May 2, 2019
My name is Delfina Gonzalez. I care for my daughter, Amanda. She is 23 years old and lives with Down syndrome. She is nonverbal and I need to do everything for her. I found out about IHSS through a friend and I applied for the program in October 2017. At orientation, I signed up as a UDW member because I liked the idea that there were other providers ready to help me if I need it.
I needed that help right away. The social worker only gave my daughter 25 hours. I knew that amount didn’t reflect the amount of care I provide for my daughter. I went to the union and found an office full of people ready and happy to help. They explained the advocacy process and walked me through the appeals process. They were behind me as I fought for my rights. I’m happy to report that I won that fight; a judge determined Amanda required Protective Supervision—283 hours—and awarded me $43,000 of back pay.
Since becoming a UDW member, I’ve learned how the union protects IHSS and its funding and I learned that I am not alone as a caregiver. UDW taught me how to advocate for myself—now I want to help other caregivers learn how to do the same.
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