Legislative Info & Advocacy

Advocacy Update

InSpirit has a long history of advocating for its recipients with quadriplegia because almost all of them live close to the poverty line, entirely and solely dependent upon earned benefits from the government. Dictating that existence is the California State Department of Finance, with rules asserting that our recipients on Medi-Cal, SSI, IHSS and SSDI must maintain abnormally low levels of assets and income in order to remain eligible for those earned benefits.

Despite unsuccessful years of attempting to raise those limits, InSpirit will persevere in assuring that its recipients attain the highest level of dignity by continuing to advocate on their behalf.

Current IHSS Issues
New Federal Law Requires Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) for IHSS Care Recipients and their Care Providers
A new federal requirement poses a serious threat to the independence of people with disabilities. The 21st Century CURES Section 12006 enacted December 2016 mandates that states implement a telephone-computer based electronic system for IHSS recipients and their care providers to log in hours at the beginning and ending of shifts. This onerous law is being implemented across the country with a January 1, 2019 deadline, or states may face cuts to their already strained Medicaid funding.

 

The system has already been implemented in Marin County on a volunteer basis, but the state has said it will not implement the final EVV system by the 2019 deadline because they need to work with stakeholders and others to develop a good system. We encourage people to get in contact with state legislators and others who have a stake in how EVV will impact their lives. While the new system eliminating paper timesheets may benefit some, advocates are alarmed it may undermine the civil rights of privacy and freedom of movement for which the disability community has fought for many decades.
 

The National Council on Independent Living opposes the new federal regulation because of concerns involving not only privacy and freedom of movement, but the use of private home care agencies and a loss of federal funding for IHSS. Also, a deterioration in the relationship of disabled recipients and their home care workers is feared. For more official information about EVV:

 

Read about their concerns:
www.advocacymonitor.com/ncil-position-opposing-electronic-visit-verification/

 
Previous Updates
Paid Sick Leave for IHSS Providers is on the Way
On April 4, 2016, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 3. The bill establishes a
requirement to permit IHSS providers to accrue and use paid sick leave hours.
The policies relating to implementing the bill have not yet been released, and we
will post a link when it is available.
 
IRS Tax Exemption for Live-in IHSS and/or Waiver Personal Care Services
The IRS recently issued a notice that the wages received by IHSS and WPCS providers are not considered part of the gross income for purposes of federal income tax (FIT). According to the California Franchise Tax Board, this will also apply for California State personal income tax.


To register for this tax exclusion, providers must complete SOC Form 2298, Live-in Self-Certification Form. The wage exclusion will also automatically exclude state income tax. You will not need to file a separate certification form for the state.
The form may be found on the California Department of Social Services www.cdss.ca.gov. Please direct questions regarding the SOC Form 2298 to CDSS at 916-551-1011.

 

Medi-Cal and Share of Cost
If you cannot qualify for free Medi-Cal or Medi-Cal's Working Disabled Program, you may be able to get Medi-Cal through the Aged, Blind, & Disabled - Medically Needy (ABD–MN) program. However, you would have to pay a share of cost. A share of cost is a certain amount of money you must spend on medical care each month before Medi-Cal begins to pay for services.
Guidelines and general information on qualifying for Medi-Cal and Medi-Cal share of cost, although current income limits would have to be verified.

Click for More Information

Resource and Advocacy Information

UNITED SPINAL ASSOCIATION

The United Spinal Association is dedicated to building an inclusive world that empowers people with spinal cord injuries and disorders in reaching their full potential. Sign up here for free membership and access to all of the resources and support available through United Spinal Association.

Lobbyists Keep Nursing Homes Healthy, Disabled Patients Not so Much
Read San Diego Free Press article at:
Press Release

End The Institutional Bias for Long Term Care
If, like millions of Americans, you need personal assistance and run out of money, you may be eligible for long-term care under Medicaid. But in order to get those safety net benefits, you may have no choice but to move into a nursing home. This is true even though most people prefer to stay at home and most of the institutions themselves would rather be providing more lucrative post-acute care and rehabilitation.

Read this article

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