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I’m an IHSS provider in Orange County… and I am homeless

I’m an IHSS provider in Orange County… and I am homeless

By Angela Peifer, IHSS provider and UDW member in Orange County. Most IHSS caregivers in the state make just above $11/hour, but in Orange County we make minimum wage. That means we struggle even harder to make ends meet for ourselves, in a county with one of the highest costs of living in California. Many of us worry if we’ll be able to pay all our bills, if there will be money left over to put food on the table, if we can afford that trip to the doctor’s office. And me? Well, I often have to worry about where […]

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We won 195 more hours for my son – and $21,000

We won 195 more hours for my son - and $21,000

My son Alexis was born with severe Down Syndrome, and I have been his care provider for the past 12 years. When we first applied for IHSS, Alexis was only awarded 26 hours per month, even though he requires round-the-clock care. So I contacted our union’s advocacy council and the caregivers there helped me win more hours for my son. With their help, I got proper documentation from my doctor and, after helping me with some issues we were having with our social worker, we applied for an appeal. We not only won a total of 221 hours for my […]

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Tuolumne County UDW Advocacy Council helps elderly home care recipient win more IHSS hours

Tuolumne County UDW Advocacy Council helps elderly home care recipient win more IHSS hours

I became an IHSS provider 14 years ago when my daughter, Shantal, received a traumatic brain injury in a horrific accident. Shantal was in a coma for a while and experienced memory loss. The doctors thought she would never walk again. I quit my job as a medical assistant to care for her full-time. I believe it is because of that in-home care that Shantal, now 33, was able to walk again and now lives independently. Though my daughter was fortunate enough to receive the care she needed, my second client, an 83-year-old woman named Ethal, needed advocacy to get […]

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What overtime pay has meant to my family

What overtime pay has meant to my family

My name is Aurora Viramontes Rivera, and I work as a home care provider for two of my children in Orange County, California. I am overjoyed and grateful that home care workers are now eligible for overtime pay. For my family, the added income has drastically improved our quality of life. I’ve always been appreciative that the In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS) gives me the opportunity to provide my children with the best care possible. I’m not just their mother. I’m the caregiving professional who knows their conditions and their needs best. Unfortunately, while I love my work, it hasn’t […]

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Overtime pay has kept my family safe at home

Overtime pay has kept my family safe at home

My name is Toni Monique Taloa, and I’m a home care provider in Buena Park, California. I initially became a professional home care worker to take care of my elderly grandmother. My grandmother was originally assessed just 80 hours of in-home care each month – far less than she needed – by California’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) home care program. My union, the United Domestic Workers/AFSCME Local 3930 (UDW), helped me successfully appeal the decision, and my grandmother’s home care hours were increased from 80 to 283 per month. As a person who honestly did not believe in the power […]

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