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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fraud in IHHS

Elderly and disabled people have once contributed, in one way or another, to the improvement and development of society. Seeing the need to compensate them for their services, funds are allotted to their care in case of old age or disability or blindness.

In California, In House Support Services (IHSS) is a program established to cater to the needs of the elderly over 65 years of age, disabled or blind so they can remain safely in their homes. IHSS is considered as an inexpensive alternative to nursing homes or board and care facilities.

Under the program, the care provider is usually the recipient’s family member in order to give twenty-four hour assistance. Services would include doing personal chores, giving personal care, accompanying to medical appointments and supervising.

This year, IHSS has a budget of $5.42 billion to provide care for about 440,000 Californians. The amount may be overwhelming. But sadly, due to fraudulent machinations employed by some unions, some valid claims are not getting attention. Efforts of full time investigators are not at par with the thousands of fraud cases filed before them.

For instance, Los Angeles County has no investigators to ensure the validity of claims. Consequently, it had 800 backlog fraud cases.

This current situation is very disadvantageous to valid claimants. Ineligible claimants are the ones reaping the benefits while qualified applicants are left to wait for available funds or worst none at all.