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Each county has an Advocacy Council made up of UDW caregivers who host advocacy workshops to help providers navigate IHSS and help clients get the hours of care that they need. Check out Angela Mohamad’s success story below. Your local council is a great resource and can help you:

To get help, contact your local UDW office and they can put you in touch with your area’s council and sign up for an advocacy workshop.

I felt like I had nowhere to turn for help. The social worker eventually stopped answering my calls.” – Angela Mohamad, Caregiver

Angela (right) with her mother.

Before I got help from the Riverside County Advocacy Council, my mom and I were in trouble. She suffered from Alzheimer’s and dementia, but our social worker only gave her 23 hours a month through IHSS. My mom needed round-the-clock care, and I had to leave my business and schooling to keep her safe.

We had a reassessment where I explained that my mother was a danger to herself living on her own—so the social worker said our only recourse was to place my mother in a nursing home and that there was nothing else she could do to help us. She even said that if I didn’t move my mom into a home it would be my fault if something happened to her! I was at a loss, and felt like I had nowhere to turn for help. The social worker eventually stopped answering my calls.

Then, I attended a UDW informational meeting and found out about the advocacy council and how they help their fellow caregivers through the reassessment and hearing process.

When I met with the council for the first time, they were able to guide me through filling out the proper forms. I had filled these out before but the social worker always claimed that she never received them. The council helped me fax the forms right from the union office and get a receipt.

The council made sure my case was transferred to a supervisor and soon after I learned that I would be getting the maximum amount of hours to care for my mom. Not only that, but I was awarded retroactive pay from the first time I tried to contact my social worker to get a reassessment—five months of back-pay for the maximum hours allowed!

I can’t explain the hardship and suffering we underwent prior to meeting with the advocacy council. I really thought there were no other options. Winning the case was truly a life-changing blessing. And the retroactive pay allowed me to purchase a car so I could take my mother to her doctor’s appointments. I truly have no words to express my gratitude for the advocacy council, and I strongly encourage anyone having trouble navigating IHSS to reach out to their local council.