Public Authority Services by Sourcewise administers optional health and other employment benefits for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Independent Providers in Santa Clara County.
News & Notices
Benefits Enrollment is by Request Only
Enrolling for benefits is optional. Independent Providers must meet eligibility criteria and request to enroll before an application form will be mailed to them. Learn about Care Provider Benefits eligibility criteria below.
Independent Providers must keep their mailing and residential addresses current with IHSS
Don’t Lose your Benefits for Preventable Reasons
Independent Providers must be paid by IHSS for 35 hours per month to remain eligible for benefits. Submit your timesheets on time! Learn about Care Provider Benefits eligibility criteria below.
Independent Providers can reapply for benefits when eligibility requirements are met
If benefits are terminated for eligibility requirements not being met, or you asked for your benefits to end, providers can follow the application steps to reinstate their benefits when the requirements are once again fulfilled. Reapply for benefits by following the steps in the section How To Apply.
Care Provider Benefits
Santa clara County IHSS Independent Providers are eligible to apply for benefits when they have been paid by IHSS for working at least 35 hours per month for the past two months.
Have your 9-digit IHSS Independent Provider number ready when you call.
Benefits available for eligible IHSS independent providers include:
Medical insurance is provided by Valley Health Plan (VHP)
Medical Benefit Premiums cost $25 per month. When payroll schedule (paycheck) is up to date, the $25 premium is deducted from the provider’s paycheck.
Dental and Vision Insurance
Dental and vision benefits are bundled together, so when providers apply for one, they also apply for the other.
There is no monthly cost for dental and vision insurance, providers are only responsible for paying co-pays.
Dental Insurance is provided by Liberty Dental Plan
Free Bus Pass
The free SmartPass from the Santa Clara County Valley Transit Authority (VTA) is available to all actively working IHSS Independent Providers in the county.
The SmartPass allows travel on all non-express route VTA buses and light rail trains throughout Santa Clara County and does not expire unless you stop working for IHSS consumers.
Independent Providers must have their IHSS provider ID badge with them when using the SmartPass. These are not issued to providers unless requested.
Ready to request your IHSS provider ID badge and SmartPass? Leave a message for the Public Authority Services Benefits Department at (408) 350-3290.
How to Apply
To apply for benefits through Public Authority Services, IHSS Independent Providers must:
Step 1: Meet the Eligibility Criteria
Independent Providers must be PAID by Santa Clara County IHSS for at least 35 hours of work, for the two most recent months before requesting an application.
Step 2: Request a Benefits Application
Step 3: Return the Completed Benefits Application
Using the envelope provided with the application you receive, add a postage stamp and return to the Public Authority Services Benefits Department.
Step 4: Wait to Receive Notification of Your Approval or Denial for Benefits
Notification letters are usually received within 6 weeks of your application being reviewed.
Ready to request an application? Call the Benefits Department at (408) 350-3290 or complete the request form now!
Santa Clara County Independent Providers have additional benefits available to them beyond those offered through the Public Authority Services Benefits Department:
Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union (SCCFCU)
IHSS Independent Providers in Santa Clara County are eligible to join SCCFCU, along with their family members! Members of SCCFCU can open free checking accounts, receive dividends on savings, access member discounts on theme park tickets, movies, and more.
For more information and to apply for your personal account, visit the SCCFCU website at sccfcu.org.
CalSavers Retirement Savings Program
CalSavers is an optional program offered by the State of California available to IHSS Independent Providers who want to contribute to a retirement plan.
Designed for all Californians, the program allows individuals to set up automatic contributions from their bank account into the retirement plan and choose investment options for their account.
CalSavers is administered by the State of California and enrollment is easily done by phone or online. IHSS Independent Care Providers are “self-employed” individuals and will not have an employer access code.
When enrolling, use the “Get Started” and “I want to sign myself up” options to begin saving today!
If you have questions or need assistance with CalSavers, contact the CalSavers Help Desk at (855) 650-6918 and mention that you are a “self-employed” individual.
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
For information on SEIU and the resources and benefits they offer, contact the union at (855) 810-2015
Looking to be hired by more consumers and work more hours? Apply to join the Public Authority Services Registry!
When Benefits End
Insurance does not end immediately when an independent provider stops working
There is a grace period and insurance coverage will continue for at least one month after an independent provider stops being paid for the required 35 hours per month.
If a provider’s pay for hours falls below the requirement, the Public Authority Services Benefits Department will send a Health Insurance Termination Warning letter to notify the provider of when their coverage will end. Independent Providers are responsible for paying their portion of the insurance premium until their insurance stops.
Benefits eligibility is determined by the number of hours paid for on provider’s paychecks. If you have not submitted your timesheets or received your paycheck as expected, you may be at risk of losing your benefits. Always submit your timesheets on time and contact In-Home Supportive Services for timesheet and payroll issues.
If your Public Authority Services benefits end, you will be sent COBRA information on how you can optionally self-pay the full plan premium to continue your benefits.
Keep your mailing address up to date. The Benefits Department can only send communications, such as Health Insurance Termination Warning letters, to the address on file with IHSS. Make sure you can receive these vital materials by keeping your contact information current in the Electronic Services Portal when you complete your timesheets.
Are my benefits automatically reinstated if my insurance stopped and then I start working the minimum hours again?
Having insurance coverage through Public Authority Services is always optional, so benefits cannot restart unless you reapply. Eligibility criteria must be met and verified by the benefits department.
Can my dependents be covered by the insurance I get through Public Authority Services?
How long do I have to work before I can apply for benefits from Public Authority Services?
After two consecutive (two in a row) months of being paid for working 35 hours per month, the Benefits Department can verify your eligibility. You can apply for benefits at that time.
From the time a provider starts being paid for 35 hours or more per month, and they apply for benefits, it generally takes a total of four months for your benefits to begin.
How long does it take for benefits to start after I apply?
Benefits applications must be received by the 5th of the month to be processed during that month. If your application is received on the 6th or after, it will be processed during the following month.
Benefits applications are processed between the 6th and 10th of each month, and then letters of approval or denial are mailed.
Benefits start on the 1st of the month after you receive an approval letter.
What should I do if I receive a “Health Insurance Termination Warning” letter?
Independent Providers remain eligible for benefits only if they are consistently paid by IHSS for 35 hours each month. If your hours fall below that, or you do not submit/receive your timesheets on time, the Benefits Department will warn you that you are in danger of losing your benefits unless you are paid for the minimum 35 monthly hours.
If you have submitted your timesheets on time, but your paycheck is more than two weeks late, correct the problem by calling IHSS at (408) 792-1600
If you want to work for additional consumers to have more hours, consider applying to join the Registry.
How long will my insurance last if I stop being paid for the required 35 hours per month?
If, for any reason, a provider who has insurance through Public Authority Services stops being paid for 35 hours per month, their insurance will continue for at least one month.
The Benefits Department will send a Health Insurance Termination Warning letter explaining when benefits will stop.
Providers are responsible for paying their portion of the insurance premium until their insurance stops. Call the Benefits Department for more detailed answers at (408) 350-3290.
What should I do if I receive a bill from Public Authority Services for my benefits?
Public Authority benefits will never send you a bill unless the payment for your portion of the insurance premium cannot be taken out of your paycheck as usual.
Follow the instructions and pay the bill to avoid losing your benefits. If you have questions, contact the Benefits department at (408) 350-3290.
What should I do if I want to apply for Medicare and need to prove I have benefits through PA?
Independent Providers can learn the steps and information needed by calling the Benefits Department at (408) 350–3290.
How do I know if a VTA bus route is an express, meaning my SmartPASS will not cover the cost of taking that bus?
Express routes in Santa Clara County have a 3-digit route number that begins with a “1,” such as Line 181 (San Jose Diridon TC to Fremont Bart).
To take an Express Line, providers will be charged an extra $2.50 each way and the provider will need to add money to their SmartPASS Clipper Card in preparation for those travels.