New to IHSS? Caregivers can get help through our union, UDW (English subtitles)

New to IHSS? Caregivers can get help through our union, UDW (English subtitles)


My name is Gayle Montisano.
I am from San Diego, California. I have a 7-year-old son
with severe autism that I take care of. His name is RJ,
and we are part of the IHSS program. My name is Maggie Galvan,
and I am from Yorba Linda, California… …and I’m a provider for my mom
under the IHSS program. My son does require
constant care 24/7. He needs assistance pretty much
to function on a daily basis. The first time I applied for IHSS,
I was denied without any explanation… …and then I reapplied for IHSS
and same thing, 6 months later… …no response
to my questions on my application… …so I decided to reach out to UDW. They explained
how to fill out the forms. With UDW’s assistance, I was able
to get the services that we needed. I’m really grateful that we were awarded
the hours through IHSS. It does get overwhelming,
but now that we’re part of the program… …it relieves some of our stress
and allows me to focus on him more. I provide for my mom… …and it’s about 3 years now
that she had both of her hips replaced. When I first took care of mom,
I didn’t know about the union. I learned about the CPR classes
that we’re given for free… …and I joined in, I enrolled
and got them for free. From then on, I learned about how
an evaluation from a doctor… …can get you more hours, things that
I never knew, I was never told… …and I was only getting
20 hours a month for my mom’s care. A job that takes 24/7. So I went and I found out.
I asked them for guidance… …and I realized how to do
steps 1 through 3, did it… …and thank goodness to them,
I got 40 hours! My hours were raised! There’s so many other things
that I found out. As I joined the union… …I began to discover and become
more aware of the challenges… …such as the budget cuts,
the banning on OT… …which means they will
only allow the providers… …such as myself with 40 hours
and the other 15… …they will send someone
that they chose… …without you having a say at all sent to
your home to take care of your loved one. That was a no-no, so that’s what
made me join the rally in Sacramento. I totally joined in, and I decided to fight
for what is right, for what is justice. IHSS reassesses hours every year. If there’s a change
for the assessed hours for your child… …which you disagree,
you can go to UDW as a resource… …and they can research
the information and verify… …if what your social worker
is doing is accurate and correct. I pay union dues,
which are such a nominal amount… …compared to the services
and resources that they provide me. I can’t imagine putting myself
in that situation… …where I have to put my son
in an institution. Honestly, it would break my heart. IHSS allows us to be caretakers
for our kids, and I really appreciate that. I feel so lucky, fortunate enough
to have my mom at her home… …and receiving the care that I’m providing
her versus having her to go out… …and being sent out to one of
the many institutions out there… …where values will not be found there.
It’s a service. You become a number… …not the person,
and that’s the difference. At home, here, she’s my mom. You know,
I’m proud to be a UDW member… …and I really hope other people
join the union as well. I volunteer to be part of this union… …because the challenges
that we have to face. One by oneself cannot win it… …but if we all get together united,
we can make it.

Author: Kevin Mason

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