Welcome to the website of the Public Authority for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) in Alameda County
The Public Authority is unique in that it is a public agency that provides services and advocacy that promote independent living and support high-quality homecare services for IHSS consumers and workers in Alameda County.
Our hope is that this website will inform you of the services and purpose of the Public Authority.
In the Spotlight
CANCELING Trainings on NEW IHSS Requirements in Alameda CountyAll trainings on the new IHSS Rules & Overtime Pay scheduled for January, February and March 2015 in Alameda County have been canceled.
On December 31, 2014, the State announced that the implementation of the new IHSS rules and Overtime and Travel pay and workweeks and 61/66 hour limits scheduled for January 1, 2015 was on hold and on January 14, 2015 announced the changes would not be implemented. This decision was based on a court ruling in Washington, D.C. that the recent Fair Labor Standards Act rule change giving homecare workers the right to receive Overtime Pay violated the actual Fair Labor law that exempted homecare workers from the right to receive overtime pay. The Federal Department of Labor has appealed the decision but to be overturned, the case would need to go to the Supremt Court.
Public Authority and IHSS staff had scheduled voluntary training starting December 1, 2014 targeted to providers who might want to learn the new IHSS rules, how to complete the forms to be submitted to the IHSS program by December 15, 2014, and how to complete the new timesheet that was ill be used starting January 2015. All those trainings have now been canceled. The IHSS department is holding a few trainings on how to complete the new Timesheets using the old rules.
STATE NOT IMPLEMENTING IHSS CHANGES that were to be effective January 2015
On January 14, 2015, the State of California announced that the new IHSS rules and the Overtime and Travel Pay and workweek limits of 61 or 66 hours will NOT BE IMPLEMENTED, blocked by the court in Washington, D.C. These changes were scheduled to be implemented January 1, 2015. The court ruled that the right to overtime and travel pay could not be given to homecare workers through a rule change in the Fair Labor Standards Act since the language in the law exempting homecare workers from overtime pay took precedence. An appeal court is re-considering this decision and it could be reveresed in the next year or so by the US Supreme Court.
The new IHSS Timesheet will be used, but filled out using the old rules (hours and minutes of service provided during the pay period from the 1st to the 15th and the second pay period from the 16th to the end of the month). The new timesheets are not to be folded and must be returned in the envelope received with them. Checks and timesheets will be mailed in separate envelopes, and possibly received a few days apart.
The following are the changes which now are NOT being implemented, but might later:
In compliance with a change in the Overtime rules by the Federal government that gave overtime and travel pay rights to homecare workers, the CA State Budget for 2014-15 included the changes below to the IHSS program, effective January 1, 2015:
- overtime pay (time-and-a-half) beyond 40 hours and up to a maximum of 61 hours a week
- pay for up to 7 hours a week of travel time between jobs
- payment for attending the IHSS orientation and for necessary waiting at medical appointments (a new IHSS task)
- a limit of 61 hours a week most providers can work
- approval by IHSS social worker required if consumer (recipient) must have worker (provider) work more hours than specified in their workweek agreement IF that increase results in either the provider working ovetime (over 40 hours) that week OR working more overtime hours than their usual workweek
- a new timesheet and other enrollment forms
- allocation of a consumer's hours on a weekly basis
- the requirement to submit new forms (TEMP 3000 and SOC 846, 426A, 2255 and 2256) by December 15, 2014
- suspension from the IHSS program for not submitting the new forms and for violation of the 61 hour workweek and 7 hour a week travel time limits
During the first week in November 2014, all IHSS providers and consumers received in the mail a packet from the State with the new forms and instructions.
The TEMP 3000 form, which documents agreement to comply with the new rules, must be submitted by all consumers by December 15, 2014. If not received by December 15, the County is to follow-up until it is submitted. The SOC 2256, which lists the number of hours each of their providers is to work in a week, must be submitted by all recipients who employ multiple providers by December 15, 2014. If it is not submitted by March 1, 2015, the recipient's providers will not be allowed to work effective April 1, 2015.
The SOC 846 Provider Enrollment Agreement must be submitted by all providers by December 15, 2014. If not submitted by March 1, 2015, the provider will terminated from the IHSS program effective April 1, 2015. All providers working for multiple recipients must submit SOC 2255 by December 15, 2015 and they cannot be paid for travel time until it is received. If it is not received by March 1, 2015, the provider will be terminated from the IHSS program effective April 1, 2015.
Recipients will receive a notice from the State specifying the hours they can receive each week during each month. That workweek starts Saturday midnight and ends one minute before midnight the following Saturday. The workweek amount varies based on the number of days in a month. The recipient must get approval from their IHSS social worker if the recipient MUST increase their provider's hours during one week by shifting hours from the next week, AND that now results in overtime pay (over 40 hours) or in overtime pay that exceeds the usual amount as specified in the workweek agreement. This shift must be due to an unanticipated need that can't be delayed and which significantly impacts the recipient's health or safety. The provider cannot work more hours in a month than the recipient is authorized and cannot exceed the 61 hour limit in a week. if the request to shift hours is denied and the timesheet was submitted with the unapproved overtime, the provider is charged with a violation of the 61 hour limit.
The payment of overtime (over 40 hours up to the 61 hour a week limit) and up to 7 hours a week of of travel time (time traveling DIRECTLY from one IHSS job to another IHSS job in the same day) will begin starting January 1, 2015. Although the 61 and 7 hour/week limits are in place January 1, 2015, providers will not be charged with violations of those limits until April 1, 2015.
Starting April 1, 2015, timesheets exceeding the 61 and 7 hour limits, and shifting hours that results in overtime or additional overtime without approval will result in a provider being charged with a violation. The second violation will require the provider to attend a training to learn the rules. Not attending the training will be considered a third violation. The third violation will result in the provider being suspended from the IHSS program for 3 months. A fourth violation will result in a suspension of 12 months, which will require the provioder to complete the full enrollment process, including background check, to work again.
Disability Rights California (www.disabilityrightsca.org) has a document that explains the new IHSS rules.
The New Bargaining Agreement with SEIU ULTCWIn July 2014, a new contract was agreed upon between the Public Authority and Alameda County and SEIU ULTCW. It includes a wage increase to $12.50, that began November 1, 2014. This will be the highest IHSS wage in any county in CA (at least for a few months).
Beause the CCI (Managed care Pilot) is not going forward in Alameda County, the Public Authority will continue to be the employer of record for bargaining with the union representing the IHSS workforce in Alameda County. The responsibility for bargaining wages and benefits in Alameda County will NOT shift to a Statewide Authority in Sacramento. The Public Authority will continue to provide the services we do now: such as the Registry, training and administering health benefits for IHSS providers.
Advisory Board Seeking New Members: One Advocate for Seniors and Two IHSS Consumers 60 Years or OlderIf you are a current or former IHSS consumer living in Alameda County, or advocate for seniors, please consider applying to join our Advisory Board. We will be interviewing applicants in September 2015 to fill two openings for consumers 60 years or older and one position for an advocarte for seniors.
Our Advisory Board is know for its advocacy activities and is mandated to make recommendations to improve the IHSS program and Public Authoriuty services. The Board is considered the best informed and most influential among all the public authorities in California. The Board meets on the first Thursday of each month (except August) at 1:30 PM. Members are paid $25 for attending each Advisory Board meeting and are reimbursed for actual expenses such as travel and additional attendant care at meetings). Please contact Charles Calavan, the executive director of the Public Authority, at 510 577-3548 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or an application.
The Coordinated Care Initiative (Duals Managed Care Pilot) is NOT Happening in Alameda CountyIn the Fall of 2014, the State announced that Alameda County would NOT be part of the CCI Managed Care Pilot which was scheduled to start enrollng "Duals" in July 2015. In May 2014, the State had announced it has appointed a caretaker over the Alameda Alliance for Health, which is Alameda County's managed care program. This was done due to major fiscal problems at the Alliance. The announcment said that AAH services and benefits will not be affected. However, this raised a question about the Alliance's ability to take on 39,000 additional plan members under a pilot program of managed care, the Coordinated Care Iniative (CCI). This pilot would have enrolled Alameda County residents who are "Duals" (eligible for both Medicare and Medi-Cal, which are now fee for service health care plans) into one of two managed care plans. Alameda was to be one of 8 California counties in the CCI, a three-year pilot. Those who did not want to receive and have their their Medicare services coordinated through the Alameda Alliance for Health or the Anthem Blue Cross managed care plans were to “opt-out” by requesting to keep their Medicare services outside the CCI pilot. However, "Duals" who wished to continue to receive IHSS, MSSP, nursing home care, CBAS (adult day programs, now called Community-Based Adult Services), and other Long Term Support Services (LTSS) had to enroll in one of the two managed care plans, which will provide and coordinate those services. The State claimed that managed care plans will provide improved care coordination to members and significantly reduce the cost of health care but in January 2015, reports are showing now real savings aand CCI could be canceled.
Options Under the the Affordable Care ActBeginning in 2014, the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires individuals to have health insurance or potentially pay a penalty for noncompliance. Individuals will be required to maintain minimum essential coverage for themselves and their dependents. Some individuals will be exempt from the mandate and the penalty, while others may receive financial assistance to help them pay for the cost of health insurance coverage and the costs associated with using health care services. For individuals who do not have health coverage, the penalty will start in 2014 at $95 per person or up to 1 percent of income. In 2015, the penalty increases to $325 per person or up to 2 percent of income. For 2016 and after, the penalty goes up to $695 per person or up to 2.5 percent of income. If you or your family members are uninsured and meet eligibility requirements, you may qualify for affordable health coverage. Health coverage can be obtained through Medi-Cal for low-income legal residents with incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty line — $15,282 for an individual or $31,322 for a family of four — regardless of whether they have children, disabilities or assets. Uninsured individuals and families are also able to obtain health coverage through Covered California and financial assistance is available on a sliding scale base to help pay for health insurance. Information about options to obtain health coverage is available at: