Skidgel v. CUIAB, 2021 WL 3671434 (Cal. S. Ct. 2021)

Tamara Skidgel was an in-home supportive services (IHSS) provider who was being paid under the state’s IHSS program to care for her own daughter.  In this lawsuit, Skidgel alleged that she had been an IHSS provider for her daughter since May 2013 and expected to be eligible for unemployment benefits when her employment caring for her child ended.  Skidgel relied upon a non-precedential decision of the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (CUIAB) that a woman who was providing care to her son and receiving direct payments from a public entity for performing those services qualified for unemployment benefits.  The trial court rejected that interpretation of the applicable statutes and held that Skidgel was ineligible for unemployment benefits.  The Court of Appeal and, in this opinion, the California Supreme Court agreed, holding that Cal. Unemp. Ins. Code § 631 excludes IHSS providers who serve close-family-member recipients.