Can IHSS hours be taken away and used as alternative hours for school?

Quick answer: “The regulations do not specify that the school district must allocate hours from IHSS for school. You’re not supposed to be docked hours because the service is provided by the school district.” Watch a short video clip of a detailed explanation to this common question asked in the IHSS community.

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Video Transcription & Notes:

Original Question:

“The SW regularly takes away hours for alternative hours such as school/daycare. How do we inform them that it’s incorrect? What MPP can I use to counter this?”

Detailed Answer:

The MPP does not include the word school. That’s actually one of the things we discussed in this presentation. The actual MPP (Manual of Policy and procedure) that is used by CDSS does not actually include the word “school”. It is however, in the clarification which is in ACL 17-95. So they are going to rely on the clarification.

The only way that you could possibly get this reversed, is to make two arguments.

First argument to make is, that it’s not part of the regulation and that the the ALJ should rely on the regulation and not on the clarification. That’s number one.

Second argument, which I think is even more important, is you as the authorized representative for the minor child have the choice of picking when the hours are distributed throughout the week. So you can elect to not use the time at school as part of your IHSS.

If you authorized, say for example, 5 hours of dressing (this is just a hypothetical), the social worker cannot force you to use some of those hours at school. The social worker can recognize schools as an alternate resource, absolutely. You cannot get paid for time while your child is at school. But you’re not getting paid for when your child’s at school. Your child is just getting a resource provided for free by the school district. They should not dock you for the hours at school.

If in fact, you can validate that there is a need for those hours in other places. Because like I stated before, the law says that you, as the authorized representative of the minor are the one that determines how the hours are used. All the state does is grant you a certain quantity of hours for certain categories, and the total of those hours is quantified in an amount that that is designed to be administered over the duration of a month. You have the ability to determine where those hours are allocated.

So that’s the argument I would make in that situation. I would argue that yes, you recognize that school is a time in which you can not get paid. But the regulations do not specify that the school district must allocate hours from IHSS for school. You’re not supposed to be docked hours because the service is provided by the school district. It’s supposed to be an alternate resource which is essentially a neutral point. A point in which you can’t claim time. But it should also not affect your hours that are authorized for the month.

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IHSS FAQs | Can IHSS hours be taken away and used as alternative hours for school?
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