IHSS can be excluded from taxes, housing, Medi-cal, CalFresh, and SSI. Sometimes!
Taxes if You Live Together
If you live with your client, your IHSS income is exempt from taxes. In some cases, it can still be listed on your tax forms, but excluded from gross income. Learn more: How to Exclude IHSS Income from Taxes
Taxes if You Live Separately
No, not excluded.
If you don’t live with your client, IHSS is not exempt. You will pay taxes on IHSS income.
If you are a live in provider and you paid taxes in the past (and now realize you should not have), it’s not too late: How to Amend Past Taxes for IHSS
If you live with your client, your IHSS income will not count when you apply for Medi-cal for yourself or for your family.
It is VERY common for Medi-cal workers to not know these rules and to do it incorrectly. You may need to show them the rules, ask to speak to supervisors, or appeal. Medi-cal Notice on Excluding IHSS
This regulation is only for MAGI medi-cal. If you are applying for a different form of medi-cal, it may be different. MAGI medi-cal is the typical form of medi-cal most families apply for.
HUD Housing & Vouchers
If you are in HUD housing or another subsidized housing program, there are two regulations that can exclude IHSS income:
- Provider has been approved for live in aide status or
- Family qualifies for obscure developmental disability rule
Not everyone qualifies for these exclusions. Learn more: How to Exclude IHSS Income from HUD Housing
If you are applying for CalFresh and you are a provider, your IHSS income will always count.
But there is a catch! It may only count for you, not for other people you live with.
For example, a 25-year daughter lives with her mother. Mom is provider. Daughter’s food is purchased and prepared separately from her mom. In this situation, daughter would be eligible for her own CalFresh account and mom’s income would not count.
Note: If child is under age 22, rules are different.
In other states, CalFresh is called SNAP or EBT, but the rules in this area are the same. Learn more about how these rules work: How to SNAP: Household Rules
If someone in your household receives SSI, your IHSS income will not impact their SSI. For example, if you are a parent receiving payment from IHSS, this will not impact your child’s SSI.
Social Security workers often do not know this rule. Be sure to show it to them, and appeal the decision if they count your income. Here’s the rule: https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0501320175
Bonus: This rule also applies if more than one person in the house is disabled. For example: Husband and Son are both disabled. Wife is provider for husband. The income the wife receives for being a provider for her husband will not impact their child’s SSI.
SSI When Your Child Turns 18
When your child turns 18, you no longer need to use the rule above, because ALL of your income will always be automatically excluded. Your finances no longer impact your child (unless you share a bank account).
However, if you provide free rent, food, or utilities, your child’s SSI check will be lowered. Most parents set up rental agreements at age 18: How Much Rent to Pay on SSI
SSI If You Are Not a Spouse or Parent
In most cases, SSI is not impacted by income to siblings, housemates, friends, grandparents, or other people you live with. There are a few exceptions: “I Live With Other People. Does Their Money Affect My SSI?”
SSI for Disabled Provider
If you are disabled and on SSI yourself and also working as a provider, your IHSS income will not be excluded. It will count as income.
Don’t look at the policies in the link above. Those rules are for “SSI deeming” only. They will not apply if the person receiving SSI is also the person receiving IHSS income.
However, there are some other rules that can help. Social Security has special rules called “work incentives.” By using work incentives, some of your IHSS income may get excluded.
Important note: If you are a provider, Social Security will consider that you are working. You will need to report that you are working and follow the same work rules any other person on SSI follows.
Learn more about work incentives and work rules: How to Work Without (Too Much) Trouble
SSDI for Disabled Provider
SSDI is never lowered because of income of any kind. However, if you are on SSDI and working as an IHSS provider, you will need to report that you are working and follow the work regulations. For your benefits to continue, you will also need to pass medical disability reviews: How to Work Without (Too Much) Trouble
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