Lilia Teninty, Director of Oregon Office of Developmental Disabilities Services released the following statement late Wednesday regarding the PPL transition issues that customers, families, providers, and case management entities have been dealing with the past several months and lays out a plan for the coming weeks:
“I am writing today with an update on the Personal Support Worker (PSW) payroll transition to PCG Public Partnerships LLC (PPL). Personal Support Worker (PSW) and employer enrollment with PPL has not gone as seamlessly as we would have liked. I’d like to acknowledge and thank everyone involved in this very difficult process.
CDDPs and Brokerages stepped up to get packets to employers and PSWs and have followed-up with them to get paperwork submitted. As we have worked with PPL to identify gaps in information, CDDPs and Brokerages again worked to fill in those gaps. Individuals and families have worked hard to complete necessary employer paperwork. And most importantly, PSWs have completed packets and tracked down information in the midst of the vital work they do with clients. All of this help has been instrumental, thank you.
Payroll transition to PPL: The payroll transition work began in August 2016. It included several changes to data systems, training and information sessions to CDDPs and Brokerages, and in-person information and enrollment sessions to help PSWs and employers complete necessary paperwork. Even with the extensive preparation, the transition to PPL has not been as smooth as we had expected. We are working with PPL to resolve the problems and have directed them to improve their customer service.
If you got a robocall from PPL: PPL recently did a robocall to notify employers and PSWs about missing paperwork. Some people who got the calls did not understand what they were supposed to do. If you are an employer of record, the call most likely was because of a problem with your Employer Identification Number. If you got the robocall you need to contact PPL right away to find out what is missing and get paperwork issues resolved.
Contingency plan extended: We have extended the contingency plan for payroll through the February 28 pay period. If the PSW and employer submitted accurate Social Security and Employer Identification Numbers, PSWs will get paid during the contingency period, even if other paperwork hasn’t been completed. That contingency plan made it possible to pay 99.2 percent of PSWs on January 18, 2017.Until April, PPL is providing a list to CDDPs and Brokerages of PSWs not paid. If an administrative error caused the error it will be fixed and the PSW paid the next week. If additional information needs to be submitted, the PSW will need to contact PPL to find out what is missing. Please know that after the contingency plan ends, all required information from employers and PSWs will need to be complete and logged at PPL in order to issue paychecks on time.
Direct deposit and W-2s: We know there were issues with direct deposit for PSWs who had not submitted the needed documentation before December 22, 2016 for the first pay period. PSWs that submitted direct deposit documentation before December 22, 2016 should have received direct deposit for the first pay period. Due to legal restrictions, TNT was unable to provide direct deposit information to PPL during the transition. W-2s for work done between January 1 and December 31, 2016 will come from TNT since they were the payroll entity for all of 2016.
For more information: What should you do if you have questions about the information that needs to be submitted? Your first step is to contact PPL’s customer service:
The following notice was emailed to all Personal Support Workers working with INW customers on 12/13/2016:
The state has announced that it is shortening the time you have for submitting your time sheets by one day in the next payroll cycle, due to the changeover between TNT and PPL as state fiscal intermediary. In order to receive payment on time, you must have your time sheets in no later than Monday, December 19th, 2016.Brokerage processing time has been cut as well, pretty much eliminating our flexibility on late submissions.
P.S. – If you haven’t followed up on requests to turn your paperwork in to PPL, please do so now. We continue to be concerned about the low number of PSWs who are considered “good to go” in PPL’s system. If you’re not set up properly in the system, there’s no way to get you paid on time.
The State of Oregon Department of Human Services has announced another change planned for disability services in our state.
Starting September 1st, 2015, Personal Support Workers may not be newly authorized to provide more than 50 hours per week of services to a single individual receiving brokerage services. For those currently working more than 50 hours per week, their allowable work hours will be reduced at the time of the customer’s annual ISP. (Note: PSWs may still work more than 50 hours across multiple customers, just not for the same customer. The cap is at the ISP level, not the provider level.)
Since the State of Oregon Department of Human Services began taking on Personal Support Worker and provider payment through its eXPRS system, one of the most common questions brokerages have received from providers is “Did you get my timesheet?”
There’s a relatively easy way for providers to access this information via eXPRS. ODDS’ Julie Harrison and her team have created a How To guide entitled “How to Find/View Plan of Care Service Claims”. Check out the guide by clicking here. You’ll learn how to read the eXPRS screens and determine where your payment claim is in the process. Be sure to bookmark this guide for future reference. (Of note: eXPRS refers to hours or miles keyed into its system as SDEs – Service Delivered Entries.)
One additional note: If you are sending invoices or timesheets via email, please be sure to use the email@example.com email address. If you are faxing invoices or timesheets, please be sure you receive a return confirmation that the fax was received.
Thanks for your continued partnership through the ongoing systemic changes. Your work is very much appreciated.
Brokerages statewide are moving Personal Support Worker payments into the State of Oregon’s payment system, eXPRS, effective this year. Below is a listing of when Portland metro area brokerages will move into eXPRS:
UCP Connections: November 2014 (already active)
Community Pathways: February 2015
Inclusion Inc.: March 2015
Mentor Oregon: March 2015
Independence Northwest: April 2015
SDRI: April 2015
In January 2015, the Oregon Department of Human Services is putting on a series of trainings on their electronic billing system eXPRS. The trainings are specifically geared toward Personal Support Workers. You may attend a training at any of the sites below, whether or not you serve individuals at the hosting brokerage or county. The Independence Northwest training will be held on January 13th. Be sure to RSVP by emailing ODDS.firstname.lastname@example.org.
This morning, brokerages received the following information from the Oregon Office of Developmental Disabilities Services:
Approximately 400 Home Care Workers and Personal Support Workers checks will be issued tonite and put in the mail tomorrow. These checks are a fairshare correction. Even if a person has direct deposit, a check will be issued for them…
If the HCW or PSW have questions please refer them to contact SEIU at 877-451-0002.
By Larry Deal, Executive Director of Independence Northwest
Over the past year and a half, so much time has been spent deconstructing and reconstructing Oregon’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities system, there’s been little opportunity to sit back and celebrate some of the successes. Here are five things that are currently working well – and that deserve their moment in the sun.
People are getting more services. With the change from 100% Title XIX Waiver to a mix of K Plan and Waiver funding, Oregonians with intellectual and developmental disabilities are getting more services than ever before. This is a wonderful thing. Historically, people in crisis situations had limited resources and little option other than out of home placement (group homes and foster care homes) whether that was their preference or not. In the new system, many Oregonians now have the resources to continue living at home; the current design supports true individual and family choice. The importance of this change cannot be overstated. (That said, there’s still a very real fiscal sustainability discussion that must be had to support these efforts long-term.)
Providers are beginning to expand capacity. This one’s a slower burner, but it’s beginning. Customers, families, and professionals have all been highly concerned about the increase in funding since it came without an ounce of provider capacity expansion planning or incentives. Oregon put the funding before the resources. In recent weeks and months, many agencies have begun reaching out to brokerages and are expanding their services to our community in everything from in-home to employment supports; in 2015, I believe we will see a tangible increase in options for our customer base.
There’s a recent willingness for course correction when things aren’t working. If you haven’t heard of DSA (Day Support Activities,) consider yourself lucky. In short, DSA was an exercise in rushed change implementation. Ultimately, it changed rates, it changed processes, and it changed the definition of certain services. The process upended Brokerage, CDDP (Community Developmental Disabilities Program) and provider organization operations and damaged the integrity of reporting systems statewide. However, collaborative efforts (led by ODDS) amongst brokerages, CDDPs (counties), providers, and state has made a real difference. Recent changes in leadership have assured a common sense, customer-first approach to problem solving. In other words, there’s strong collaboration happening again in Oregon. This is a very good thing – let’s do more of it.
We’re sticking with our current needs assessment tool. One of the major concerns brokerages have been facing while implementing the still-new functional needs assessment has been knowing full well we’d have to change assessments again at the beginning of 2015. Recent actions from the state suggest that we will be working to make the current brokerage tool (the Adult Needs Assessment) work well into the future. For brokerage customers, this is promising. We need consistency, stability, and some time to do some in-depth analysis on the efficacy of the current tool first. This decision deserves kudos.
Perhaps most significantly, Oregon is focusing on individual goals – again. If you have been working in the system or receiving services for the last year and a half, you’ve no doubt noted the troubling focus on deficits-based language and approach. I remember being in a meeting very, very early on in the K Plan implementation when it was announced by someone with significant influence that “this is no longer about goals, it’s about needs.” Soon, that refrain began to echo. Fortunately, that interpretation is no longer alive and well. What some people didn’t understand early on in the transition process was this: Brokerages have always addressed disability-related support needs. And we have done so while helping people reach their goals. You don’t provide publicly-funded services without making sure needs are documented and necessary. A sophisticated, supportive, holistic system addresses health and safety while placing a premium on the wants, needs, and goals of the individual. We know it can work because we’ve been doing it for thirteen years. I can’t say enough how pleasing it is to hear high-ranking leaders in our state stating that goals matter.
There are many issues we must continue wrestling with: the eXPRS payment system and pending Personal Support Worker entry, the monthly versus annual services issue, the ongoing review of Behavioral Supports, changes to supported employment, and many more. But as we inch ever closer to the new year, it’s safe to say that we all hope for continued positive developments in the Oregon I/DD service delivery system. We’re a resilient, engaged, and growing community. Fingers crossed we can focus the coming year’s efforts on enhancing, expanding, and enriching the lives and experiences of the individuals, families, and communities we support. Oregon was once at the forefront of community-based services in our country; with continued focus, effort, and partnership there’s no reason that can’t be a reality again.
UCP Connections, a fellow support services brokerage, recently began a field testing of the Oregon Office of Developmental Disabilities‘ upcoming transition to paying Personal Support Workers (both Domestic Employees and Independent Contractors) through its payment system (eXPRS.) Effective January 1, 2015, all PSWs will be paid directly through the state’s eXPRS payment system. As part of the field testing, UCP and ODDS’s Julie Harrison are offering up trainings for Personal Support Workers They have opened up these opportunities to PSWs throughout the metro area. Please see dates below.
The 2013-15 HCW/PSW Collective Bargaining Agreement provides for a new level of worker and compensation. Enhanced and Exceptional Workers provide services to consumers with certain assessed medical and/or behavioral needs, AND have successfully completed additional training.
The Oregon Home Care Commission will be holding the first pilot Enhanced and Exceptional Worker trainings for both HCWs and PSWs in November/December in the Portland area. If you, or someone you know, are interested in being part of the pilot, follow these steps:
1. Make sure your CPR/First Aid is up-to-date. You will need to send a copy of your certification with the application.|
2. Go to the website: ohcc-training.org. Create an account, then log in to your account. Look under “Courses” for the Readiness Assessment for your work group (HCW or PSW).
3. You are allowed to take the Readiness Assessment one time only, so some study ahead of time will be helpful. It is highly recommended that you review course manuals from the classes you have attended that are listed on the website if you have taken them.
4. Complete the Readiness Assessment. You will be able to review your answers after you finish the assessment.
5. If you pass the assessment with a score of 80% or better, you will be directed to the application. Fill this out and send to the Home Care Commission. These must be received by October 20, 2014 to be eligible for the pilot course.
If you do not pass the readiness assessment, you can use the feedback online to determine which topics to learn more about or courses to attend. The assessment will open again in 2015 the next time the course is offered.
For more information contact: Joan Medlen Personal Support Worker Training Coordinator email@example.com
There are just 40 working days left between now and the end of the current fiscal year, June 30, 2014. Over the past year, that mid-summer date has been a much-publicized target for many changes in the Oregon’s developmental disabilities brokerage system. You’ve no doubt heard many times over: “this, that, or the other has to be done by July 1st”. This includes significant changes such as ensuring all 7,500 or so brokerage customers have been assessed with the new Functional Needs Assessment, ensuring that all providers are signed up in the state’s payment system, and preparing for having the state take over direct payment to all brokerage providers. In some areas of the state, customers are changing fiscal intermediaries as well. (Here at INW, this is not the case.)
There’s a lot happening. We understand that change can be confusing, frustrating and overwhelming. Sometimes all three. So here’s a cheat sheet for what you need to tend to in the next forty days.
If you’re a customer or a representative designee:
Be sure to respond to your Personal Agent’s (or a state worker’s) call to complete the new Functional Needs Assessment. It’s essential these are completed for everyone by June 30th. This allows the state to draw down increased federal funding via the new K Plan. Additionally, be ready to revise your plan to make some language changes. Your PA will help you with that.
If you have a provider, be sure that s/he has filled out a Provider Enrollment Agreement. We want to be sure they can continue to get paid after the state takes over payment (currently planned for July 1st.)
Make sure the customers you serve have scheduled a Functional Needs Assessment with their PA (or a state worker.) If they need some support during the assessment and would like you to assist, offer your help.
If you have not already, you must apply for and receive a Medicaid provider number. Sign up by filling out the Provider Enrollment Agreement form as soon as possible.
If you have already applied for a provider number, but haven’t heard back from the state, please contact them directly at DD-MH.OHCC@state.or.us
If we’ve contacted you about updating your Criminal History Check, be sure you respond quickly. All PSWs must have a CHC completed every two years. You cannot be paid without a current check on file.
Attend one of the upcoming Personal Support Worker webinars. There are currently three scheduled. The webinars will give you basic details on the state’s payment system (eXPRS) and how the way you’ll be paid is changing. Click here to learn more.
If there are changes to the deadlines or expectations (and there may be), we’ll keep you updated via additional mailing. In the meantime, keep an eye on the INW blog or our Facebook page for the latest. As always, thank you for the opportunity to serve you, your family, and this community.
The Oregon of Office of Developmental Disabilities (the state) is putting on a series of training for brokerage PSW providers. The training is called “Using eXPRS for DD Personal Support Workers and DD Independent Contractor PSWs.”
Per the state, “Use of the eXPRS Payment System will begin July 1st, 2014. This training is a repeat of the April 22nd webinar training session and will cover the information PSW or IC-PSWs need to know to get ready for July 1st. These trainings are online, computer-based trainings.
Training participants will need a computer and internet to view the training materials AND access to a phone to listen to the discussion. Pre-registration for these trainings is required as each session has a limit to the number of participants.”
Once registered, participants will receive an email with the training site link, conference phone number and instructions on how to connect to the training on the date you are registered to participate. If you have questions, contact Julie Harrison at JULIE.A.HARRISON@dhsoha.state.or.us.
There continue to be hold-ups on the State’s move to take over payment to providers of brokerage services.
Representatives from the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services promise there’s continued work on a solid plan, but as of right now they have produced no clear plans or feasible timelines. What we do know is this:
Payment will not be coming through the State effective January 1st, 2014
We will continue to provide your payment until an appropriate plan is developed and agreed upon.
Given the amount of work left to do during implementation, our best guess is a transition several months into the new year at this point.
If you haven’t sent in your Provider Enrollment Agreement, do so now. This is an essential action on your part, regardless of changing timelines.
If you have turned in your PEAA and have received no response back from the State, contact them directly at DD-MH.OHCC@state.or.us. (We initially thought we would be able to send out emails for those who had provider numbers, but the information we have received from the State isn’t in a format that allows us to do so given our limited resources.) Please email the State for assistance on this matter.
Many of you have received requests for W4s, I9s, and Direct Deposit forms. (Oddly, this request also went to Independent Contractors, a designation of providers who do not utilize W4s or I9s in their business practice.) Stranger still, we understand that you’re being told to submit items to brokerages. We have already processed these forms during your initial qualification and we cannot process them a second time. Please send your W9s, I9s, Direct Deposit forms directly to the State at:
Mail: DHS – ITBSU
ATTN: eXPRS User Enrollment
500 Summer Street NE E-12
Salem, OR 97301
Finally, provider organizations who need a provider number should be hearing from the State shortly. We are aware of a transmittal being developed and have heard it should be out within the next week or so.
Unfortunately, the State has not provided a phone number to field your questions. If that changes, we will update you and share the resource. We will continue to update you as we have more clear information. Thank you for your continued patience during this process. Rest assured that your payment will continue to come through us in the interim while these bureaucratic and procedural tangles are dealt with.
In preparation for this change, all providers must obtain a Provider Number. In order to receive a Provider Number, you must turn in a Provider Enrollment Application and Agreement (Word or PDF). The Provider Number will allow you to go into the State’s payment system and make your claims. Without this number, you won’t be paid.
Many of you have contacted us via phone, email, on Facebook and in-person concerned because you submitted the required paperwork, yet you’ve heard nothing from the State. Communication and direction has been spotty, for sure.
Here’s how INW can help.
A day ago, the thirteen support services brokerages received a spreadsheet from the Oregon Home Care Commission. This spreadsheet contains the names and contact information for about 3,400 providers statewide. It includes assigned Provider Numbers. We are currently in the process of sorting through the list to determine which providers are attached to Independence Northwest.
If your name is on the list, we will email you your Provider Number early next week. (Some providers are getting email notifications with their Provider Number from the Home Care Commission and some aren’t, so you may receive this info twice.)
If your name is not on the list, we will email you early next week and tell you that the State has not assigned you a Provider Number yet. This may be because you didn’t submit a PEAA or perhaps the State hasn’t processed your PEAA yet. We have no way of knowing which is the case (or if there are other variables), so concerned providers will need to follow up with the State at that point by emailing DD-MH.OHCC@state.or.us. At this time, the State has not provided a direct contact person or phone number. If that changes, we will update you.
We expect to receive updated Provider Number lists from the State from time to time, but don’t yet know what the frequency will be. As we receive those lists, we will update you where applicable.
Brokerages will continue payment (at the very least) through the end of 2013. As deadlines shift, we’ll keep you informed. You will continue to send your invoices and time sheets directly to your customer’s Personal Agent, as before.
If you haven’t sent in your Provider Enrollment Agreement, do it now.
If you have turned it in and we send you a notice saying the State hasn’t included you on its list, contact them via email at DD-MH.OHCC@state.or.us.
Continue to send your timesheets and invoices directly to us at Independence Northwest. We will notify you when the State is formally taking over payment. Even after the State takes over payment, you’ll still send proof of services to us for review.
The State will take over payment to you sometime in the new year. They are planning trainings and support for providers to get acclimated to the eXPRS system. Hold tight, information forthcoming.
Thank you for the essential work you do for our customers, their families and the community at large.
Larry Deal Executive Director
PS – Provider organizations with current eXPRS log in information need not be concerned with this notice. As I currently understand it, provider organizations who are awaiting a Provider Number and eXPRS log-in will be contacted in the next week or so by the State.
Are you currently paid to provide supports to an adult receiving brokerage services? If so, you are a Mandatory Abuse Reporterand have certain legal responsibilities. If you have reasonable cause to believe an adult with developmental disabilities has been abused, or that any person with whom you come in contact in your job has abused an adult, you must immediately report the abuse.
Abuse includes but is not limited to: abandonment, financial exploitation, involuntary seclusion, neglect, physical abuse, restraint (not approved in a behavior support plan or by doctor’s order,) sexual abuse or verbal abuse.
If you believe any of these things or another concerning/suspicious event has taken place, you must:
Report the situation to the Community Developmental Disabilities Program in Washington, Clackamas or Multnomah counties. This is required by law.
In addition, you must immediately file a report with local law enforcement if you believe a crime has been committed. This is required by law.
Write an incident report and submit it to the individual’s Personal Agent at Independence Northwest. This is required per your signed service agreement with the INW customer(s) you serve.
Please note: Mandatory Abuse Reportersare not limited to reporting only potential abuse and crimes against people with developmental disabilities. Reporters must also call in any issues involving, children, seniors (people 65 and older,) people with mental health issues and people with physical disabilities. You do not need direct evidence and it is not your responsibility or role to investigate the claim, but you have a legal obligation to pick up the phone and make a report as soon as possible.
Additionally, you have a responsibility to report in writing/via phone to Independence Northwest when you have seen, heard or been told about the death of a brokerage customer; when there has been police, ambulance or fire department response; with regard to criminal referrals, medical hospitalizations, emergency room visits, psychiatric hospitalizations or any other incidents that are unusual for the individual/are of concern. You must do so within 24 hours of hearing of/witnessing the event.
When in doubt, report!
Washington County: Business Hours: 503.846.3150
After Hours: 503.291.9111
Clackamas County: All Hours: Report directly to Bryan Pollard: 503.557.2874
Multnomah County: Business Hours: 503.988.3658 (Ask for Adult DD Protective Services Screener)24 Hour Crisis Line: 503.988.4888
Department of Human Services: If you are unsure who to report adult abuse to, please call the state at1-800-232-3020
Dear Independent Contractors and Support Services Provider Community,
In the last month or so, brokerage employees have received a number of inquires regarding the future of independent contractors in support services. The common thread is a rumor that brokerages either have stopped or plan to stop qualifying independent contractors entirely. We’ve even heard from some providers that “brokerages are doing away with both independent contractors and domestic employees.” These rumors are unfounded and without merit and we are issuing this written statement in an attempt to prevent their further spread.
Community Pathways Inc., Inclusion Inc., Independence Northwest, Mentor Oregon Brokerage, Self Determination Resources Inc. and UCP Connectionshave taken no steps to quit qualifying independent contractors. We continue to qualify providers of all types. That said, we are seeking clarity on the conflicting rules and expectations of the various governmental bodies who oversee brokerages and determine the validity of independent contractor classification. The input of these agencies is ongoing and additional understanding of their expectations and of our legal responsibilities will undoubtedly inform the ways in which future providers are qualified.
Often, it seems as if brokerages are perceived as creating policies that are in fact created by state and federal authorities. For instance, brokerages don’t set provider rate ranges (the state does that) and we don’t make rules about what providers can be paid for (federal Medicaid authorities do that). And while we don’t create those policies we have a contractual obligation with the Department of Human Services to ensure compliance with those rules and to assure their proper implementation. This has become increasingly difficult over time as the number of conflicting governmental statutes continues to grow.
If things shift in terms of qualification criteria or other state or federal requirements, we will do what we have always done: communicate. We have spent many years nurturing, advocating for and enhancing provider and resource capacity in the metro area. We’ll continue to do so. Is there a possibility the way we must qualify providers will change? Sure. Do we know what those changes might be? Not at present. But if and/or when things do change, we will be in contact. We are partners in this process and we have the same aim: to provide exceptional service to our joint customer base.
Please forward this information on to those you know who might be misinformed on this topic. Thank you for your continued work with our shared customers. The work you do each day makes an enormous difference in the lives of thousands of Oregonians in our community.
A Message for Independent Contractors and Provider Organizations Qualified with Independence Northwest:
It is the policy of Independence Northwest to pay all invoices on a net 30 basis. (This means that we will disburse funds within 30 days of receiving an invoice from a provider.) As a result of this policy we do not adhere to particular invoice due dates or pay dates. However, for independent contractors and provider agencies to be paid in the first cycle of checks each month, we recommend they have their invoices to our office by noon on the following dates in 2012.
Friday, January 6th Tuesday, February 7th Tuesday, March 6th Friday, April 6th Monday, May 7th Wednesday, June 6th Friday, July 6th Tuesday, August 7th Thursday, September 6th Friday, October 5th Tuesday, November 6th Thursday, December 6th
A note about postal delivery and direct deposit: We have been offering direct deposit to the entire provider community since August of 2010 and it’s been a great success. It helps us process payments faster and ensures your money lands in your bank account sooner. But now there’s a new reason to consider direct deposit: As you may have read in the news, budgetary cuts to the US Postal Service are expected to result in a significant slowdown of domestic mail. Local mail that previously arrived in one day may soon take three to four days to arrive. In anticipation of this change Independence Northwest is strongly urging all providers to sign up for direct deposit. All providers are being mailed a copy of this letter along with a direct deposit form.
Thank you all for your service to our community. Here’s hoping for a productive and
The Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 3618 during the February 2010 special session. This bill was signed into law. HB 3618 is directed to “Personal Support Workers” who are defined as persons who are hired by the client or the client’s family or guardian and paid by public funds. We have historically referred to these workers as Domestic Employees in the brokerage system. For reference purposes, this bill can be viewed at: http://www.leg.state.or.us/10ss1/measpdf/hb3600.dir/hb3618.en.pdf
The bill changed the employee designation so that they became eligible for workers’ compensation as of January 1, 2011. The Oregon Home Care Commission (OHCC) has arranged for Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage and will facilitate the processing of Workers’ Compensation claims on behalf of the client/employer. SAIF Corporation is the workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
Because of House Bill 3618, Independence Northwest and other brokerages became legally mandated to give a list of all the domestic employees working with our customers to the State of Oregon Department of Human Services, who in turn were mandated to give this list to anyone interested in organizing this group of workers into a union. This occurred in October of 2010 and SEIU has legitimately acquired domestic employee names, phone numbers and addresses. We informed customers of this happening about the same time.
Presently, domestic employees should not be surprised when individuals or groups of individuals from SEIU knock on your door. You have every right to sit down with the representatives of SEIU and discuss the benefits of unionization. You also have the right to refuse to talk to them.
When representatives from SEIU visit with you, you may be asked to sign a union card. If enough domestic employees working with brokerage customers sign a card (30% of the total number of workers) then there will be a vote in which all domestic employees working with brokerage customers will get to decide if they want a union or not. The choice is yours and yours alone.
Independence Northwest has chosen to hold a public neutral stance on organizing efforts. We cannot advise you on whether or not to sign a union card.
House Bill 3618, the legislation designed to include individuals hired by people with developmental disabilities and mental illness or their families into the Home Care Commission, was passed during the last week of the February Legislative Session. The bill will provide worker’s compensation, training, and a registry for personal support workers beginning in January 2011.
Additionally, the bill would allow for organizing of workers and possible unionization after 2011. The fiscal impact for 2009-2011 is $1 million; for 2011-2013 the fiscal for the workers compensation, training, and registry is projected to be $2.5 million GF (State of Oregon General Fund dollars). This does not include the cost of possible collective bargaining if the workforce chooses to unionize.
More information forthcoming on this important change.
Disability Scoop is the first and only nationally focused online news organization serving the developmental disability community including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, fragile X and intellectual disability, among others.
Five days each week Disability Scoop sifts through the clutter to provide a central, reliable source of news, information and resources. Plus, Disability Scoop is the only place to find original content and series like “Scoop Essentials” that take an in-depth look at what lies beyond the day’s headlines.
Healthy Lifestyles – Healthy Lifestyles is a self directed goal setting program to help individuals live a healthier life. This program also offers ongoing mentoring. To learn about Healthy Lifestyles, please call Sarah Gerth at 503-232-7411 or
Housing – ILR can answer many questions about housing for you. We can provide help with the following:
Advocacy and Education
Community “Tenants Rights and Responsibilities” Training
Fair Housing Amendments Act
Ready to Rent Class
Skills Instruction – At ILR we offer skills instruction, both individual and in small groups, which can help people with disabilities acquire skills to live more independently.
Examples of topics:
Braille and Orientation & Mobility Instruction
Sports/Outdoor Recreation – For people with disabilities who are interested in sports or the outdoors please join us. We offer a variety of outings and activities. Please contact Patricia Kepler at 503-232-7411 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in learning more about our outdoor recreation program.
Volunteer Program – ILR’s services are provided by both staff and volunteers. Volunteers are essential to the success of this organization. They enable us to provide services without exceeding our budget. Volunteers serve in many capacities at ILR, including the Board of Directors, peer counselors, and teachers. Please contact Sarah Naomi Campbell email@example.com if you find interest in becoming an ILR volunteer. Download Volunteer Application
STEPS Program – It’s often said that knowledge is power. STEPS empowers participants by providing information about rights and responsibilities, and helping them develop the skills needed to hire and manage Homecare Workers.Call Suzanne to sign up for the next workshop at ILR. Each workshop is from 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM, and lunch and snacks are included. Eligible participants (see below) will receive a comprehensive handbook, follow-up services as needed, and a $25 gift card. To register, or for more information, call the STEPS Training Coordinator (503) 232-7411 or email STEPS@ILR.org.
WIN (Work Incentives Network) – Thinking about work but concerned about benefits? The Work Incentives Network can help you create a plan for success! WIN can help you understand how work will effect:
Social Security Benefits
To learn more about working and disability benefits, call us at 503-232-7411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call our partners on this project, Disability Rights Oregon, at 503-243-2081.
One of the most common questions we hear at brokerages is “What can I use my support services funds for?”
Each customer enrolled in a brokerage has a certain benefit level (an amount of support services funds to which they are entitled and may use to purchase needed services). Before any support services funds can be accessed, we first must look for natural supports in the community. This means we look to services like Vocational Rehabilitation, school districts, the Oregon Health Plan, Independent Living Resources and other organizations who offer services to individuals with disabilities first. This allows for maximum benefit to you, the customer and ensures the appropriate use of brokerage services, a taxpayer funded program.
All services purchased with Support Services dollars are what is known as a “social benefit”. A social benefit is a service “solely intended to assist an individual with disabilities to function in society on a level comparable to that of an individual…who does not have a disability”. The benefit can never:
Duplicate services and benefits otherwise available to citizens, regardless of disability (such as paying for a college class since people with or without disabilities must pay college tuition.)
Provide financial assistance with food, shelter or clothing
Replace any other service that is available elsewhere in the community (also known as “natural supports”) like Vocational Rehabilitation or services from a school district
Exceed the amount in the authorized Individual Support Plan.
To read more about specific types of support services options, check out the list below. Your Personal Agent can assist you with better understanding services available to you.
Last Friday, the metro area brokerages (Independence Northwest, Inclusion, Mentor Oregon and The Arc Brokerage Services) held the 2009 Resource Fair. The fair was an enormous success. We’re still tallying the attendee count, but it will likely surpass 400! Special thanks to all the vendors who came and presented their resources to metro area brokerage customers. You can check out their services below.
*NOTE: Not all vendors listed above provide services that can be paid for through Support Services funding. Some are natural resources and others are available through private pay. Check with your Personal Agent if you have questions.
Independence Northwest is partnering with the three other Portland metro area brokerages, Mentor Oregon, Inclusion Inc. and The Arc Brokerage Services to bring you the 2009 Metro Area Resource Fair. There will be barbecue food, games and most importantly vendors and resources for you and your family to check out. This is a great opportunity to meet other community members and expand your knowledge of the local DD community and its resources.
A mailer has gone out to all customers of the four brokerages hosting this event.
Resource Fair Time 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Where: Kaiser Permanente Town Hall – 3704 N. Interstate Ave, Portland
BBQ Time: 2:00pm to 6:00pm
Overlook Park (directly across the street)
Opening streets to walking, bicycling, rolling, and roller blading – without having to watch out for cars!
Sunday Parkways are 7-8 mile “temporary parks” along city streets connecting neighborhoods and residents in North, Northeast and Southeast Portland.
A relaxed, non-competitive, FREE event featuring a variety of activities in several parks and along the routes.
Intersections are staffed by volunteers allowing residents to get to and from their driveways, with larger streets supervised by Portland Police Bureau staff and certified flaggers.
Sunday Parkways gives Portlanders a chance to get out and be active right in their own neighborhood. Participants walked, biked, rolled, ran, strolled, and roller bladed along the route to activities in the parks as well as to nearby shops and businesses in the vicinity.
Sunday Parkways highlights Portland as a walkable and bikeable city. Sunday Parkways is ideal for connecting neighborhoods by bringing people together with healthy activities. Health, transportation, recreation, community, environmental, and safety interests all benefit by partnering to implement Sunday Parkways.