Information and Updates

7/1/14:  Fiscal Year 2014-2015 begins and the "new year" also brings a few policy changes. The following was mailed to families with respite authorizations:

- Using the number of hours authorized each month creates continuity for the family, client and respite worker. Up to three months of hours may be used in a quarter. If all three months are submitted at the same time, they cannot all be for the first month of the quarter. If submitted this way, only one month of hours will be paid to the worker each calendar month. This is because we can't predict when an authorization will be canceled or changed by TCRC and it happens often, without any notice.

- There have never been overtime provisions for respite. On January 1, 2015 the FLSA exemption for these service providers will be removed. This means there can be no single day of more than eight (8) hours and no more than forty (40) hours in a week submitted. A workweek is a period of seven consecutive 24-hour periods. Prior hours per day and week information was incorrect.

Beginning January 1, 2015, timesheets with hours exceeding the daily or weekly maximum will be returned, unpaid. Reminders will be sent with paychecks through the end of 2014. If your needs are greater than those allowed for one person then alternatives must be found.

- Since a parent or guardian hires their own Designated Respite Worker, manages that person's service hours and determines the identification provided allows that individual to legally work in the United States, the parent/guardian is co-employer with Respite, Inc. the third party payor, handling program mandates and payroll services.  It is the parent or guardian's responsibility to complete and retain a USCIS Form I-9 for every person hired/designated per Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regulations. A blank I-9 form, list of acceptable documents and an example are enclosed. A fillable version (pages 7 and 8) and all seven pages of instructions can also be found online at: http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-9.pdf

- In order to insure we match paperwork/timesheets to the correct client, we ask that you include the TCRC Unique Client [Consumer] Identifier (seven number UCI) on forms where indicated. The UCI is on most TCRC documents, however, we can provide it upon request.

We wish all of these changes weren't necessary. Unfortunately, federal and state mandates keep affecting respite and other regional center services and we must find ways to comply. Your continued understanding and cooperation are sincerely appreciated. 

3/27/14: The California Department of Education (CDE) Special Education Division (SED) is working with school districts and California Parent Organizations to gather information on how well parents think their child's school is partnering with parents of students with disabilities. Through use of a survey tool adapted from the National Center for Special Education Accountability Monitoring, CDE-SED will gain valuable insight from parents on their perceptions related to parent involvement. Local Education Agencies and California Parent Organizations will have access to parent response data by region. This information will be helpful in determining potential content for parent/professional training.

Parents/Guardians: survey https://www4.scoe.net/pwps/index.cfm?fuseaction=main.instructions&langID=00

 

2/21/14Since a parent or guardian hires their own Designated Respite Worker, manages that person's service hours and determines the identification provided allows that individual to legally work in the United States, the parent/guardian is the employer. Respite, Inc. is the third party payor, handling program mandates and payroll services.  It is the parent or guardian's responsibility to complete and retain an I-9 for every person hired/designated per Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regulations.

Due to the sensitivity of the information, I-9s that have already been sent to Respite, Inc. will be securely disposed of/shredded. Because of the confusion surrounding I-9s, a blank set of instructions and forms will be mailed to every family we have on record in June 2014, to coincide with the new fiscal year. We cannot assist in the completion of Sections 1 or 2. 

A fillable version (pages 7 of 9 and 8 of 9) and all seven pages of instructions can also be found online at: http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-9.pdf  

The Handbook for Employers (Guidance for Completing Form I-9) can be found at:  http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/m-274.pdf 

Into 2014 letter mailed to families: In 2013 more than 1200 families utilized services through Respite, Inc. We greatly appreciate everyone’s confidence and adaptability to the mandates and limitations placed on us by various legislative initiatives. The coming year will be no different.

Governmental changes affecting many service agencies, including Respite, Inc., will take effect in 2014. When the Lanterman Act was enacted, many issues were not addressed. The state reimbursement for the program did not and still doesn’t make provisions for overtime. Respite workers have been under the umbrella of Personal Care Attendants and changes on the Federal and State levels will no longer exclude this classification from overtime on January 1, 2014. We believe this regulation will cause difficulties for our families.

However, limits must be set, to work within the new parameters. Respite workers can no longer submit timesheets with more than nine (9) hours for one day or more than 40 hours in a week - 7 days. Other arrangements must be made for service needs that exceed these numbers. This does not affect service dates prior to December 31, 2013.

Another new mandate is an increase of the minimum wage. This will not affect Respite, Inc. workers, as the new minimum wage will be $10/hour in 2015. Our minimum pay rate is already $10.50 an hour. Unfortunately, the state reimbursement rate may never go up, so a pay increase is very unlikely.

General reminders:

  • The 2014 payroll schedule is enclosed
  • Each timesheet must be fully completed. Please see the instructions its reverse side
  • Payment for dates older than 45 days will be delayed by at least two paydays
  • Timesheets can be faxed anytime before the noon pre-payday Monday deadline
  • Respite authorizations are set up for three months of hours in a quarter
  • A mileage authorization must be in place for mileage to be paid.

As we enter the New Year we will continue to provide the exemplary service and support we hope is synonymous with Respite, Inc. Together we can make this program work, for you. 


July 2013: Authorizations are written by TCRC as not to exceed three months worth of hours in a quarter. This means if you have 16 hours per month you will be able to use up to 48 in a quarter, 24 per month would be 72 in a quarter, etc. We've always encouraged families to use the number of hours allotted each month and to turn in timesheets within 30 days of service. Contact us if you have questions about usage or balances.


Reminder: for those people who fax in timesheets, please don't wait until the last few minutes before the noon deadline on the Monday before a payday. This avoids a last minute crunch and a busy signal when trying to fax. Sending/faxing timesheets as soon after the last date of service (up to midnight the Friday before payday) insures timely receipt and payment.

March 2012 - The state budget remains a serious concern to everyone within the Regional Center system. The DDS stakeholder meeting on March 1st was informative, but few, if any, new cost savings strategies were discussed. Respite services were targeted in 2009, with a rate decrease, usage caps, quarter maximums and more. During the meeting's afternoon session an email was received that the Legislative Analyst's Office had released its recommendations. Retaining the 4.25% rate decrease was at the top of the list.  DDS will present its suggestions to the Legislature for the 2012/2013 toward the end of March. An actual plan will be determined in late April. No major program changes are expected.

12/1/2010 - Every year brings change and 2010 was no different. The State budget that was finally passed in October brought retroactive cuts to regional center programs, including respite. Hour limitations and quarterly maximums remain in place. At this time Respite, Inc. does not expect to decrease wages.

In 2011 we will be changing payroll companies. A smooth transition is planned, but there could be some bumps along the way. Many employee numbers will be changed. We have been assured that checks will arrive at the office earlier on paydays and direct deposits will show funds in an account the same day, instead of being held another 24 hours.

Due to the constraints on usage, less income for the program and TCRC's funding methods, it will no longer be possible to immediately pay for hours that are submitted more than 45 days after providing service. These hours will still be paid (under standard usage and authorization policies), but will be delayed until the third payday after receipt of the timesheet(s). We encourage everyone to send in timesheets each month to avoid any difficulty this modification could cause. The maximum hours paid in one pay period remains at 50, with any balance to be paid incrementally.

11/30/09 - The Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo Respite, Inc. offices will be closing in December. Santa Barbara: noon Wednesday, December 23rd. Santa Maria: Friday, December 18th. San Luis Obispo: Thursday, December 31st. All services will be provided through the Paso Robles office. We will review the feasability of reopening satellite offices toward the end of this fiscal year.

7/28/09 - With the passage of the revised 2009/2010 California state budget today came new regulations for Regional Centers and the services they will be allowed to approve and fund. The amount and circumstances under which respite services may be purchased has changed.

New Criteria for Respite

These changes are to become effective August 1, 2009, or after 30 day* notice is given by the Regional Centers (*being recommended by DDS). TCRC has set October 1, 2009 as the effective date to implement these changes.

1.   Respite hours will only be authorized when the client requires more care and supervision than an individual of the same age without a developmental disability.

2.   In-home respite will be limited to 90 hours per quarter (30 hours per month). An exception may be granted under the following circumstances. 

a)   The intensity of the client’s care and supervision needs are such that additional respite is necessary to keep the client living at home.

b)   There is an extraordinary event that impacts the family member’s ability to meet the care and supervision needs of the client.

3.   Regional Centers cannot purchase day care services to replace respite. 


Upon receiving a 30 day notification from your Regional Center, determine if your family should qualify for an exemption. Document how a) and/or b) above apply to your situation, thencontact your Service Coordinator. A request for an exemption should be considered by an IPP team.

Early Start (newborn to age 3) Services

Regional Centers are no longer allowed to fund services that are not considered federally mandated. Respite services are considered federally mandated only if its use is related to a client's developmental disability (to attend classes, trainings, etc.). Families of "at risk" or developmentally disabled infant(s) and/or toddler(s) may no longer qualify for respite services when the respite need is not related to the developmental disability.


If your Regional Center wants to change your services, it must hold an IFSP meeting. If you do not agree with their changes to your child's services at the IFSP meeting, your Regional Center must give you a 30 day written notice of its decision before the change can become effective. If you request a hearing during those 30 days it must be completed within 60 days. Your child will continue to receive the disputed service(s) during that time.

 
6/1/09 - The state is still facing the worst budget crisis in its history. Deficit projections are at the $24 billion dollar level and the additional 7% funding cut is expected to be instituted in September. This will mean another pay rate cut for workers, but the exact amount is yet to be determined, depending on how the state calculates the decrease.

5/4/09 - With all the funding rumors swirling around, it may become necessary to limit the number of hours used each month to the number authorized starting with the new fiscal year on July 1, 2009. Since workers are paid in advance of our reimburement, we do not have a way of maintaining a large enough reserve to continue paying a substantial numbers of hours.

2/23/09 - The 3% cut to Regional Center services, including respite, was part of the revised state budget and is retroactive to February 1, 2009. This means an across the board cut of $0.25 per hour and mileage reimbursement will change to $0.49 for all respite workers. These new rates will be reflected in the March 4th paychecks. 

2/2/09 - It's doubtful respite services will go unscathed in the current budget discussions. At best, we're expecting a 3% cut to our cost rate. Unfortunately, this will mean a twenty-five cent per hour rate decrease for respite workers. That means the lowest pay rate would still be $9.75/hour. Because no decisions have been made in Sacramento at present, pay rates will remain the same for the time being. Updated information will be included on this webpage as received.

The 2009 Changes and Reminders letter, payroll schedule and new timesheets were mailed to all active respite workers on January 3rd. Paydays are every other Wednesday, with timesheets due by noon the Monday before. Unfortunately, payroll takes time and there just isn't enough after the Monday noon deadline to include more. To avoid a delay in processing forms and timesheets, please use the Respite, Inc. office nearest you. Paperwork, including timesheets, can be delivered or faxed to any office during or outside of business hours, including holidays and weekends.


The Department of Developmental Services website is located at: www.dds.ca.gov and can be reached by phone at (916) 654-1987