August 2009

Finding Fairness

Finding Fairness means making sure that the voices of long term care workers and their clients are acknowledged and heard throughout every step of what is already a painful and flawed set of policies resulting from the State Budget.  A key component in finding fairness is to ensure that the respect for, and rights of seniors, people with disabilities and those who care for them are protected – not sacrificed by shortsighted Sacramento decisions.

The Finding Fairness Campaign was created to: 1) help long term care workers and their clients understand the details of the State budget and prepare for the impacts of the cuts, and 2) expose the issues these shortsighted cuts and their hastily implementation will cause in the lives tens-of-thousands (hundreds-of-thousands) of Californians who will be affected. 

What We’ve Done:
FAQ on Budget Cuts
We quickly developed a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document that address common questions and concerns that long term care workers may have regarding the State’s cuts to programs. This document will continue to be updated as new Questions and Answers arise.
Member FAQ's Member FAQ’s

IHSS Fraud Prevention Brochure
As part of the new budget, the Governor signed into law new IHSS fraud prevention policies.  This brochure provides a quick resource to important dates and points of information that home care providers and their clients need to know.
IHSS Fraud Prevention Brochure  Download IHSS Fraud Prevention Brochure

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What Members Can Do

1.   Talk with your IHSS consumer and make sure you are aware of when they receive their notice of any elimination of hours and what their Functional Index (FI) score is.

2.   View the Appeal Summary form so you’re familiar with the appeals process.  Then inform your IHSS consumer of their right to appeal any reduction in hours or loss of services.

3.   Call the Governor at 916-445-2841 and tell him that these hasty and shortsighted cuts to the IHSS program are wrong and funding for care hours should be restored immediately!

4.   Share your story!  We need to make sure that our elected officials are aware of the impact that these cuts to hours and elimination of services are having on care providers and consumers.  From challenges paying your bills and problems you’ve experienced with the implementation of these cuts to what a loss of care hours mean to your client and their safety, we must record every story possible. To share your story, fill out the form on this page or call the Member Action Center at 1-888-373-3018.

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Governor Deepens Cuts to IHSS Program As He Signs State Budget

Governor Deepens Cuts to Seniors and Disabled As He Signs the Budget
Line-Item Vetoes Believed To Be Illegal!

The latest in a long line of attacks on the home care program, the Governor furthered his assault on home care providers and consumers by exercising his veto power when signing the new state budget on July 28, 2009.

With the swipe of his pen, Governor Schwarzenegger removed important exemptions that the Legislature put into place to protect the domestic services of In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) recipients with paramedical services, protective supervision, and receiving 120 overall hours or more on a monthly basis. He also slashed an additional $9.4 million from the budget of public authorities – funding used in part to operate the Registry and ensure that reassessments by social workers were completed in a timely manner.

WHAT THIS MEANS:
For Home Care Recipients, this means that the lives of our most vulnerable residents will be placed in even greater jeopardy. Here is an example of someone who will be hurt because of the Governor’s veto: a person with Alzheimer’s who requires protective supervision may not have a lot of physical disabilities but will probably lose the protective supervision that makes the difference between living safely at home or being placed into an institution. They’ll also experience delays in County reassessments that are critical to ensuring that the hours of care they’re allotted accommodate their deteriorating condition.

For Home Care Providers, this means the possibility of additional cuts to hours that would result in a loss of income and for some their health care benefits (since benefits are based on the number of hours worked). Care providers would also be forced to consider whether or not to ‘work off the clock’ even more than they currently do to ensure their client’s health and well-being.

Action is being taken to determine whether or not the Governor overstepped his veto authority with these last minute cuts – making them illegal.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
The Governor’s ongoing attacks only reinforce the need to stay vigilant in our fight to protect our seniors, people with disabilities and those who care for them, and seek an alternative funding solution for the home care program – one that will remove the program from the Governor’s reach.

To accomplish this, here’s what you can do…

* Call the Governor today at (916) 445-2841 and tell him that home care should be a California priority!
* Register to vote! Take an active role in the political process and upcoming races.
* For IHSS providers, join the COPE program to make sure that our voices are heard in Sacramento!
* Get others involved in the fight! Have 5 friends and family members visit www.StopHomecareCuts.org  and sign an online card to protect home care!

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