Page Reviewed / Updated – July 17, 2020

Program Description

The Chore Services program, a statewide program, provides elderly or disabled Hawaii residents with housekeeping and other basic chore services to help them remain living independently. The program’s name of Chore Services is somewhat misleading in that the services included in this program are not limited to just household chores. Also included are support services that help program participants with their activities of daily living, such as bathing, eating, and grooming.

Because the intent of this program is to help individuals remain living independently, persons residing in assisted living, nursing homes, and other types of residential facilities are not eligible.

Designed on the “Cash and Counseling” model, the Chore Services program provides participants with the ability to self-select their service providers. This “self-direction” is also referred to as consumer or participant direction. Individuals receive cash payments directly from the state to pay their service providers. Besides allowing the participants to retain a certain level of autonomy, this aspect of the program is particularly popular because friends, neighbors, and some family members can become paid caregivers for the senior. The program staff will set the hourly rate for caregivers in advance. Typically, compensation is near the state’s minimum wage.

Eligibility Guidelines

To be eligible for this program, individuals must meet both the financial and functional requirements. Functionally, program participants must be unable to perform required daily living activities themselves (such as mobility, toiletry, eating, etc.), do not have friends or family members (including spouses) who currently perform the services, and without assistance, it would be necessary for them to move into an institutional care setting.

Candidates must be a minimum of 18 years of age and a legal resident of Hawai’i.

Financially, individuals must meet the requirements for Supplemental Security Income. As of 2019 in Hawaii, SSI limits monthly income for individuals to $771 and couples to $1,157. Calculated on an annual basis, income is limited to $9,252 for an individual or $13,884 for a couple. One exception to the income limit is in adult protective service circumstances. In these instances, income may not be taken into consideration.

Benefits and Services

All of the following services are possible. However, each program participant will have their needs assessed as they enter the program and receive approval for specific services.

  • Housecleaning
  • Laundry
  • Shopping
  • Meal Preparation
  • Yard Work
  • Light Home Repair
  • Personal Care (assistance with the activities of daily living)
  • Errand Services
  • Transportation Assistance

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How to Apply / Learn More

Limited information about Chore Services can be found on the Hawaii Department of Human Services Social Services website. This program is available throughout the islands of Hawaii and is managed by the Department of Human Services’ Adult Protective and Community Services Branch. They can be reached by calling 808-832-5115.

A medical statement that discusses the condition(s) that limit the beneficiary is required for the application process. Waiting lists can exist. As a general rule, each island has a separate wait list.