ihss legislative update photo

This year’s legislative session has come to a close. Here’s an update on UDW’s efforts to secure additional benefits for providers and clients.

Social Security, Medicare and unemployment benefits

UDW sponsored Assembly Bill 1930 as a first step in our work to win Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment pay for spouse and parent providers. The bill would have convened an IHSS Advisory Committee to look into the economic impact life without access to these basic benefits has on providers and our families. Despite unanimous passage by the Assembly and Senate, Governor Brown vetoed AB 1930. We will continue our campaign to win security for IHSS providers.

Retirement savings

Senate Bill 1234 would implement the Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program, giving working Californians the option to have a percentage of our wages set aside in a retirement savings account. IHSS providers were included in the bill, and we are currently waiting on eligibility determination. This bill was signed by Governor Brown, and will go into effect for workers whose employers have 100 employees or more by 2018.

IHSS hours

UDW successfully protected IHSS hours in this year’s budget by securing additional revenue for IHSS. Without this revenue, the hours of our clients would have been cut by 7% starting in July. We will continue to make sure IHSS hours are permanently restored.

SSI/SSP grants for IHSS clients

Assembly Bill 1584  would affect many of our IHSS clients, and would reinstate the annual cost of living increase for recipients of SSI/SSP grants, helping to lift them out of poverty. This bill was vetoed by Governor Brown.

maria fe camacho caregiver

UDW president Editha Adams helped Maria Fe Camacho win protective supervision for her daughter.

By Editha Adams, UDW President and IHSS provider

When Maria Fe Camacho needed help getting more hours for her 21-year old daughter Kelly, she turned to UDW. Kelly lives with MS and other disabilities, and needs to be constantly monitored. Maria Fe knew she need additional hours and protective supervision.

I helped Maria Fe get the necessary paperwork completed, and when Kelly was denied protective supervision, I helped her appeal the decision. Not long after we submitted the appeal, Maria Fe received a phone call telling her the protective supervision was approved without going to a hearing. With the new increase in hours, Maria Fe’s husband Thomas became one of Kelly’s IHSS providers, as well.

With the help of UDW, many IHSS providers like the Camacho family have received help getting their clients much needed hours.

Here are a few tips that may help you:

TIP 1: Exercise your right to appeal. You know your client’s needs best. If you think they were assessed less hours than they need, appeal the decision.

TIP 2: Get everything in writing. Get written documentation from your client’s doctor stating their needs and the type of care they require. If your client needs protective supervision, make sure that is in the documentation.

TIP 3: Prepare for your hearing date. Your appeal may require a hearing. Make sure all of your documentation is in order, and prepare the points you plan to make in advance.

TIP 4: Know you’re not alone. For more personalized help with your situation contact your local UDW office to get help from your Advocacy Council.