I Live in HUD Housing and Take Care of Someone Who is Disabled. Does My Income Count?


Art by Robin Mead

This page is for anyone who lives in (or is applying to live in) subsidized housing. This includes HUD Housing, Housing Vouchers, Section 8, Public Housing and USDA Rural Rental assistance.

Some of our readers have had success getting their housing programs to exclude income from IHSS, Medicaid Waivers, or other Medicaid and Medi-cal homecare programs. There are two ways to do this:

Method One: HUD Policies for Live In Aides

If you are disabled and in need of care in your home, you can add someone to your housing as a live-in aide. If you are not yet in housing, you can add them while you are applying, or after you move in.

You can also make this request on behalf of a disabled child or other family member. If your child is disabled, you can add a live-in aide to care for your child.

If your request is approved, all income from a live-in aide is always automatically excluded. Not just IHSS or medicaid income. All income of any kind is excluded. How to Request a Live-In Aide

Sometimes family members qualify to be live in aides, and sometimes they do not. Learn more here: Who Can Be My Live In Aide?

Special notes for parents: If your child is disabled and you are their caregiver, you will not qualify as a live in aide if your child is a minor. You might qualify if your child is an adult. It depends on the circumstances and who is listed as “head of household” on the housing paperwork.

Method Two: Obscure Policy About Developmental Disabilities

If applying for a live-in aide doesn’t work or isn’t possible, here’s a different way you can try. It does not always work. It works sometimes!

HUD has an obscure policy about homecare payments for people with developmental disabilities. Examples of diagnosis that may be classified as “developmental disabilities” in some cases: Autism, Behavior disorders, Brain injury, Cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Fetal alcohol syndrome, Intellectual disability, Spina Bifida.

Learn more about how this policy works: Sample Letter to Exclude Income for Developmental Disabilities

California: In California, there are several housing agencies that already have policies in place to exclude IHSS income if the person is disabled. However, most housing agencies do not recognize IHSS and falling under this regulation. Some readers report that they received assistance in getting income excluded by contacting Disability Rights California.

Learn More

🌸 This page is part of the online guide: Epic Master List of Disability Accommodation Letters

🌸 Facebook Group: HUD and Section 8 Disabled Residents & Family Members

🌸 Art on this page by Robin Mead and Elizabeth D’Angelo.

Updated February 2020. Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. If you found this page helpful, please share it with others by pressing one of these magic little buttons:

6 thoughts on “I Live in HUD Housing and Take Care of Someone Who is Disabled. Does My Income Count?”

  1. Is it procedural for them to request paystub’s of a living aid? Saying that it’s just procedural for updates and I HSS income will be excluded but they still need 3 to 6 months of pay stubs?


    1. Most places do not request this. I think we had one other reader who got this request, but it is not typical. Legally I don’t know if they can require this if you decide to push back. It could be easier just to give them the information if you wish.


  2. I moved my sister to live with me and I will be her aide…I live in HUD housing….she qualifies for IHSS …. will I be excluded from paying on monies from IHSS?


  3. I have a mother (80 yrs) and daughter(65) living in a HUD housing they both are members on the lease. However, daughter has been receiving income from IHSS for taking care of her mother my understanding that her income will be counting being that she is part of the household composition. if anything happen to her mother she can stay living on her unit. But her arguments that her income is excluded because her mother is disabled.


    1. If she’s listed as a household member… Her income will be included. If she’s listed as a live in aid… Her income will not be included, however she will not be able to keep her housing when her mother passes away.


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