Preparing for Your IHSS Hearing in California

Have you applied for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) and been denied? Or you received a low amount of hours? You can appeal this decision and still receive the maximum amount of funding. Here's how to prepare for your IHSS hearing in California.

As an In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) applicant, you have the right to view your case record before your California state IHSS hearing. The county IHSS office should give information that can be of help to you or someone that you authorize in preparing for the hearing. This includes revealing to you any program regulations and evidence available on your case.

Once a state hearing is filed, you will be assigned a county appeals specialist. The specialist will review your IHSS hearing request, contact you to discuss the issues, and try to resolve the issues prior to the hearing. If the issues can be resolved, the hearing will not occur, and you may enter into a conditional withdrawal agreement with the county to resolve the issues. The county IHSS office has thirty days to carry out the actions specified in the conditional withdrawal.

The appeals specialist must write a position statement. The position statement is the county’s interpretation of the facts and laws that apply to your case and holds the reason(s) for your IHSS denial. The appeals specialist must make the position statement available to you two days before the IHSS hearing.

If the issue cannot be resolved, your case will be reviewed and presented before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Both parties can bring witnesses to the IHSS hearing. The ALJ will then make a ruling and issue a decision about your IHSS program eligibility and/or grant the proper number of monthly authorized hours.

You should also write your own position statement. This is basically a letter to the county and the Administrative Law Judge. You are telling them why you disagree with the county’s decision. Include information about all the areas you disagree with and why you disagree. Include any other information that might help you prove your point. Send this to the appeals officer at least one week in advance.


Along with your position statement, you should additionally bring the following to your case IHSS hearing, if applicable:

What is an IHSS Hearing Like?

When you are called in, you go into a small room with a couple of tables. The Administrative Law Judge sits at the front. Staff members from the county sit on one side and you sit across from them. Sometimes the county social worker attends the meetings, and sometimes they attend via telephone. The judge will record the proceedings, they have everyone take an oath, and the rest is very informal. The judges all do things differently, but most start with questions. It is best not to question the other side too much, and to remain calm. Present your side and simply respond to anything the other side says that you disagree with. Sometimes you must ask the other side questions, but make sure the questions are asked without an attitude.

You will usually be in the room with the judge for 45 - 90 minutes, shorter is usually more likely unless you have many witnesses. Limit your witnesses

to people who can help you. Your friend or grandmother won't be of much help, but professionals who come into direct contact with your child can help a lot. However, it is a good idea to have a family member on hand to take care of your child during the IHSS appeal hearing.

Once you are done, the judge will have a few weeks to decide. It usually takes 2-4 weeks to get the decision back, but it can be up to two months. You will receive back pay to your first phone call so don’t worry, more time is usually just due to the judge being very busy. No one can give them added evidence after the hearing is complete, unless it is agreed to that the judge will hold the hearing open for a time.

If this process sounds overwhelming and you feel you need help, you can always reach out to us. Our advocates can lead you through everything, as well as attend the hearing with you.

Go to or call us directly at (877) 762-0702, and we will assist you in getting your child the funding he or she deserves.

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