A TCRC respite authorization must cover service dates submitted before a worker can be paid.
For the Paso Robles office, use either the front door or drive-up alleyway drop box.
Respite, Inc. turned 20 on October 10, 2023. In our 20th year, we want to thank everyone – families, workers, service coordinators, staff – for their continued confidence in our agency. We’ve all weathered a variety of hardships over the past few years. In staying the course we’ve emerged in 2023 to a different service environment then when we started.
The single greatest change came because of COVID-19. During those challenging years we put the welfare of our clients, their families and respite workers first, while abiding by the rules, mandates and directives placed upon us. Although the original orders have been lifted, there remain State and Federal updates and guidance. These can be found through links on the Department of Developmental Services’ (DDS) website: https://www.dds.ca.gov/corona-virus-information-and-resources/general-information/. For these reasons, our offices will remain closed to walk-ins.
Electronic Visit Verification (EVV), part of the 21st Century CURES Act, a 2016 federal bill, is the next major change to service delivery, as DDS has mandated that respite services provided by someone who doesn’t qualify as a live-in* be included. Starting July 15, 2023, instruction letters were mailed to those families with one or more workers who signed an EVV Participation Agreement. Our uploading to the Sandata data collection system went live on September 1, 2023. If a respite worker listed as a participant doesn’t follow the call in/out protocol, starting with the first hours of respite provided in September 2023, they will no longer be allowed to provide respite services and the family’s respite will be suspended until their worker complies.
If your worker(s’) status have changed and they now qualify as a live-in provider (per DDS: *an individual who regularly remains in the client’s [consumer’s] home for more than 24 hours at a time for any reason), complete and return an Attestation form, to be exempt from EVV. Both forms are on our website Forms page. Regardless of status, timesheets will still need to be turned in by all workers to be paid for approved hours.
Another form sent with every welcome packet (and on the Forms page) is the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Form I-9.
As the service recipient and employer of your designated respite worker(s), it’s your/the parent/guardian’s responsibility to complete and retain this form. As prefilled on the form from Respite, Inc. you are the Representative for the worker’s Employment Eligibility Verification. Officials from the DHS, employees from the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) at the Department of Justice, and employees from the Department of Labor may inspect this form upon sending a Notice of Intent.
It’s imperative that the I-9 be completed correctly. The worker (your employee) fills out Section 1. The designating parent/guardian completes Section 2. Please note, it’s either the column for List A or approved identification documents for List B and List C. See Page 2 for acceptable documents. The updated Form I-9 can be found at: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/document/forms/i-9.pdf.
The 8 pages of Form I-9 Instructions can be found at: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/document/forms/i-9instr.pdf.
The fines for I-9 violations include:
- Civil penalties for I-9 paperwork violations: $272 to $2,701
- Knowingly hiring or retaining an undocumented worker: $676 to $5,404
- Fraudulent Documentation: $472 to $11,162
as well as the possibility of federal civil and/or criminal charges.
SB1343 (effective January 1, 2019) is the State of California’s mandatory biennial Sexual Harassment Prevention training. All retained workers must take the training every other year/within two years of the previous training. There are links to the training module log in (English and Spanish) at the top of the Workers page.
The training consists of a one-hour online course with different scenarios and questions between videos. You can’t fail, but you must complete the hour course.
Our policy for hour usage has been the same since 2010. Authorizations for respite (and other) services are created by TCRC during an IEP. These specify the approved number of hours per month. Service hour usage cannot exceed the number of hours available in a month, unless there are accrued/unused hours from one or more prior months within the same fiscal year. This has no bearing on the removal of the 90 hour per quarter maximum by DDS. Hour balances are available upon request.
Should a worker submit for more than the available authorized hours those won’t qualify as respite and will not be paid by Respite, Inc. Also, there has never been any funding for overtime, so all workers are limited to 40 hours in a workweek which runs from midnight Saturday/Sunday to midnight Saturday/Sunday.
Effective with July 2023 service dates, designated respite workers will be paid $18.50 an hour. This is possible due to funds being released from the 2019 rate study model. Each time DDS allows increased rates, we pass along a majority of those funds to the workers who provide the service. The next pay rate change will be enacted after the final rate study model funds are released, which is supposed to be 2024.
As you can see, there are now quite a few requirements that weren’t in place in 2003. All we’ve ever wanted is to help families use their respite. Many of the current requirements run contrary to this goal but must be abided by to continue the service.
Again, thank you for your continued trust in Respite, Inc. and its integrity. We will do our best to remain the preferred respite agency for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties for as long as the service is needed.