Interpreter Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

CAIRS has developed a new interpreter education FAQ section to specifically benefit our hard-working interpreters. Through this special section, CAIRS interpreters can both post questions, as well as, review previously addressed questions and answers. Questions should relate to professional issues encountered by interpreters in performing their duties, or issues concerning CAIRS policies. Please note that there are three distinct elements within this section, for your use and review. First, featured “questions and answers” are posted anew each month. Second, a question-submission e-mail is included, so interpreters can directly submit questions to CAIRS. And, third, an archive of previously posted questions and answers is provided. We truly hope that this new section proves helpful for our interpreters!

Featured Questions and Answers

What is CAIRS Emergency Pager System (EPS) and how does it function?

CAIRS EPS exists to address medical emergency assignment requests. EPS operates through CAIRS answering service which will contact designated "on-call" EPS Team interpreters when emergency assignment requests are received. Monthly EPS Team schedule "calendars" are developed around interpreter availability and are forwarded to all team members. All EPS interpreter preferences regarding assignment coverage areas, types of assignments, etc. – must be discussed for inclusion in the EPS schedule calendar.

CAIRS interpreters who participate in EPS receive an hourly "on-call standby fee" of $2.00 and an increased $40.00 "E-Fee" per each assignment covered, in addition to the interpreters’ standard hourly rate for all assignments performed. All EPS interpreters receive the hourly on-call standby fee regardless if they are called for an assignment or not. The same as for all CAIRS assignments, EPS Team interpreters also receive a maximum of three hours travel time for each covered assignment.

EPS Team interpreters who are contacted by CAIRS answering service, must then contact the indicated client directly in order to obtain all assignment details. In the event that the contacted EPS Team interpreter cannot fulfill the assignment, they must then contact other EPS Team members to arrange assignment coverage. In the event that no EPS Team interpreters are available, then CAIRS Emergency Coordinator, Amanda Bricker must be contacted.

What is CAIRS policy for addressing assignment time changes made by clients?

When a client informs CAIRS that they must alter the time of an appointment but not the date, the interpreter assigned will be asked if they are able to make the adjustment. If the interpreter is able to accommodate the change, no fees (of any kind) will be assessed.

If, however, the originally assigned interpreter is unable or unwilling to adjust their schedule, the originally scheduled assignment request will be cancelled (with or without charge) and a new request will be initiated reflecting the new assignment time. Depending on when the alteration to the request was made, short notice and/or travel time fees may be applied to the new request.

How does CAIRS define time and a half reimbursement?

When an assignment is called in, which will require two interpreters (in excess of two hours with no down time), and only one interpreter is assigned, that interpreter will bill time and ½ for the full length of time they worked.

How does CAIRS define overtime reimbursement?

If a job is scheduled for two hours and runs over, the interpreter will bill for the full length of time they worked at the standard rate. If a job appears to be running in excess of 30 minutes beyond what was originally scheduled, the interpreter is advised to have the client call the office and place a new request. In addition, the interpreter must inform CAIRS Coordinators via phone/text/email, of the length of overtime performed as well as who authorized the overtime on the day of the assignment.

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