CSAC Bulletin Article

In-Home Supportive Services Guidance and Funding

April 2, 2020

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) released guidance this week on several issues related to the In-Home Supportive Services Program and COVID-19. There will be state and federal funding provided for the new requirements on counties and public authorities that are outlined in these documents. CSAC has collaborated with the County Welfare Directors Association, the California Association of Public Authorities, and other stakeholder organizations on raising and working in partnership with CDSS on these and other IHSS/COVID-19 issues. Below is a brief summary of the key details from this guidance.

Back-Up Providers

CDSS issued an All County Letter that addresses the need for an emergency back-up system of IHSS providers to ensure recipients are able to continue to receive their needed services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each county will be required to work with the public authority to implement a system to have back-up providers available if a provider is unable to work due to COVID-19 impacts. Any IHSS providers that conduct emergency back-up services related to COVID-19 impacts will be paid a wage differential of $2 per hour on top of the county provider wage. The Administration will provide $7.6 million ($3.8 million General Fund) for counties to establish these systems and $20 million ($9.2 million GF) to fund the $2 wage differential.

Social Worker Outreach and Overtime

CDSS issued an All County Letter that addresses the increased demands that IHSS and Adult Protective Services (APS) social workers are experiencing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For IHSS, the Administration will provide $10 million ($5 million General Fund) in county IHSS administration funding for social worker overtime for activities in response to COVID-19 related impacts. These include face-to-face assessments, responding to increased phone calls, assessments due a change in circumstances from COVID-19 resulting in increased hours, and assistance with provider enrollment. For both IHSS and APS, the state is indicating that social workers should identify and conduct outreach to program recipients who may need additional support during this time. Counties should prioritize the individuals who at most in need of this outreach and provide information and resources to further support these program recipients. The Administration will provide $10 million ($5 million GF) to support these activities.

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