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(4.48) What do I need to know about vouchers?

(4.48) What do I need to know about vouchers?

Vouchers are one way of getting services. They are “coupons” from the regional center that allow you to pay someone to provide a service for you. There are vouchers for things such as respite, transportation services, day care, in-home nursing, and diapers.

The advantage of vouchers is:

You can use them to purchase services from any person or organization you choose and avoid agency waiting lists.

The disadvantage of vouchers is:

They make you responsible for finding a service provider.

Also, by using a voucher, you may be establishing an “employer-employee” relationship between you and the person hired to provide the service. As an employer, you must follow both state and federal laws about hiring, firing, reporting wages, withholding income and payroll taxes, and workers’ compensation. The regional center should provide technical assistance, guidance, and training to help you meet those requirements.[1]Title 17, Cal. Code Regs., section 54355. The important thing is that the regional center cannot make you use vouchers instead of one of the other ways of securing services for you. This is particularly true if, because of your disability, you cannot manage the extra work required.

References
1 Title 17, Cal. Code Regs., section 54355.