IHSS provider enrollment issues

The California Department of Social Services has issued clarification regarding various In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) provider enrollment issues.   

Prospective IHSS providers must undergo a background check in order to enroll as a provider.  If an individual has a Tier 1 conviction in the last 10 years, they are barred from being an IHSS provider.  Tier 1 offenses are specified abuse of a child, abuse of an elder or dependent adult and fraud against a government health care program or supportive services program.  Tier 2 crimes also bar an individual from being an IHSS provider for 10 years, but the prospective provider can apply for a waiver.  Tier 2 crimes are a violent or serious felony, a felony for which a person is required to register as a sex offender, and felony fraud against a public social services program. 

CDSS provided a new plain language list of Tier 2 exclusionary crimes and explanation of some of those crimes.  Issues in these explanations include that failure to register as a sex offender, by itself, is not a Tier 2 exclusionary offense, and that a provider who has a Tier 2 felony reduced to a misdemeanor is eligible to work as an IHSS provider.  In addition, any incarceration time for a probation or parole violation is considered part of the original sentence and the ten year bar ends when incarceration for the probation or parole violation ends. 

In general, court orders or court documents are not to be used to deny or terminate IHSS provider enrollment.  Only notice from the Department of Justice can be used to deny or terminate provider enrollment.  However, court orders or court documents can be used to clarify the charged offense or conviction.  In addition, court orders or court documents can be used to determine provider enrollment for non-California offenses.

CDSS also discussed rules regarding minors as IHSS providers.  Minors must be at least 12 years old to obtain a valid work permit.  Minors age 12-13 can only provide limited domestic services and may only be employed on school holidays, weekends or vacations.  Minors age 14-15 can provide cooking or food preparation services but only when supervised by another person over age 18, can work three hours per day school day outside of school hours and eight hours per day on any non-school day.  Minors under age 16 cannot provide medical accompaniment or grocery shopping/errands which would require them to operate a car, and it is recommended that they not administer or dispense medication to recipients.  Minors age 16-17 can provide cooking or meal preparation unsupervised, can work four hours per day school day outside of school hours and eight hours per day on any non-school day and may work a maximum of 48 hours per week.

CDSS also stated rules regarding expired immigrant work documents.   If a non-citizen’s green card or work permit has expired, they are not allowed to work in the United States and therefore cannot be IHSS provides until their work authorization is restored.

An applicant to be a provider must provide a photo identification issued by a United States federal government or state agency or a recognized Native American tribe.  The photo identification does not need to be reverified.   If the photo identification is valid at the time of application, it remains acceptable.

If an individual applies to be a provider in another county, the original county must transfer documents except for the criminal background check, which must be done again by the new county.

Counties must allow labor organizations representing IHSS providers to give a 30 minute presentation during the IHSS provider orientation.  (ACL 19-14, February 7, 2019.)