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by Joyia Emard

Woman with clipboard looking into cardboard box

Moving is stressful. You hire a moving company and trust them with all of your worldly possessions. What could go wrong? Frankly, plenty if you haven’t done your homework.

Unscrupulous moving companies are waiting to make you their next victim. They may even hold your household goods hostage. “Hold Hostage” is when a moving company gives you a quote for moving services, takes possession of your belongings then refuses to deliver them to you unless you pay them a higher amount than originally agreed upon and as documented on the Agreement for Moving Services. This practice is illegal.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure you are not the next victim.

Frustrated peopleConsider the following while preparing for your move:

  • Thoroughly researching a moving company before hiring. When possible, visit the company’s place of business.
  • Verifying that a moving company is authorized to operate in California by checking the company’s status on the Bureau’s License Search at www.bhgs.dca.ca.gov or calling (916) 999-2041.
  • Checking the company’s complaint history with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Ensuring a moving company provides you with a written estimate only after it has conducted a visual inspection of the items you need moved. Verbal estimates or estimates given over the internet are often changed at the last minute.
  • Photographing or videotaping your belongings to create an inventory and document their condition in case a dispute arises concerning charges and/or loss or damage.
  • Considering whether you should purchase additional insurance protection and set the value of your belongings for an amount that makes you comfortable.

Before anything is moved, the moving company must provide you with:

  • A copy of the Agreement for Moving Services.
  • The “Important Information for Persons Moving Household Goods (within California)” booklet, which provides a summary of the rules and regulations the moving company must follow and information about your rights.
  • The “Important Notice About Your Move” document, which contains the “not to exceed” amount for your household move. This is the maximum amount you can be charged unless you request additional services.
  • A Change Order for Services if you request additional or different services after the Agreement for Moving Services has been signed. If you agree to the additional charges on that change order, those charges may be added to the “not to exceed” amount set forth above. A change order cannot be used simply because a mover underestimated the cost.

If you fall victim to a “Hold Hostage” situation or other unscrupulous conduct by a household mover, be sure to file a complaint with the Bureau of Household Goods and Service, you may do so on the Bureau’s website or by calling (916) 999-2041.

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Woman and child playing a game

Sometimes, an injury, disease, or other condition can make participating in daily activities difficult—an arm injury that makes getting dressed painful; arthritis that interferes with driving or climbing stairs; autism that hinders a child from interacting effectively with classmates; or a traumatic brain injury that causes difficulties with memory and organizational skills. These are all situations in which an occupational therapist can help you live life to the fullest. Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help patients develop, recover, improve, and maintain the skills needed for daily living and working.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about half of occupational therapists work in offices of occupational therapy or in hospitals. Others work in schools, nursing homes, and home health services. They treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities such as self-care skills, education, work, or social interaction.

An occupational therapist’s duties may include:

  • Reviewing patients’ medical history and observing them doing tasks.
  • Assessing a patient’s condition and needs.
  • Developing a treatment plan with specific goals and the activities that will be used to achieve them.
  • Helping those with disabilities perform different tasks, such as teaching a stroke victim how to get dressed.
  • Demonstrating exercises to help relieve pain from chronic conditions or improve mobility.
  • Evaluating a patient’s home or workplace and, on the basis of the patient’s health needs, identifying potential improvements, such as ergonomic adjustments to a work station.
  • Educating a patient or patient’s family about how to accommodate and care for the patient.
  • Recommending special equipment, such as a wheelchair, and instructing patients on its use.
  • Assessing and recording patients’ activities and progress for patient evaluations for reporting to physicians and other health care providers or for billing purposes.

According to BLS, employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 16% by 2029, and 32% for assistants, much faster than the average for all occupations. Occupational therapy will continue to be an important part of treatment for people with various illnesses and disabilities, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral palsy, autism, or the loss of a limb.

To become an occupational therapist, all states require completion of an occupational therapy degree program that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education with a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree (associate’s degree or higher for an occupational therapy assistant), followed by 16 or 24 weeks of clinical experience, passing a national exam, and finally, applying for state licensure.

The California Board of Occupational Therapy licenses and regulates occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants. You can verify a practitioner’s license and also find more consumer information—such as how to file a complaint—on the Board’s website at http://www.bot.ca.gov.

 

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An older woman considers a marble urn held by a funeral director.

Make informed decisions with insights from the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau

Planning for your own disposition after death can spare your loved ones the anguish of making difficult decisions while grieving. Shopping ahead of time, getting correct information, and making arrangements now not only allows you to make informed decisions, but also may save you money.

As you make these important arrangements, keep these four tips from Department of Consumer Affairs’ Cemetery and Funeral Bureau (CFB) in mind:

  1. Check the license—To be sure that the funeral establishment, funeral director, crematory, crematory manager, private or fraternal cemetery, and private or fraternal cemetery managers are licensed by the state and in good standing, contact the Department of Consumer Affairs Call Center at (800) 952-5210 or check the license online at https://search.dca.ca.gov.
  2. Compare prices and services—First, visit websites and several funeral establishments to compare services, restrictions, rules, and prices. Then, decide how much you want to spend. If you buy a casket from a retail casket seller, be sure to ask if the seller will deliver it or if you must pick it up. You may also wish to compare prices at several cemeteries and ask about their endowment care funds and cemetery maintenance standards. If a funeral establishment or cemetery is not being maintained to your satisfaction, take your business elsewhere.
  3. Stay organized—You may want to make your arrangements in advance but not prepay for them; however, keep in mind that, over time, prices may go up and businesses may close or change ownership. You may also move to another location or change your arrangements. It’s a good idea to review and revise your decision every few years, and you should make sure your family is aware of your wishes. Put your wishes in writing, give copies to family members and your attorney, and keep a copy in a place where it can be easily accessed. (Don’t keep your only copy in a safe-deposit box. Your family may have to make funeral arrangements on a weekend or holiday when the bank is closed.)
  4. Prepay if wished—If you decide to prepay for funeral and cemetery services, you have several options, including:
    • Preneed trust contracts
    • Savings
    • Pay-on-death accounts
    • Life insurance
    • Funeral insurance

These are prepayment options, not recommendations. Be sure to carefully compare the advantages and disadvantages of each—and consider consulting an attorney and Medicare/Medicaid, if applicable—before making any decision.

A female funeral director sitting at a desk listens attentively to a client.Be sure to discuss your wishes with your family. You may also want to talk to an attorney about the best way to ensure that your wishes are followed. And remember: Funeral establishments and licensed cemeteries must present to the person making funeral arrangements for a deceased person a copy of any preneed agreement in their possession that is signed and paid for in full or in part.

CFB’s “Consumer Guide to Funeral and Cemetery Purchases” (also available in Spanish) offers many additional tips and insights to help you make your own arrangements or to assist a loved one. For more information and consumer resources, visit www.cfb.ca.gov.

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Smog check sign

The Department of Consumer Affairs’ (DCA) Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) has many resources that not only benefit consumers but also help improve the environment. One of those is the Smog Check Referee Program, which assists consumers with resolving special emissions situations, ultimately improving California’s air quality.

Referees are conveniently located at community colleges throughout the state.  Although they don’t do Smog Check repairs, Referees offer a variety of services and resources to consumers who are having trouble passing a Smog Check.

Referees can help you with:

  • Reviewing Smog Check results. If you have concerns about the results of your Smog Check, a Referee can provide a third-party evaluation.
  • Resolving a citation. A Referee can inspect your vehicle and provide guidance for bringing it into compliance if you have received a ticket for modified emissions controls or excessive exhaust noise.
  • Locating a hard-to-find part. Sometimes, the emission control part required to repair a vehicle can be hard to find. A Referee can help you locate the part.
  • Inspecting an unusual vehicle. Some vehicles require special smog services. Referees can inspect specially constructed vehicles, kit cars, collector cars, vehicles with engine changes, modified vehicles, and other vehicles with unusual characteristics or designs.
  • Obtaining a repair cost waiver. Repairing your vehicle in time to renew registration can be costly. Find out if you are eligible for a waiver that allows you additional time to complete repairs.

To learn more or schedule an appointment with a Referee, visit www.asktheref.org or call (800) 622-7733.

For information on other BAR resources, including the Consumer Assistance Program, visit www.bar.ca.gov.

 

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Pile of laundry in front of washing machines

For most families, it seems like the laundry never ends. Your washer and dryer are put through their paces every day, load after load after load, with no end in sight. What do you do when your appliance has had enough and stops working? It’s time to put the Service Contract you purchased to work and call your Service Repair Dealer.

What exactly is a Service Contract? A service contract is often called an “Extended Warranty,” but service contracts are not warranties. A manufacturer warranty is the manufacturer’s promise to stand behind the product and is included in the price of the product. Unlike a manufacturer’s warranty, a service contract is offered at an extra cost. In part, a service contract is “a contract in writing to perform, over a fixed period of time or for a specified duration, services relating to the maintenance, replacement, or repair” of a product for an extra cost. These contracts can provide added value or peace of mind. However, you should always know your rights so it’s important that you read and understand the terms and conditions of the service contract. This should include the basics of what is or is not covered, when the contract starts and stops, the limitations of liability, your responsibilities as a contract holder. Part of knowing your rights is knowing that service contracts sold in California must contain certain information. For example:

  • Repair technician writing on clipboardYou have a right to see the terms and conditions of the service contract prior to agreeing to purchase it.
  • You are entitled to a “free look” period of 30 days (for home electronics and appliances) or 60 days (for all other covered products). During the free look period, you may request to cancel the service contract and receive a full refund of the purchase price.
  • You may receive a prorated refund for the purchase price of a service contract canceled after the “free look” period.
  • You should know the name and address of the service contractor responsible for any obligations.

Even with the best intentions, things can go wrong. If, after attempting to follow the terms and conditions of the contract, you feel the service contract administrator is not properly honoring the contract that you have purchased, contact the Bureau of Household Goods and Services at (916) 999-2041 to file a complaint. You can also email Home Products or for more information visit www.bhgs.dca.ca.gov .

 

 

 

 

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Decorative Graphic

El Departamento de Asuntos del Consumidor de California (DCA, por sus siglas en inglés) protege y presta servicios a los consumidores como entidad reguladora, educadora y encargada de otorgar licencias. Como departamento que emite licencias, certificados, registros y permisos en más de 250 categorías comerciales y profesionales con las cuales los californianos hacen negocios todos los días – saber es poder. Con el fin de educar al público sobre sus derechos y brindar recursos para tomar decisiones fundamentadas como consumidores, el departamento cuenta con más de 30 publicaciones para consumidores que se encuentran disponibles en idioma español.

 

California Department of Consumer Affairs / Departamento de Asuntos del Consumidor de California

Who We Are and What We Do/Quienes Somos Que Hacemos

https://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/dca_booklet_sp.pdf

Small Claims Court/La Corte de Reclamos Menores Una Guia Practica Para su Uso

https://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/dca_booklet_sp.pdf

 

Arbitration Certification Program

Lemon Aid Insert/Programas De Arbitraje Certificados En California

https://www.dca.ca.gov/acp/pdf_files/lainsertspa.pdf

California Certified Arbitration Programs/El Programa de Certificacion de Arbitraje de California

https://www.dca.ca.gov/acp/pdf_files/certified_arbitration_program_spanish.pdf

California Lemon Law Q&A/Ley de Limon Preguntas y Respuestas

https://www.dca.ca.gov/acp/pdf_files/lemonlaw_qa_spanish.pdf

 

Bureau of Automotive Repair

A Consumer’s Guide to Automotive Repair in California/Guia del Consumidor para Reparaciones Automotrices

https://www.bar.ca.gov/pdf/Consumer%27s_Guide_to_Auto_Repair_Span.pdf

Auto Body Inspection Program/Programa de Inspeccion de Carrocerias

https://www.bar.ca.gov/pdf/AutoBodyInspectionProgram_Spanish.pdf

Some Things You Need to Know About Smog Check in California/Programa de Control de Smog de California

https://www.bar.ca.gov/pdf/Smog_Check_Brochure_Spanish.pdf

 

Board of Barbering and Cosmetology

Fact Sheet #1: Chemical Hair Services/Tratamientos quimicos para el cabello

https://www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/consumers/chemical_hair_sp.pdf

Fact Sheet #2: Complaints/Proceso de Quejas

https://www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/consumers/complaints_sp.pdf

Fact Sheet #3: Infection Control in the Salon/Control de Infecciones en el Salon

https://www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/consumers/infect_cont_factsheet_sp.pdf

Fact Sheet #4: In-Home Services/Servicio a Domicilio

https://www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/consumers/inhome_srv_factsheet_sp.pdf

Fact Sheet #5: Medical Spas/Spa Medicos – Lo que necesita saber

https://www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/consumers/medspa_factsheet_sp.pdf

Fact Sheet #6: Skin Tag/Mole Removal/Extirpacion de un papilloma cutaneo/lunar

https://www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/consumers/mole_factsheet_sp.pdf

Fact Sheet #7: Whirlpool Foot Spa/Seguridad de los spa de pies con hidromasaje

https://www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/consumers/footspa_factsheet_sp.pdf

 

Board of Behavioral Sciences

Self-Empowerment: How to Choose a Mental Health Professional/Auto Empoderamiento-Como Elegir un Profesional de Salud Mental

https://www.bbs.ca.gov/pdf/publications/self_empowerment_booklet_sp.pdf

 

Cemetery and Funeral Bureau

Consumer Guide to Cemetery and Funeral Purchases/Guia Para el Consumidor Sobre Compras de Servicios de Funerales y Cemeterio

https://www.cfb.ca.gov/consumer/csmr_guide_span.pdf

 

Board of Chiropractic Examiners

A Guide to the Chiropractic Profession/Una Guia Para la Profesion de la Quiropractica Como Obtener la Licencia y Mantenerla

https://www.chiro.ca.gov/publications/licensee_guide_span.pdf

A Consumer’s Guide to Chiropractic Care/Guia del Consumidor del Cuidado Quiropractico

https://www.chiro.ca.gov/publications/chiro_consumer_guide_span.pdf

 

Contractors State License Board

10 Tips for Making Sure Your Contractor Measures Up/10 Consejos Para asegurar Que Su Contratista Sea Una Persona Calificada

https://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/GuidesAndPublications/TenTipsSpanish.pdf

Mandatory Arbitration Program Guide/Arbitraje Obligatorio Guia del Programa

https://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/GuidesAndPublications/MandatoryArbitration_SPAN.pdf

Voluntary Arbitration Program Guide/Arbitraje Voluntario

https://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/GuidesAndPublications/VoluntaryArbitration_SPAN.pdf

What Seniors Should Know Before Hiring a Contractor/Lo Que Las Personas Mayores de Edad Deberian Saber Antes de Contratar a un Contratista

https://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/GuidesAndPublications/WhatSeniorsShouldKnowSpanish.pdf

What You Should Know Before Hiring a Contractor/Lo Que Ud Debe Saber Antes de Contratar a un Contratista

https://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/GuidesAndPublications/WYSKPublicationspanish.pdf

A Consumer Guide to Filing Construction Complaints/Guia al Consumidor Para la Presentacion de las Reclamaciones Relacionadas con la Construccion

https://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/GuidesAndPublications/ReclamosDeConstruccion.pdf

After a Disaster Don’t Get Scammed/Despues de un Desastre No permita que lo estafen!

https://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/GuidesAndPublications/AfterADisasterGuideSpanish.pdf

A Homeowner’s Guide to Preventing Mechanic’s Liens/Guia del Propietario para Prevenir Gravamenes por Derechos del Construtor

https://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/GuidesAndPublications/AfterADisasterGuideSpanish.pdf

Stop Orders/Que es una orden a parar el trabajo?

https://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/GuidesAndPublications/StopOrderSpanish.pdf

 

Podiatric Medical Board of California

Information for Consumers/Informacion Para Los Consumidores

https://www.pmbc.ca.gov/forms_pubs/fsconsumsp.pdf

Information on the Diabetic Foot

https://www.pmbc.ca.gov/forms_pubs/fsdiab_featsp.pdf

Orthotics Can Help/Las Ortesis pueden ayudarlo

https://www.pmbc.ca.gov/forms_pubs/orthotics_brochuresp.pdf

Diabetics: Keep an Eye on Your Feet/Diabeticos Preste atencion a sus pies

https://www.pmbc.ca.gov/forms_pubs/diabetes_brochsp.pdf

 

Board of Psychology

Therapy Never Includes Sexual Behavior/La Terapia Nunca Incluye Conductas Sexuales

https://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/proftherapy_sp.pdf

 

Además de las publicaciones, el DCA cuenta, asimismo, con un Centro de información al consumidor en el cual los operadores telefónicos de habla hispana pueden ayudar a los consumidores con información tal como la verificación de licencias de profesionales regulados por el DCA, proporcionar formularios para presentar una reclamación y demás. Puede comunicarse con el Centro de información al consumidor al teléfono (800)952-5210.

Para obtener más información sobre el Departamento de Asuntos del Consumidor de California, visite www.dca.ca.gov.

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Decorative Graphic

The California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) protects and serves consumers as a licensing entity, regulator, and educator. As a whole, DCA boards and bureaus issue licenses, certificates, registrations, and permits in more than 250 business and professional categories that Californians do business with every day—knowledge is power. To educate the public about their rights and provide resources to make well-informed decisions as consumers, the Department has more than 30 consumer publications available in Spanish.

 

California Department of Consumer Affairs

Who We Are and What We Do/Quienes Somos Que Hacemos

https://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/dca_booklet_sp.pdf

Small Claims Court/La Corte de Reclamos Menores Una Guia Practica Para su Uso

https://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/dca_booklet_sp.pdf

 

Arbitration Certification Program

Lemon Aid Insert/Programas De Arbitraje Certificados En California

https://www.dca.ca.gov/acp/pdf_files/lainsertspa.pdf

California Certified Arbitration Programs/El Programa de Certificacion de Arbitraje de California

https://www.dca.ca.gov/acp/pdf_files/certified_arbitration_program_spanish.pdf

California Lemon Law Q&A/Ley de Limon Preguntas y Respuestas

https://www.dca.ca.gov/acp/pdf_files/lemonlaw_qa_spanish.pdf

 

Bureau of Automotive Repair

A Consumer’s Guide to Automotive Repair in California/Guia del Consumidor para Reparaciones Automotrices

https://www.bar.ca.gov/pdf/Consumer%27s_Guide_to_Auto_Repair_Span.pdf

Auto Body Inspection Program/Programa de Inspeccion de Carrocerias

https://www.bar.ca.gov/pdf/AutoBodyInspectionProgram_Spanish.pdf

Some Things You Need to Know About Smog Check in California/Programa de Control de Smog de California

https://www.bar.ca.gov/pdf/Smog_Check_Brochure_Spanish.pdf

 

Board of Barbering and Cosmetology

Fact Sheet #1: Chemical Hair Services/Tratamientos quimicos para el cabello

https://www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/consumers/chemical_hair_sp.pdf

Fact Sheet #2: Complaints/Proceso de Quejas

https://www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/consumers/complaints_sp.pdf

Fact Sheet #3: Infection Control in the Salon/Control de Infecciones en el Salon

https://www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/consumers/infect_cont_factsheet_sp.pdf

Fact Sheet #4: In-Home Services/Servicio a Domicilio

https://www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/consumers/inhome_srv_factsheet_sp.pdf

Fact Sheet #5: Medical Spas/Spa Medicos – Lo que necesita saber

https://www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/consumers/medspa_factsheet_sp.pdf

Fact Sheet #6: Skin Tag/Mole Removal/Extirpacion de un papilloma cutaneo/lunar

https://www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/consumers/mole_factsheet_sp.pdf

Fact Sheet #7: Whirlpool Foot Spa/Seguridad de los spa de pies con hidromasaje

https://www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/consumers/footspa_factsheet_sp.pdf

 

Board of Behavioral Sciences

Self-Empowerment: How to Choose a Mental Health Professional/Auto Empoderamiento-Como Elegir un Profesional de Salud Mental

https://www.bbs.ca.gov/pdf/publications/self_empowerment_booklet_sp.pdf

 

Cemetery and Funeral Bureau

Consumer Guide to Cemetery and Funeral Purchases/Guia Para el Consumidor Sobre Compras de Servicios de Funerales y Cemeterio

https://www.cfb.ca.gov/consumer/csmr_guide_span.pdf

 

Board of Chiropractic Examiners

A Guide to the Chiropractic Profession/Una Guia Para la Profesion de la Quiropractica Como Obtener la Licencia y Mantenerla

https://www.chiro.ca.gov/publications/licensee_guide_span.pdf

A Consumer’s Guide to Chiropractic Care/Guia del Consumidor del Cuidado Quiropractico

https://www.chiro.ca.gov/publications/chiro_consumer_guide_span.pdf

 

Contractors State License Board

10 Tips for Making Sure Your Contractor Measures Up/10 Consejos Para asegurar Que Su Contratista Sea Una Persona Calificada

https://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/GuidesAndPublications/TenTipsSpanish.pdf

Mandatory Arbitration Program Guide/Arbitraje Obligatorio Guia del Programa

https://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/GuidesAndPublications/MandatoryArbitration_SPAN.pdf

Voluntary Arbitration Program Guide/Arbitraje Voluntario

https://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/GuidesAndPublications/VoluntaryArbitration_SPAN.pdf

What Seniors Should Know Before Hiring a Contractor/Lo Que Las Personas Mayores de Edad Deberian Saber Antes de Contratar a un Contratista

https://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/GuidesAndPublications/WhatSeniorsShouldKnowSpanish.pdf

What You Should Know Before Hiring a Contractor/Lo Que Ud Debe Saber Antes de Contratar a un Contratista

https://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/GuidesAndPublications/WYSKPublicationspanish.pdf

A Consumer Guide to Filing Construction Complaints/Guia al Consumidor Para la Presentacion de las Reclamaciones Relacionadas con la Construccion

https://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/GuidesAndPublications/ReclamosDeConstruccion.pdf

After a Disaster Don’t Get Scammed/Despues de un Desastre No permita que lo estafen!

https://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/GuidesAndPublications/AfterADisasterGuideSpanish.pdf

A Homeowner’s Guide to Preventing Mechanic’s Liens/Guia del Propietario para Prevenir Gravamenes por Derechos del Construtor

https://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/GuidesAndPublications/AfterADisasterGuideSpanish.pdf

Stop Order/Que es una orden a parar el trabajo?

https://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/GuidesAndPublications/StopOrderSpanish.pdf

 

Podiatric Medical Board of California

Information for Consumers/Informacion Para Los Consumidores

https://www.pmbc.ca.gov/forms_pubs/fsconsumsp.pdf

Information on the Diabetic Foot

https://www.pmbc.ca.gov/forms_pubs/fsdiab_featsp.pdf

Orthotics Can Help/Las Ortesis pueden ayudarlo

https://www.pmbc.ca.gov/forms_pubs/orthotics_brochuresp.pdf

Diabetics: Keep an Eye on Your Feet/Diabeticos Preste atencion a sus pies

https://www.pmbc.ca.gov/forms_pubs/diabetes_brochsp.pdf

 

Board of Psychology

Therapy Never Includes Sexual Behavior/La Terapia Nunca Incluye Conductas Sexuales

https://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/proftherapy_sp.pdf

 

In addition to publications, DCA also has a Consumer Information Center where Spanish-speaking phone agents can assist consumers with verifying licenses of DCA-regulated professionals, provide forms for filing a complaint, and more. The Consumer Information Center can be reached at (800) 952-5210.

To learn more about the California Department of Consumer Affairs, visit www.dca.ca.gov.

 

 

 

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DCA Waiver Update

Today, the director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) issued the following waiver extensions:

Pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order N-39-20, during the State of Emergency, the Director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs may waive any statutory or regulatory requirements with respect to a professional license issued pursuant to Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code.

To date, DCA Director Kimberly Kirchmeyer has issued 179 waivers. To view the waivers and guidance documents, or to sign up for notification of waivers as they are issued, visit dca.ca.gov/covid19.

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An air-conditioning contractor wearing safety gear installs a new unit on top of a high-rise roof.
Don’t skimp on quality and safety; follow key consumer advice from the Contractors State License Board

It’s a summertime nightmare: Extreme heat hits the scene just as your air conditioner gives up the ghost. You need an AC replacement ASAP, but in your quest for speedy relief, don’t sacrifice quality and safety—follow these 10 tips from the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) to make sure your new unit is installed properly:

  1. An air-conditioning contractor opens the side of an AC unit.Check the license—Hire a state-licensed contractor and verify that the contractor is in good standing at https://search.dca.ca.gov or by calling (800) 321-CSLB (2752).
  2. Obtain a permit—Make sure your contractor obtains a building permit from your local building department. Beware of any contractor who offers a lower price to install a unit without a permit; having a permit ensures work will be inspected.
  3. Three-day right to cancel—Be sure your contract includes a three-day right-to-cancel clause. One major exception to the three-day right to cancel is a “Service and Repair” contract that covers emergency repairs or services that are requested by the consumer on short notice. (More information about home improvement contracts can be found in the “Consumers” section of CSLB’s website.) Seniors (those 65 and older) have five days to cancel home solicitation contracts, home improvement contracts, Property Assessed Clean Energy assessment contracts, service and repair contracts, and more.
  4. Insurance—Verify that your contractor has workers’ compensation and general liability insurance, which can be verified at www.cslb.ca.gov or by calling (800) 321-CSLB (2752). Homeowners may be financially liable for the cost of medical care for workers who are injured on their property.
  5. Written contract—Insist on a written, fix-priced contract and don’t sign anything until you completely understand the terms.
  6. Down payment—Don’t pay more than 10% down or $1,000, whichever is less.
  7. Payment schedule—Don’t make payments ahead of the work. Make progress payments as the work is completed to your satisfaction. Keep a record of all payments.
  8. Permit inspections—Make sure that your local building department performs all required inspections, including in-progress and final inspections, and that there are not any correction notices or red tags. Inspections ensure proper installation.
  9. Final payment—Don’t make final payment before the final inspection has been conducted, the permit completed by the building department, and you are satisfied with the work.
  10. Documentation—Keep a file of all documents and photos related to your project.

For more information on heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system installations, or for general assistance on other major home-improvement and contracting projects and the licensed professionals who do them, check out CSLB’s HVAC fact sheets or visit www.cslb.ca.gov.

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DCA Waiver Update

Today, the director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) issued sixteen waiver extensions:

Pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order N-39-20, during the State of Emergency, the Director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs may waive any statutory or regulatory requirements with respect to a professional license issued pursuant to Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code.

To date, DCA Director Kimberly Kirchmeyer has issued 173 waivers. To view the waivers and guidance documents, or to sign up for notification of waivers as they are issued, visit dca.ca.gov/covid19.

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