Public Authority Services by Sourcewise

Overtime Frequently Asked Questions

Overtime Questions?  IHSS Direct Line:  408-792-1600 choose Option 2 "Providers" then option 3 "Overtime"

In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) has a direct line for Overtime Questions and for Recipients to request Overtime Exceptions:
Call  408-792-1600.  Select option 2 for "Providers" then option 3 for "Overtime". 


If you or your recipient need help understanding the rules about overtime pay or would like a question and answer added to this list please call us at (408) 350-3220.   ( Please leave a detailed message about your question if we can't take your call right away.)    We will research your question and provide coaching to help you learn how to complete the new timesheets and follow the new overtime rules.  

Overtime Training

Q: Is there a Training Video available?
A: Yes.  The Overtime Information Video is available here.

Q: Is there more Overtime training available?
A: Yes.  If  you need more training on overtime and travel time after reading the FAQ and materials that have been sent to you there is training available.  For more information on the Overtime training classes please call the Training line at (408) 350-3220


Overtime Questions

Q: When do the changes go into effect?
A: The changes start February 1, 2016.  The first paychecks that will include overtime pay will be issued after the Feb 1 to Feb 15 pay period.  

Q: How do I know how many weekly hours I have?
A: An IHSS recipient has been approved for the number of monthly hours that is printed on the first timesheet you get each month and on the NOA (Notice of Action Page 1) that was sent to the recipient when they were approved for the services.  To get weekly hours divide the monthly hours by 4 (or use our Weekly Hours Calculator Page).    Starting in February providers and recipients will be mailed notices that include the monthly and weekly authorized hours for each case.   In Santa Clara County the recipient can call the automated phone service, enter their Social Security Number, then hear the status of their case, including the number of monthly authorized hours.  The phone number is (408) 792-1600.    (Press 1 English,  Press 1 for Recipient, Press 1 for Case information, Enter SSN, Press #,  Monthly hours will be read to you.).  This is an automated service without wait time. 

Q: Can a provider be paid for more than 66 hours in one workweek?  (That is 40 regular hours plus 26 hours of overtime pay.)
A: No, if the provider works for more than one recipient then 66 hours per week is the maximum allowed.   When a provider works for several recipients the total of all of their hours worked in one workweek is limited to 66.  A recipient can not ask for an hours adjustment exception in this situation and may need to hire an additional provider.
A: Yes, if the provider works for only one recipient.  If that recipient is authorized for more than 66 hours per week, ( over 264 hours per month), then the provider can be paid for more than 66 hours per week up to that recipients Maximum Weekly Hours.  In addition the recipient has flexibility to move hours from week to week and that may increase the providers weekly paid hours. See the Weekly Hours Calculator Page for more details. 

Q: If I can't work over 66 hours per week I won't be able to help all of my recipients.  Will they go without care?
A: No.  You and your recipient will need to plan to hire an additional care provider for the time you won't be able to work and perhaps to be available for backup when needed.    66 hours per week is the maximum allowed.   If you need help finding additional care providers the Public Authority Registry (408) 350-3251 can help.   No overtime pay violations will be issued until May 2016 so you can continue to work and be paid overtime for your recipient while you help them find an additional provider and plan for the changes before May 2016.   If you work for only one recipient then you can work and be paid for all of the weekly hours that recipient is authorized, even if it is over 66 hours per week.  

Q: My only recipient is authorized for more than 66 hours per week.  Can I be paid for all of their hours, even over 66 hours per week?
A: Yes.  If a provider works for only one recipient and that person is authorized for more than 66 hours per week, then that provider can be paid for more than 66 hours per week up to the recipients Maximum Weekly Hours.   The provider can also work more than the recipients weekly authorized hours in some weeks as long as it doesn't exceed the recipients monthly authorized hours and it doesn't cause the provider to work more overtime hours during the calendar month than is "pre-authorized" for the case.  Review the "pre-authorized" overtime hours for a case on the Weekly Hours Calculator Page.  

Q: I already work more than 40 authorized hours per week for my recipient.  Do we need to request an exception every week?
A: No.  When a provider works for only one recipient, and that recipient is authorized for more than 40 hours per week then your case has a number of "pre-authorized" overtime hours every month that may be paid to the provider without asking for an exception.  Those pre-authorized overtime hours can be used in any of the weeks of the month and moved from one week to another to meet the needs of the recipient.  See the Weekly Hours Calculator Page to calculate the pre-authorized overtime hours for a case.  The recipient does need to get an approved exception before the provider could be paid more than the pre-authorized number of overtime hours in any calendar month.  (on two timesheets)

Q: I usually work 30 hours per week for my only recipient.  That is 60 hours for 2 weeks.  Can I change my schedule to 50 hours one week and 10 hours the next week and get paid some overtime?
A: No.  If you change your work schedule for the recipient above 40 hours per week (paid overtime) you would get a "violation" penalty.  If you get several violations you may be terminated from the IHSS program for up to one year.   It is possible for your recipient to ask the county for an "exception" when they need one.  That would allow you to be paid for overtime (more than 40 hours in one workweek).   The county may grant or deny the exception request.    Please review the training and documents for what kinds of exceptions are allowed.   Generally an exception will be approved if it is for something that directly affects the health or safety of the recipient and it is something unexpected that can't be postponed until later.  


Overtime Timesheet Questions

Q: How do I mark which hours are Overtime hours on my timesheet?
A: You DO NOT mark them. You write regular hours and overtime hours the same way on your timesheet.  The timesheets are arranged in workweek blocks (Sunday to Saturday).    Whenever the total number of hours you enter in one of those workweek blocks adds up to more than 40 hours then all the hours more than 40 are automatically paid as overtime hours.  The computer will add them and calculate how many are overtime hours.  If you work for more than one recipient all the hours for all the recipients you work for in each workweek block are added together to see how many hours over 40 you may have worked.    Overtime is paid at one and one half times the normal hourly wage rate for all hours above 40 per workweek. 

Q: What happens when one workweek is split over two pay periods (two timesheets)?
A: Enter your hours on the timesheet as usual for each day you worked.  If the week is not finished on one timesheet (Saturday is the end of a workweek) you will still get paid for the partial week hours you claim on the current timesheet. The computer will total the partial week hours from all of your timesheets if you work for several people and will print it on all of the next pay period timesheets in the section marked "Claimed".  The computer will add the "Claimed" hours from the previous partial workweek to the workweek hours you claim on the current timesheet(s), and will pay you overtime for anything over 40 hours. Everything over 40 hours in one workweek (Sunday to Saturday) is overtime, even when the week is split over two timesheets.

Q: What does the "CLAIMED:"  hours on my timesheet mean?
A: To help you total your full hours for a workweek the computer will print next to the "CLAIMED" entry the total number of hours you have already claimed for that workweek on all of the timesheets already submitted for the previous pay period.   If you work for more than one recipient the CLAIMED amount is the total you claimed for ALL of the recipients on the previous pay period timesheets that have been received.   CLAIMED will only be accurate if all of the timesheets for the previous pay period have already been received and paid so it is best to keep your own  records of what you have already claimed each week.  Keep your own notes on a calendar or notebook to avoid claiming too many hours in any workweek and avoid violations.

Q: Why is my Paystub "Overtime Pay" amount less that I expected?
A: The "Overtime Pay" amount on the paystub is calculated as the number of overtime hours times one half of the normal hourly pay rate,  not one and one half times.   That is because the "Regular Pay" amount already includes the pay for each overtime hour at the regular pay rate, so the extra amount to be paid is what appears as "Overtime Pay" on the paystub.  As an example, if your pay rate is $10 per hour and you are paid for 45 hours in one workweek that is 40 hours of regular time and 5 hours of overtime.  On the paystub that will appear as 45 x $10 = $450 Regular Pay plus  5 hours x $5 = $25 of Overtime Pay.   Total is $475.     You would reach the same total if you calculate it as 40 regular hours x $10 = $400 plus 5 overtime hours x $15 = $75.  Total = $475.  

Travel Time Questions

Q: I was mailed more than one "Provider Workweek & Travel Time Agreement" form SOC2255.  Why?   Do I need to fill it out?
A: Yes - but only fill out one of them.   You will be mailed one package for each of the recipients you work for.  It is only necessary to fill out ONE of the SOC2255 forms to return to the county.    Fill out and return the form even if you do not travel between recipients.  If you do not plan to claim travel time you mark the question on page 4 as "No" and you can skip section B of the form, but you must sign and return it with the other information.  Please list ALL of  your recipients on Page 3 and estimate your workhours for each of them to make sure you will not go over the limit of 66 hours per week.  If you need more space list them on an extra page. The work hours you list in Part A on this form are ONLY an estimate and you might actually work more or less than you list on this form as long as you do not go over 66 hours per week.   The purpose of completing Part A of the form is to make sure you know if you will be close to the 66 hour limit and to help you make plans to change your schedule if you need to reduce your hours.   If you change or add recipients you will get a new package in the mail and should update the SOC2255 form and return it to the county if your workhours or travel destinations have changed.

Q: Will I get paid for mileage?
A: No.  The additional pay is for time spent travelling, not for miles, and is only for the time spent travelling directly between two work locations.  Travel to and from home is not included.   Starting February 1, 2016 if you work for more than one recipient on the same day, you can claim and be paid for the time it takes to travel between the recipients.  (within limits)  

Q: Will I get paid for the travel time to and from my home and the place I work?
A: No.  Paid travel time is the time it takes to travel directly from the location where you provide services for one recipient to another location where you provide services for a different recipient on the same day. 

Q: How do I claim travel time?
A: There is a new Travel Claim Form.  Any provider that works for more than one recipient must first complete and return the "Provider Workweek & Travel Time Ageement" form SOC2255 that was mailed.  Once that form is returned you will receive Travel Claim Forms for each pay period.  Follow the instructions on the Travel Claim Form to complete it and submit it with the timesheet for the same pay period. 

Q: Can I claim travel time hours for taking my recipient to a medical appointment?
A:  No.  If your recipient is authorized for "Accompaniment to Medical Appointments" as one of their IHSS Services then you will claim that working time as normal work hours on the timesheet and not on the Travel Claim Form.  Travel time is only for the time spent travelling directly from the location where you provide services for one recipient to another location where you provide services for a different recipient on the same day. 

Q: Can I be paid overtime for travel time?
A: Yes.  Travel time hours are working hours.  If the total of your timesheet hours, plus your travel claim form hours in any workweek total to more than 40 hours then all the hours above 40 will be paid at the overtime rate.  Travel time is paid in addition to the 66 hour weekly limit on IHSS service hours pay when providers work for several recipients. 

Form SOC846 must be returned by all providers.

Q: Where do I mail the form?
A: For IHSS Santa Clara County mail the completed forms to:  
        Santa Clara Social Services Agency - IHSS,  P.O. Box 11018,  San Jose, CA  95103-1018   
Please include your provider number with your signature on the forms and also print your name clearly.

Q: Where can I get another copy of the needed forms?
A: Contact the IHSS county office at (408) 792-1600 for the required form.  The forms are also available in pdf format on this website.  You can download them and print them yourself  from this page :

Q: Why is this form important?
A: All IHSS providers must submit the Provider Enrollment Agreement (SOC 846) to confirm understanding of the new overtime rules.   If you have not yet returned the form please sign and return it right away.

Special Exemptions for some cases?

Q: Are there any special exemptions that allow an IHSS provider to work more than 66 hours/week for two or more recipients?

A: Yes.  To ensure that IHSS recipients are able to remain safely in their homes, CDSS has established two exemptions from the 66 hours/workweek limitation for IHSS providers:
1) The "Live-In Family Care Provider" Exemption 1 applies to IHSS providers who, on or before January 31,2016 met all three conditions:
        a) provide services for two or more IHSS recipients and
        b) lives in the same home as all of the recipients for whom they provide services and
        c) are related to all of the recipients for whom they provide services as the recipients' parent, step-parent, adoptive parent, grandparent, legal guardian or conservator.
Apply for this exemption if you meet the requirements by contacting IHSS at 408-792-1600.  Select option 2 for "Providers" then option 3 for "Overtime" to ask for this exemption.  Note this exemption is not available for new cases, but only if the provider met the requirements on or before January 31, 2016.  Applications for exemptions are reviewed and approved or denied by CDSS at the state level, not by the local county IHSS office social workers.

2) The "Extraordinary Circumstances" Exemption 2 applies to IHSS providers who provide services for two or more recipients whose circumstances leave them vulnerable and place them at serious risk of placement in out-of-home care if their IHSS authorized hours could not be provided by the existing provider.   To be considered for this exemption all the recipients the provider works for must meet at least one of the following conditions:
        a) Have complex medical and/or behavioral needs that must be met by a provider who lives in the same home as the recipient.
        b) Live in a rural or remote area where available providers are limited and as a result the recipient is unable to hire another provider.
        c) Be unable to hire a provider who speaks his/her same language in order to direct his/her own care.
Apply for this exemption if you meet the requirements by contacting IHSS at 408-792-1600.  Select option 2 for "Providers" then option 3 for "Overtime" to ask for this exemption. Applications for exemptions are reviewed and approved or denied by CDSS at the state level, not by the local county IHSS office social workers.  The CDSS website provides a description of this Exemption here.

There is ongoing review by the state of special situations that may require exemptions from the overtime rules.   Visit the Disability Rights Organization Website or contact them for more information about these efforts:

WPCS - Waiver Personal Care Services

Q: What are the rules for a provider if they are working WPCS hours or IHSS hours or both for a WPCS participant?

A: Some providers may work for a recipient on the Waiver Personal Care Services (WPCS) program or for a recipient that has both WPCS and IHSS authorized hours.  The WPCS program and overtime rules are described in more detail here and here.  Due to the need for additional time to program IT systems, there will be an extended grace period for WPCS participants and their providers, who provide IHSS or WPCS or both, from May 1 to September  1, 2016.  Providers of WPCS participants will not receive any violations during this extended grace period.