September 2009

Federal Lawsuit Filed To Stop Cuts in Homecare To 130,000 Californians

Lawsuit Press Release Header
San Francisco, Calif. – Several individuals needing critical assistance to remain safely in their homes, advocates for seniors and people with disabilities, and the unions whose members provide care, today filed suit in federal court in San Francisco to prevent impending cuts in the “In-Home Supportive Services” program, known as IHSS. One plaintiff, Mrs. Willie Beatrice Sheppard, recently had a stroke but with the help of her home care worker continues to live independently in her small apartment in Emeryville. Without IHSS, Ms. Sheppard is concerned that she will fall and end up in a nursing home.

The cuts in IHSS services are scheduled to take effect November 1, 2009. Approximately 40,000 people will lose services entirely and an additional 97,000 will have their services cut sharply. The services to be cut are primarily meal preparation, food shopping, cleaning and assistance to medical appointments – basic services which frail seniors and those with disabilities depend on to avoid more costly placement in institutions such as nursing homes.

The lawsuit, which is filed as a class action on behalf of all those affected, seeks to avert what Margaret Baran of the IHSS Consortium, said will be a “humanitarian disaster.” Experts predict that cutting services to this many people will flood emergency rooms and overwhelm adult protective services.

Paul Castro of Jewish Family Services of Los Angeles predicts that “Many of our IHSS clients will end up in…board and care facilities, institutions or simply find themselves isolated from the outside world.” Evie Goldberg, a psychiatric social worker for 30 years, summarized her experience starkly: “People who are nourished by IHSS, particularly when frail and older, live longer. Those without it don’t live as long.”

“It is always less costly to care for people at home. A 2006 study showed that the average… public expenditure on home…based (Medicaid) services is $44,000 less than a person receiving institutional services,” stated Mitchell P. LaPlante, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Institute for Health and Aging, UCSF.

The lawsuit alleges that the IHSS cutbacks will violate federal constitutional due process protections, the Medicaid Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. “The purpose of the ADA is to eliminate discrimination against people with disabilities and these cuts will result in increased segregation and diminution of rights,” asserted Paula Pearlman of the Disability Rights Legal Center.

“The proposed cuts are especially biased against people with mental illness, developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injury, who may need help just as much as people with physical disabilities,” said Melinda Bird of Disability Rights California, lead counsel in the case.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of IHSS recipients and caregivers. Four public interest law firms – Disability Rights California, Disability Rights Legal Center, National Senior Citizens Law Center and the National Health Law Program were joined by the law firm of Altshuler Berzon LLP, which is representing SEIU locals (SEIU – United Healthcare Workers, SEIU – United Long Term Care Workers, and SEIU Local 521), California United of Homecare Workers (CUHW), and United Domestic Workers-AFSCME, whose members are IHSS caregivers and attendants.

Today’s press conference featured a case summary by Melinda Bird, and the expert opinions of Lee Collins, director of the San Luis Obispo Department of Social Services; Donna Calame, executive director of the San Francisco IHSS Public Authority; and Ann Guerra, executive director of the Nevada-Sierra Regional IHSS Public Authority.

View filed complaint here.

SEIU Healthcare, United Long-Term Care Workers’ Union is the largest union of long-term care workers in California. The more than 150,000 nursing home and homecare caregivers provide vital care and services to seniors and people with disabilities.
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FEDERAL LAWSUIT FILED TO STOP CUTS TO HOMECARE

On October 1, 2009, SEIU ULTCW joined other SEIU locals, labor unions and advocacy groups in filing a lawsuit in federal court to stop the devastating cuts to the IHSS program.  The lawsuit alleges that IHSS cuts will violate the federal constitutional due process protections, the Medicaid Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The cuts in IHSS services are scheduled to take effect November 1, 2009.  If these cuts do take place at least 40,000 California seniors and people with disabilities will lose services entirely and an additional 97,000 will have their services cut sharply.

View the Press Release | View Filed Complaint | View Press Coverage

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Nearly 40,000 LA County Seniors and Disabled to Lose Home Care Service Hours

Cabrera PhotoAt the September meeting of the LA County Personal Assistance Services Council (PASC), officials from the Department of Public Social Services announced that nearly 40,000 Los Angeles County IHSS recipients will either lose vital care hours or services all together due to State budget cuts.

Scheduled to take place on November 1, 2009, the County estimates that 8,400 IHSS recipients will lose all of their IHSS services, while an additional 30,000 will experience cuts to their care hours. IHSS recipients throughout the State will be notified of changes to their services and hours via mail approximately ten days before the cuts occur. In addition to impacting nearly 40,000 IHSS consumers, these cuts will result in a loss of work hours for approximately 30,000 care providers!

What You Need To Do: To learn more about the 5 Steps you need to take to take to reduce the impact of these cuts on you and your client(s), click here!

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ULTCW and Disability Advocates Call-Out Governor for Honoring Mother-in-Law While At The Same Time Cutting Vital Home Care Services

Lillibeth Navarro PhotoIn a September 18th Los Angeles Times story, Governor Schwarzenegger claimed that it was the voice of his late mother-in-law, Eunice Kennedy Shriver (disability advocate and founder of the Special Olympics), who moved him to take action to stop the eviction of approximately 20 disabled residents from a Monrovia apartment complex. The Governor was quoted as saying “All of a sudden I heard [her] voice in my ear. She says, ’Arnold why are you sitting around now…do something.’” He later took his comments further by posting on his Twitter page that “My mother-in-law fought so that people like Lilly Hixon (resident) could live independently.”

What outraged disability advocates and ULTCW members most was the fact that while taking steps to help twenty Californians in need, the Governor is making cuts to the IHSS program that will jeopardize the safety and independence of nearly 140,000 seniors and people with disabilities.

ULTCW and activists from the disability community quickly responded by issuing a press release expressing their outrage and calling on the Governor to truly listen to the voice of Eunice Kennedy Shriver by stopping cuts to the IHSS program.

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LA County Announces: Nearly 40,000 Seniors and Disabled to Lose Home Care Service Hours Due to State Budget Cuts

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – (September 21, 2009) At the September meeting of the Los Angeles County Personal Assistance Services Council (PASC), officials from the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) announced that nearly 40,000 Los Angeles County seniors and people living with disabilities who rely on the State’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program for vital care will either lose all or some of their care hours due to State budget cuts. As a direct result of these cuts, an estimated 30,000 Los Angeles County home care providers will face devastating reductions in work hours or lose their jobs entirely.

“These cuts are devastating,” said Simon Golledge, Executive Director of the PASC, which oversees the County’s IHSS program. “The lives of 70,000 Los Angeles County residents will soon be placed in jeopardy. For 40,000 IHSS recipients, who represent some of our most fragile residents, they lose essential care services needed to remain safely in their homes. For the 30,000 care providers who deliver this care and struggle to make ends meet, they face an even greater financial hardship than they already do today.”

The State’s cuts to IHSS are based on a Functional Index (FI) scale of 1 to 5 – with 5 representing the most extreme need of assistance. According to DPSS figures, approximately 8,400 County IHSS recipients will lose all of their IHSS services due to having an overall FI score below 2.0. Thirty thousand (30,000) more recipients will lose essential domestic service hours because tasks fall below an FI score of 4.0.

“Simply put, cutting the IHSS program is shortsighted and places the lives of our parents, grandparents and children with disabilities in danger,” said Laphonza Butler, Co Trustee of SEIU ULTCW – the United Long Term Care Workers’ Union. “In addition to endangering lives, these cuts end up costing – not saving – taxpayers money since they force people who lose their home care to turn to costly emergency rooms and institutions in order to survive.”

Originally scheduled to take place on September 1, 2009 the cuts to the IHSS program have been pushed back November 1 due to the enormous task of the California Department of Social Services to send a Notice of Action to all individuals who will be losing services and care hours throughout California.

In an effort to ensure that IHSS recipients know their rights, disability advocates such as Communities Actively Living Independent and Free (CALIF) are spreading the word that IHSS recipients whose care hours and services are being cut have the right to appeal. They are also raising awareness of the fact that by filing an appeal quickly they may be able to retain their current hours until their appeal is heard.

“It’s imperative that any IHSS recipient who receives a Notice of Action understands that they have the right to appeal cuts to their hours,” said , Executive Director of CALIF. “If they call the toll-free number on the back of their Notice of Action before the cuts are put into place and request ‘aid paid pending’, their service hours should remain intact until the hearing takes place.”

The IHSS program serves 445,000 seniors and people with disabilities throughout California (186,000 in Los Angeles County) by providing in-home care assistance for tasks such as bathing, feeding, cleaning, meal preparation, getting to doctors’ appointments, and other personal care services. Every year the IHSS program saves California taxpayers millions of dollars as it is on average 4 times LESS expensive than other alternative care options such as institutional care.

SEIU Healthcare, United Long-Term Care Workers’ Union is the largest union of long-term care workers in California. The more than 150,000 nursing home and homecare caregivers provide vital care and services to seniors and people with disabilities.
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Disability Advocates Call-Out Governor Schwarzenegger For Honoring Mother-In-Law While Cutting Vital Services

LOS ANGELES (September 18, 2009) – Advocates for seniors and people with disabilities spoke out against the Governor on Friday in response to statements he made in an LA Times story that ran earlier that morning and further comments he made on Twitter.

“As the Governor stepped in to stop eviction notices for the twenty disabled residents of Regency Court Apartments, his office was preparing to send out similar notices to an estimated 140,000 seniors and people with disabilities informing them of drastic cuts to their home care services,” said Laphonza Butler, Co-Trustee of SEIU ULTCW. “How can he explain that?”

The September 18, 2009 online story, entitled “Remembering late mother-in-law, Schwarzenegger intervenes to stop Monrovia evictions” credits the Governor for stopping the evictions of twenty mentally and physically disabled residents. The Governor stated in the LA Times story that he was inspired to take action as he thought about his mother-in-law, Eunice Kennedy Shriver who founded the Special Olympics and was an advocate for people with disabilities. “All of a sudden I heard [her] voice in my ear,” Schwarzenegger said. “She says, ‘Arnold why are you sitting around now, you just read the story, do something!'” The Governor later posted on his Twitter page that “My mother-in-law fought so that people like Lily Hixon could live independently.”

“If the Governor is truly listening to the voice of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, he’ll stop attacking seniors and people with disabilities and do whatever is necessary to reverse the drastic and dangerous cuts he’s made to the State’s home care program,” said Hugh Hallenberg, long time disability advocate. “If he doesn’t, it’s obvious that this was nothing more than a press stunt.”

An estimated 140,000 seniors and people with disabilities who rely on In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) for vital home care services will be notified by mail that the hours of care they receive each month will either be eliminated or reduced due to State Budget cuts. Notice of Action statements were originally scheduled to be sent out on September 1, 2009, but have been postponed to October 1 due to the State’s inability to reach such a large number of people.

“Yes, Governor, you are correct. Your mother-in-law did fight so that people could live independently,” said Lillibeth Navarro, Executive Director of Communities Actively Living Independent and Free. “So how would she feel about you honoring her fight in one breath and at the same time cutting the vital services that allow seniors and people with disabilities to live independently?”

SEIU Healthcare, United Long-Term Care Workers’ Union is the largest union of long-term care workers in California. The more than 150,000 nursing home and homecare caregivers provide vital care and services to seniors and people with disabilities.
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Finding Fairness Important Phone Numbers and Websites

Important Phone Numbers and Web Sites

FINDING FAIRNESS
Web Site: www.FindingFairness.org
Hotline: 1-877-456-IHSS

SEIU-ULTCW
Web Site: www.SEIU-ULTCW.org
Phone: 1(888) 373-3018
Office Locations:

Los Angeles/Ventura
2515 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90057

San Bernardino
195 N. Arrowhead Ave.
San Bernardino, CA 92408

Watsonville
11-H Alexander Street
Watsonville, CA 95076

Oakland
440 Grand Ave., Suite 250
Oakland, CA 94610

Sacramento
1127 11th St. Suite 523
Sacramento, CA 95814

DISABILITY RIGHTS CALIFORNIA
Web Site: www.disabilityrightsca.org

IHSS PUBLIC AUTHORITIES
Web Site: www.capaihss.org
Public Authority Phone Numbers:

Alameda County
(510) 577-3552

Los Angeles County
(877) 565-4477

Mendocino County
(707) 463-7900

Monterey County
(831) 755-4466

Napa County
(707) 259-8359

San Benito County
(831) 634-0784

San Bernardino County
(909) 386-5014

Santa Cruz County
(831) 454-5252

Solano County
(707) 438-1773

Ventura County
(805) 652-7674

Números Telefónicos Importantes y Sitios de Internet

LOGRANDO JUSTICIA
Sitio de Internet: www.FindingFairness.org
Línea de asistencia: 1-877-456-IHSS

SEIU-ULTCW
Sitio de Internet: www.SEIU-ULTCW.org
Teléfono: 1(888) 373-3018
Oficinas:

Los Angeles/Ventura
2515 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90057

San Bernardino
195 N. Arrowhead Ave.
San Bernardino, CA 92408

Watsonville
11-H Alexander Street
Watsonville, CA 95076

Oakland
440 Grand Ave., Suite 250
Oakland, CA 94610

Sacramento
1127 11th St. Suite 523
Sacramento, CA 95814

DERECHOS DE DISCAPACIDAD EN CALIFORNIA
Sitio de Internet: www.disabilityrightsca.org

AUTORIDADES PÚBLICAS
DEL IHSS

Sitio de Internet: www.capaihss.org
Números Telefónicos de las Autoridades Públicas:

Condado de Alameda
(510) 577-3552

Condado de Los Angeles
(877) 565-4477

Condado de Mendocino
(707) 463-7900

Condado de Monterey
(831) 755-4466

Condado de Napa
(707) 259-8359

Condado de San Benito
(831) 634-0784

Condado de San Bernardino
(909) 386-5014

Condado de Santa Cruz
(831) 454-5252

Condado de Solano
(707) 438-1773

Condado de Ventura
(805) 652-7674

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Finding Fairness Information is Power right rail

Information is Power. Get your questions answered.
La Información es Fortaleza. Obtenga las respuestas a sus preguntas.
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Finding Fairness – Information is Power

Information is Power

FINDING FAIRNESS
Hotline: 1-877-456-IHSS
www.FindingFairness.org
The HOTLINE will help direct your call to the appropriate agency.
LOGRANDO JUSTICIA
Línea de asistencia: 1-877-456-IHSS
www.FindingFairness.org
La LÍNEA DE ASISTENCIA le ayudará a dirigir su llamada a la agencia apropiada.
SEIU-ULTCW
1-888-373-3018
www.SEIU-ULTCW.org
SEIU-ULTCW
1-888-373-3018
www.SEIU-ULTCW.org
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Finding Fairness – Steps


1  STEP 1: Talk to your client(s) and ask if they’ve received a Notice of Action informing them of their total Functional Index score, their Functional Rank for specific tasks, and any reduction in care hours or elimination of services.

第1步: 和您的受照顧者 (們)交談,問他們是否收到行動公告,通知他們有關他們的總功能指數分數,他們特別需要的功能等級,及任何減少護理時數或消除服務

PASO 1: Hable con su(s) cliente(s) y pregúntele(s) si ha(n) recibido una Notificación de Acción informándole(s) sobre su puntuación total del Índice Funcional, su Categoría Funcional para tareas específicas, y cualquier reducción en las horas de cuidado o la eliminación de servicios.

2 STEP 2: Inform your client(s) of their right to APPEAL cuts to care hours and services.

To make an appeal, it’s IMPORTANT that you REMIND THEM TO:

  • Carefully follow the instructions on the Notice of Action.
  • Request “Aid Paid Pending” on the appeal to keep their current hours and services until the appeal is heard.
  • File their appeal with “Aid Paid Pending” before the date the cuts take place – otherwise their hours and services will be cut!
第2步: 告知您的受照顧者 (們) 有關他們對削減照顧時數和服務的申訴權利。若要提出申訴, 重要的是你要提醒他們:

  • 仔細按照行動公告上的說明。
  • 請求 ” 援助付費暫待 ” 要求保持其當前的時數和服務,直到上訴。
  • 提出申訴並請求 ” 援助付費暫待 ” , 必需 在削減發生之前提出,否則他們的時數和 服務將會受到削減!

PASO 2: Infórmele(s) a su(s) cliente(s) sobre su derecho de APELAR contra los recortes de las horas del cuidado y los servicios.

Para hacer una apelación, es IMPORTANTE que le(s) RECUERDE(N) que TIENE(N) QUE:

  • Seguir Detalladamente las instrucciones de la Notificación de Acción.
  • Solicitar el “Pago de Apoyo por Resolver” (Aid Paid Pending) en la apelación para mantener sus horas y servicios actuales hasta que se procese la apelación.
  • Entablar su apelación con “Pago de Apoyo por Resolver” antes de la fecha que los recortes se realicen – ¡porque si no lo hace, sus horas y servicios serán eliminados!

3 STEP 3: Call the Governor, then call our Lawyer. Call the Governor today at (916) 445-2841 and tell him that funding for the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program must be restored in order to protect the lives of our most vulnerable residents. Then, call (888) 843-7043 to participate in our ongoing class action lawsuit against the State for cutting consumer hours and share the hardships these cuts are having on your and your client(s).

第3步: 打電話給州長,然後電話給我們的律師。 今日就電話給州長 (916) 445-2841 告訴他居家看護支援服務計劃的撥款必須恢復,以保障我們的大多數脆弱的居民的生活。 然後,電話給 (888) 843-7043 參與我們正在進行的訴訟 針對州政府削減消費者時數,當前的這些削減正在帶您的和您照顧的人進入困境。

PASO 3: Llame al Gobernador, después llame a nuestro Abogado. Llame al Gobernador hoy al (916) 445-2841 y dígale que la financiación para el programa de los Servicios del Cuidado en el Hogar (IHSS) tiene que recuperarse para poder proteger las vidas de nuestros residentes más vulnerables. Después, llame al (888) 843-7043 para participar en nuestra continua demanda colectiva contra el Estado por recortar las horas del consumidor y comparta las dificultades que estos recortes le están causando a usted y a su(s) cliente(s).

4 STEP 4: Keep a diary of how these cuts are impacting your life and share those stories with us.

第 4步: 記述下來這些削減正如何影響你的生命,並與我們分享這些經歷故事。

PASO 4: Mantenga un diario de cómo estos recortes le están afectando en su vida y comparta esas historias con nosotros.


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