Q1. What kind of advocacy does the Public Authority do?
A1. PA staff and Advisory Board (PAAB) members work with other advocacy groups and visit and communicate with legislators and those who manage State and County social and health care programs to express support or opposition regarding public policy, budget proposal, and legislation, and to provide feedback on how services are delivered. PA staff and the PAAB participate in media events and provide information and stories to the media to educate the public.
Q2. How can I participate?
A2. Stay informed; attend PAAB meetings; go the the PA website regularly to find out what’s happening; get on the PA’s mailing list for newsletters and board meetings; visit and communicate with legislators and those who make public policy.
Q3. Have you made a difference?
A3. Since 2004, IHSS and the PA have been targeted nearly every year for budget cuts. Legislators have said that advocacy efforts, especially by consumers, made a real difference and have prevented proposed cuts. PAAB members and staff have participated in legal efforts that blocked major cuts to IHSS and IHSS worker wages. The PAAB has made recommendations to the Alameda County IHSS program and several improvements were implemented.
Q1. How do I join the PA Advisory Board (PAAB)?
A1. When the PAAB has an opening, we inform community agencies and others on our mailing list and accept applications and the PAAB recommends new members to be approved by the Board of Supervisors.
Q2. How much time does it take to be a PAAB member?
A2. Most PAAB members attend 2 or 3 meetings per month and spend additional time doing advocacy and keeping up with what’s going on.
Q3. Can I attend Advisory Board meetings?
A3. Yes. All PAAB meetings are open to the public.
Q4. Does the PA reimburse me for expenses I have as a PAAB member?
Q1. What classes do I have to take to be an IHSS homecare worker?
- There is a one hour mandatory IHSS Orientation for all IHSS homecare workers in the State of California.
- The Public Authority Training Program classes are all voluntary, but provide valuable information for both new and experienced IHSS homecare workers.
- Individual IHSS consumers may require their homecare worker have a certain level of training as well.
Q2. How can I find out more about the IHSS Program in Alameda County?
Q3. I’m an IHSS homecare worker, where can I find information about my paycheck?
- Contact IHSS by calling payroll at 510-577-1877
- Visit IHSS office
- Still can’t resolve your problem? Call your union, SEIU2015, at 1-877-MY ULTCW (1-877-698-5829)
Q1. Do I have to be on the Registry to be a homecare worker?
A1. No. Anyone who has passed the Department of Justice (DOJ) background check and attended the County Orientation can work as an IHSS homecare provider. The Registry is merely a referral service that may help eligible IHSS providers find work; however, it is not a guarantee of work.
Q2. Are Registry providers supervised by the Registry?
A2. No. As with any other IHSS consumer-provider relationship, the consumer is your employer, your supervisor. The consumer, as the employer, is responsible for hiring, managing, training, and firing the provider. The Registry is merely a referral service. The Registry does not perform any criminal or other background checks of the Consumer participants in Registry programs. Nor does the Registry supervise the Consumer or the employment of homecare workers. You therefore must use your own judgment and assume all risks of accepting or engaging in the employment relationship with any Consumer.
Q3. If the Consumer is the employer, why do I have to apply to be listed on the Registry?
A3. You do not need to be listed on the Registry to work as an IHSS homecare worker. However, if you are interested in being listed on the Registry, it is important for you to know that the Registry is a referral service offered to IHSS consumers who need a little help finding homecare workers. In order to be able to give our consumers a list of reliable homecare workers, we need some assurances from the providers who want to be listed on the Registry. It is a privilege to be listed on the Registry and by definition that means that this benefit does not extend to everyone. The Registry application process is the way we make our selections. The consumer might also decide to do his or her own reference.
Q1. If I get a list of providers and hire a provider from the Registry, is the Registry responsible for supervising my homecare worker?
A1. No. As with any other IHSS consumer-provider relationship, you – the consumer – are the employer, the supervisor. You, as the employer, are responsible for hiring, managing, training, and firing the provider. The Registry is merely a referral service and takes no responsibility in any failed consumer-provider relationships that may occur through a Registry referral.
Q2. Since the Registry checks references and interviews Registry providers, why should I have to interview providers that I get from a Registry referral list and check their references too?
A2. You, the consumer, are the employer and therefore are responsible for whom you hire to be your homecare worker. Just because the homecare workers on the Registry list have passed the Registry’s requirements does not necessarily mean that they will pass your requirements. Therefore it is important for you to interview each provider carefully and make your choice based on your needs. The Registry is not responsible for any failed consumer-provider relationships that may occur through a Registry referral.
Q1. How do I qualify for health benefits?
A1. If you are consistently paid 80 or more hours per month, you are eligible for medical, dental and vision coverage. You qualify for health benefits once you have completed and sent in your enrollment packet and you have been paid 160 hours over two consecutive months, with at least one hour paid in each month.
Q2. Where can I get an application?
A2. You can call 510 577-3551, and request a health benefits application packet in English, Spanish or Chinese will be mailed to you.
Q3. I completed my application; how long will it take for my health benefits to begin?
A3. It may take up to 90 days for your coverage to begin. Once you have met the eligibility requirement of being paid 160 hours over two consecutive months, with at least one hour paid in each month, you will receive a letter explaining that your benefits will begin the first of the following month. For example, if you are paid 80 hours in April and 80 hours in May, you will receive a letter in June notifying you of a July 1st start date.
Q4. My Recipient was in the hospital for two weeks and I was not paid, will I lose my health benefits?
A4. If you should have a period of lower than 80 hours in any month, you will receive a warning letter, however if you are paid 80 hours or more the following month your benefits will not be affected. You risk losing your benefits if you are paid less than 80 hours in two consecutive months.
Q5. What happens if I lose my benefits?
A5. If you lose your benefits due to a decrease in hours, you may be able to continue the same benefits through COBRA for a period of 18 to 36 months. If you lose your benefits due to a shortage of pay, you remain enrolled and will be covered once again as soon as you re-meet the original coverage criteria of 160 paid hours over a two month period of time.