Unemployment Insurance coverage denied

Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who provided Personal Care Attendant (PCA) services to “immediate family members,” starting July 01, 2010, will no longer be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. A provision excluding a PCA/DSP who serves a family member from Unemployment Insurance coverage was added to Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) during a 2010 Conference Committee.

It is now the responsibility of each PCA provider agency to ensure that an immediate family relationship is determined and disclosed between its DSPs that are employed and the consumers receiving services through that agency. Furthermore, if a DSP works for multiple consumers, the agency has the additional administrative burden of separating and tracking wages and unemployment taxes so that only taxes are calculated from non-family provided services. It is important to note that this new provision is for any DSP providing services to family members receiving PCA services, regardless if they live with the person receiving services or not.

Other discriminatory wage and hour labor exceptions included the 275 hour a month cap. This prohibits DSPs from working more than 275 hours per month, regardless of the number of consumers they support, the number of agencies they are employed by, regardless of the level of need they are providing, regardless if they are working a respite or intermittent shift which may allow for break and occasional paid rest time.

Brigette Menger-Anderson is an advocate for direct support professionals

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