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Good news for IHSS parent and grandparent providers!

Overtime for IHSS providers was a hard fought, much deserved victory for us all. Finally, after decades of exclusion from this basic labor protection, homecare providers, like most other workers, will be paid time and a half for overtime hours starting February 1, 2016.

UDW has been working hard to make sure overtime is a benefit that will help improve the lives of all IHSS providers and their families. The new overtime workweek limits have been a concern for a relatively small number of family providers who work very high hours every week. Some of these providers are parents who care for more than one child receiving IHSS, or grandparents who care for multiple grandchildren receiving IHSS. The standard 66 hour workweek limit would create a hardship for these families and prevent these caregivers from giving their loved ones all of the quality care they need.

We pressured the state very hard to come up with a solution to this problem, and we’re happy to announce the categorical exemption.

Now, if you:

  • Provide IHSS services to two or more recipients,
  • Live in the same home as the IHSS recipients for whom you provide services,
  • AND are the parent, stepparent, adoptive parent, grandparent, or legal guardian of the IHSS recipients for whom you provide services

you may opt for the categorical exemption, which will allow you to work up to 90 hours per week and receive overtime pay. You will not be subject to the 66 hour a week cap on hours. Providers who qualify and choose the categorical exemption will be able to work a maximum of 360 hours per month. If you qualify, but your IHSS recipients’ hours exceed 90 a week or 360 per month, you will need to hire an additional IHSS provider to work the remaining hours.

If you qualify for the categorical exemption, you will be mailed a letter and a form to complete and return to CDSS no later than April 1, 2016.

Here are a few things to remember:

  • The categorical exemption applies only to the parent or grandparent providers listed above, which means providers who are the spouse, child, sibling, or another type of family relationship, do not qualify.
  • Keep in mind, if one of your two or more IHSS recipients is a person that is not your child or grandchild, you do not qualify. For example, if you live with and provide care for your son and your spouse, you do not qualify for the categorical exemption.
  • You must fit into all of the above categories to qualify.

UDW understands that a similar exemption would be beneficial to some of our other family providers who don’t meet this criteria, which is why we are pushing the state to develop a second, individual exemption. We will update you as soon as more information becomes available.

All providers should be on the lookout for important information from your local UDW office, your local Public Authority, and the state regarding upcoming IHSS trainings. It is critical that we all understand the IHSS program rule changes regarding overtime, travel time, and medical accompaniment. A good understanding of these rules will help us avoid stiff penalties.

Please contact our UDW Member Benefits Center at 1-800-621-5016 for more information.