation Report (CDER). This is a document created by the Regional Center. It’s a summary of the clients abilities and issues.

🌸 Then get a copy of his Individualized Education Program (IEP). This document will be created by your child’s school.

🌸 Now look through all three documents: IPP, CDER, and IEP. Look through them and see if it mentions any self-harming Behavior your child engages in. Look for any self-harming behaviors noted and highlight them.

🌸 If there are behaviors he engages in that are not noted, you could call a meeting and have them added to his school and/or Regional Center reports.

🌸 Then call the social worker again and tell them that you are applying for protective supervision. Keep track of every contact with IHSS that you have the date the time the person you spoke with and a summary of your conversation.

Meeting the Social Worker

When I met the Social Worker for the home assessment, I handed her the following:

🌸 Dangerous Behavior Log

🌸 Completed SOC 821 form

🌸 IEP with the items highlighted

🌸 CDER with the items highlighted

🌸 IPP with the items highlighted

Always make a complete copy of everything that you give to IHSS so you know what information they are looking at.

Appealing a Decision

🌸 If your case is denied, and you’re within the time frame to file an appeal, always try to do that first to preserve any back pay.

🌸 If you lose your appeal there’s another step beyond that you can try for. Otherwise you can always reapply– basically start a new case.

🌸 Generally though you would only want to reapply if you’ve exhausted all your other appeals first because if you reapply, then backpay would only be from your new application date.

Learn More

If someone in your family is on SSI, there are a bunch more things you might find helpful to know: How to Survive on SSI

Sample Dangerous Behaviors Log



8 thoughts on “How I Got Approved for IHSS Protective Supervision”

  1. Hi! Fantastic info. We just received notice our son was determined eligible for the Institutional Deeming Waiver Medi-Cal. Do I need to wait to start the IHSS process? And when you say “social worker” do you mean the regional center case worker? Also, I have no idea what I’m supposed to do to transition him off of our private pay Kaiser & just onto the Medi-Cal properly (i.e. I don’t want to “owe” the private pay insurance anything). They made the Medi-Cal retroactive for three months (April – June) with a co-cost that is ridiculous; but then starting July 1st the deeming waiver coverage starts at no cost. Do I get to just pick a date? And when is it safe to cancel the private pay insurance? I’m so confused. Any help is much appreciated!


  2. My son has cerebral palsy and he been diagnosis of sever of judgmental and moderate to sever of memory but no orientation. But he been attacked by a stranger in his apartment and he has ADD and 2 major depression and he has suicidal thought and he is living outside of the house 3 days a week.Is he has a chance to approve protective supervision?


    1. Hi lydia,

      Thank you for writing. I have no way to know if they will approve his case. I hope if you follow some of the steps Rhonda suggests above that will help you. I hope things go well for your family. 💙💚💛


  3. Hello… I was denied ps for my 3 year old son. I just had my hearing yesterday. How soon after hearing did you get your decision?


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