CHA Supports Family Caregiver Economic Security Act

CHA Supports Family Caregiver Economic Security Act

California Health Advocates submitted this letter in support of Assembly Bill 1993, The Family Caregiver Economic Security Act, as introduced on January 27, 2020. This bill would amend state law to expand eligibility for Unemployment Insurance (UI) to include In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) and Waiver Personal Care Services (WPCS) providers who care for a spouse or a child. There are currently 118,000 parent and spouse providers in California, comprising 22% of the total IHSS workforce.

_________________________________________________________________________

 

March 10, 2020

 

The Honorable Tom Daly, Chair
Assembly Insurance Committee
1020 N Street, Room 369
Sacramento, California 95814

 

RE: Assembly Bill 1993 (Kamlager) – Support

Dear Assemblymember Daly,

California Health Advocates supports Assembly Bill 1993, The Family Caregiver Economic Security Act, as introduced on January 27, 2020.

Assembly Bill 1993 would amend state law to expand eligibility for Unemployment Insurance (UI) to include In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) and Waiver Personal Care Services (WPCS) providers who care for a spouse or a child. There are currently 118,000 parent and spouse providers in California, comprising 22% of the total IHSS workforce.

Under state tax guidance, IHSS and WPCS providers that perform care in the home for their child or spouse are not eligible for UI. These providers may become unemployed as a result of the death or institutionalization of their child or spouse. Because they are unable to collect UI, they face economic as well as emotional devastation.

We are also concerned about the growing number of grandparents raising grandchildren, who are faced with financial uncertainty when their loved one dies or is institutionalized.

California Health Advocates (CHA), a non-profit organization founded in 1997, is the leading Medicare Advocacy and educational voice for more than 5.6 million Medicare beneficiaries in California. Our members, the Health Insurance and Advocacy Programs (HICAPs) that cover counties throughout the state, continually deal with this situation in assisting beneficiaries.

As California faces a profound home-care workforce shortage, our state must do everything it can to support family caregivers. AB 1993 would provide much needed economic security for those who leave employment outside the home to care for their loved ones.

For these reasons, California Health Advocates (CHA) respectfully urge your “Aye” vote on Assembly Bill 1993.

Sincerely,

Doug Shaw
Board Chair

Karen Fletcher
Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.