What is the Paid Internship Program?
Section 4870 was added to the Welfare & Institutions Code to encourage competitive integrated employment (CIE) for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The goals of this program include the acquisition of experience and skills needed for future paid employment, typically in the same job field or industry. Internships can be traditional, or in the form of apprenticeships, including self-employment. The funds provided for the internship are used for wages (minimum wage or higher) as well as the related payroll costs. Each individual client is eligible for up to $10,400.00 per year in an internship and could receive more than one internship.
Who is Eligible?
Any San Diego Regional Center client who is eligible for employment (18 and older) with eligibility to work and expresses a desire to be employed (either part-time or full-time). Clients also need to be able to travel independently or have some dependable transportation (ADA Paratransit, Uber/Lyft, family member, etc.).
Regional centers are now permitted to provide paid internships to transition-aged students aged 18-22 based on a need determined by both the IEP and IPP planning teams.
How Does it Work?
Through the IPP team meeting, the client expresses a desire to work and ideally shows the motivation to obtain competitive integrated employment. The IPP team needs to identify the following:
a) Purpose of the internship (learning work-related tasks and/or appropriate communication skills, gaining practical work experience for resume development, obtaining competency in a selected trade, or preparation to start a business).
b) An approved agency/vendor who will facilitate the internship placement and on-going supports.
c) Number of hours for the internship (25, 50, 100, etc.), proposed weekly schedule, and completion date.
d) Goals for the IPP or IPP Addendum (one for the paid internship, one for the on-going agency supports).
e) SDRC uses an FMS/Co-Employer agency (24Hr HomeCare) that manages the internship funding and pays the intern the wages. They also handle all of the related payroll costs, Workers Compensation, and will provide SDRC annual data on the internships.
FMS/Co-Employer (24Hr HomeCare – PY0941)
The advantages of using an FMS/Co-Employer are many, primarily to relieve the actual employer or our vendor from becoming the “employer–of-record”; however, it does require more forms and documents to complete initially, and most of these have to be signed by the participant/client.
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