CA Multipurpose Senior Services Program

Published on
August 31, 2023
Last updated
February 29, 2024
Written by
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Katie Wilkinson
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The MSSP is a Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver that provides an alternative to nursing facility care or hospitalization for individuals who meet specific criteria.
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The Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) is a Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver that was created by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to provide an alternative to nursing facility care or hospitalization for individuals who meet specific criteria. In this blog post, we will explain the MSSP, how it works, and how it can benefit you and your caregivers.

Overview of Multipurpose Senior Services Program

The MSSP is a Medicaid waiver program established in 1983 and renewed in 2023 for a five-year period. The MSSP aims to provide social and healthcare management services to help people 65 or older stay in their homes and communities. The goal is to prevent or delay institutionalization through ongoing care coordination. The annual cost of care management and other services must be less than skilled nursing facility care. 


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Eligibility requirements

To qualify for the MSSP, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be age 65 or older
  • Have Medi-Cal eligibility with zero share of cost
  • Have care needs equal to those of Medi-Cal-funded residents receiving care in a nursing facility
  • Be able to reside safely in your own home or community with MSSP services
  • Live in an area served by a local MSSP site

Services and supports

The MSSP offers various services and supports tailored to your needs and preferences. These services and supports include:

  • Care management: A care manager will help you assess your needs, develop a care plan, arrange and monitor services, and provide referrals and advocacy.
  • Adult day care: A service that provides supervised activities, socialization, meals, and health services in a group setting during the day.
  • Minor home repair/maintenance: A service that offers minor changes or repairs to your home to improve your safety and accessibility.
  • In-home chore, personal care, and protective supervision services: A service that provides supplemental assistance with household tasks, personal care, or supervision beyond what Medi-Cal or other sources cover.
  • Respite services: A service that temporarily relieves the primary caregiver from caring for their loved one.
  • Transportation services: A service that helps you access community resources, activities, or other waiver services.
  • Counseling and therapeutic services: A service that provides individual or group counseling or therapy to help you cope with emotional issues related to your condition.
  • Meal services: A service that provides home-delivered meals or vouchers for congregate meals at senior centers or other locations.
  • Communication services: A service that offers devices or equipment to help you communicate with others.

Who are you caring for?

Compensation for caregivers

One of the benefits of the MSSP is that it allows you to self-direct your personal care services and other supportive services. This means that you can choose who provides these services, including hiring a family member as a caregiver. You can also decide how much to pay your caregiver within the limits set by the program. The MSSP pays your caregiver directly through an intermediary service organization (ISO) that handles payroll, taxes, insurance, and background checks. The ISO also provides training and support to your caregiver. By self-directing your personal care and other supportive services, you can have more control over your care and reward your family members for their work.

A note from Givers

If you want to learn more about the MSSP or other programs that can compensate your family caregivers, please fill out this form, and we will contact you soon. We are here to help you find the best options for your situation and advocate for your rights as a caregiver.

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