Report 2016-128 Recommendation 13 Responses

Report 2016-128: In‑Home Supportive Services: The State Could Do More to Help Providers Avoid Future Payment Delays (Release Date: March 2017)

Recommendation #13 To: Social Services, Department of

Until state law is changed to facilitate providers' efforts to report their time and to reduce the potential for providers to be inadvertently suspended from the IHSS program, Social Services should inform providers of the weekly maximum number of service hours for each variation in the length of the month, rather than using a standard conversion that results in providers claiming more hours than their recipients are authorized.

1-Year Agency Response

Remains Uncorrected/Disagree with Recommendation. CDSS continues to provide information and direction to providers and counties regarding violations. In

January 2018, CDSS included a timesheet stuffer (Attachment G) in all paper timesheets and sent a mass email to all providers who submit their timesheets electronically, to advise them on how to appropriately claim hours for February and avoid violations. The timesheet stuffer and email also contained information that providers can use throughout the year to avoid violations.

  • Response Date: March 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Will Not Implement

Although Social Services continues to disagree with our recommendation, it did offer guidance to providers on how to avoid exceeding their weekly maximum number of service hours for a specific month.


6-Month Agency Response

Remains Not Implemented/Disagree with Recommendation. See 60-day response.

  • Response Date: September 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Will Not Implement

As referenced in our assessment of the 60-day response, the focus of our recommendation stems from our concerns that Social Services' use of a standard conversion has caused confusion among providers. As we note on page 35 of our report, providers who use the standard conversion prescribed by Social Services are susceptible to reporting more hours in a month that are authorized to the recipient. On page 34, we reported that staff at each of the five counties we visited told us that understanding the relationship between workweeks and pay periods was difficult for many providers. We also noted on page 33 of the report that nearly 50 providers were suspended after receiving a third violation in December 2016.


60-Day Agency Response

As part of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulation implementation activities, CDSS explored this option. The State of California (SOC) 2271 (IHSS Program Provider Notification of Recipient Authorized Hours and Services and Maximum Weekly Hours) and the SOC 2271A (IHSS Program Recipient Notice of Maximum Weekly Hours) were originally drafted to include a grid of the 12 months that would be populated with the standard Weekly Hours for each month. Feedback from program stakeholders on this option was that it was too difficult and confusing. Therefore, the current maximum weekly hours approach was implemented providing guidance to providers on the maximum number of hours they can claim in a week without an approved exception. In either option, a provider is still required to claim the hours they actually work, which may be either above or below the amount on the notice, and the provider is allowed to work over the amount without receiving a violation as long as they do not exceed the normal amount of monthly overtime or if there is an approved exception.

  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Will Not Implement

The focus of our recommendation stems from our concerns that Social Services' use of a standard conversion has caused confusion among providers. As we note on page 35 of our report, providers who use the standard conversion prescribed by Social Services are susceptible to reporting more hours in a month that are authorized to the recipient. On page 34, we reported that staff at each of the five counties we visited told us that understanding the relationship between workweeks and pay periods was difficult for many providers. We also noted on page 33 of the report that nearly 50 providers were suspended after receiving a third violation in December 2016.


All Recommendations in 2016-128

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.