New Federal Law Restricts IHSS Recipient Movement and Endangers their Care Providers.
California recently made changes to the current Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) system to comply with federal law. EVV systems are essentially government tracking systems that affect both seniors and people with disabilities who have IHSS/WPCS providers who do not live with them. These changes in the law will require that recipients stay in or nearby their residences in order to qualify for federal funding for IHSS. These rules take effect on July 1, 2023.
With this change, California is attempting to alleviate fraud and other inefficiencies. However, the EVV system essentially puts seniors and people with disabilities under house arrest. Providers who do not live with their recipient will be required to check in at the beginning of the shift and check out when it ends. Their movements will be traced via “geo-tracking”, thus restricting the caregiver’s ability to accompany a recipient when they chose to travel outside a predetermined radius.
InSpirit, along with the The National Council on Independent Living oppose the new federal regulation because of a number of serious concerns:
The invasion of both the recipient’s right to privacy and freedom of movement due to geo-tracking (GPS).
Private home care agencies gain more power, resulting in a loss of federal funding for IHSS.
Deterioration in the relationship between disabled recipients and their home care workers.
Erosion in the already limited number of available caregivers available due to the increase of detailed accountability required and the administrative tasks that accompany the role.
Lastly, poor cell coverage or other technical glitches can cause issues with accurate clocking in and out.
Here is NCIL’s position:
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 which eliminates paper timesheets may benefit some, advocates are alarmed it may undermine the civil rights of privacy and freedom of movement that the disability community has fought for over many decades.