UDW caregivers are strong advocates for our IHSS clients – seniors and people with disabilities. That’s why every year we sponsor and support legislation that will protect and improve the IHSS program as well as the quality of life for IHSS providers and our clients. We also support legislation that promotes social justice and improves the lives of working families in our communities.
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.
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.
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.
In California, nearly 1.5 million older adults and people with disabilities struggle day after day, month after month to get by. Too many of our IHSS clients live without enough money to pay for basic necessities like housing, food, and their prescriptions. They are forced to live in poverty because of cuts made in 2009 to their Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (also known as SSI/SSP) grants in order to lessen the effects of the recession. Now, the state is doing better, but without an increase to their SSI/SSP payment amounts, the most vulnerable people in our communities are actually doing worse.
Together with community partners, UDW caregivers are asking our state legislators and the governor to do the right thing:
UDW caregivers like Susana Saldana from Merced have been active in urging lawmakers to do what’s right. In April, she testified at the Capitol before a Senate Budget Subcommittee, and urged them to: “Increase SSI/SSP grants to help lift California’s seniors & people with disabilities out of poverty!”
But now, with the state’s budget process winding down this month, we urgently need the help of all UDW caregivers. Click here to sign the petition. Tell lawmakers to take action and improve SSI/SSP for our clients and loved ones.