A former nursing home resident, Jason Carrington lives in Wicker Park. With three books of poetry to his name, Jason spends his time writing, practicing his Stand-Up Comedy, and advocating for people with disabilities. Jason was able to move out of a nursing home because of the Illinois Home Services Program. He is one of about 30,000 people with disabilities that utilize supports from the Home Services Program. Under his Human Services plan, Jason receives just more than 38 hours a week of personal assistant support. Jason has hired one personal assistant to help out with day-to-day tasks of living. With the services of a personal assistant, Jason can live independently in his own apartment instead of in a nursing home or other institution. But the Illinois implementation of a new Department of Labor Overtime Rule threatens the stability of Jason’s independence. Under the implementation guidelines, all people within the Home Services Program who receive 35 or more hours of services a week will be forced to hire a second personal assistant, ( see more about the rules at this link ). This means Jason’s personal assistant can only work with him 35 hours a week. By March 1, Jason will need to hire a second personal assistant to work the remaining 3.5 hours on his service plan. “It’s not easy to find a personal assistant and it takes work for people with disabilities and personal assistants to develop routines together,” Jason explained. “It will be next to impossible to hire a second personal for just three or four hours a week. Plus, my original personal assistant will lose up to 16 hours a month of income.”
Jason Carrington speaking at the rally in the atrium of the State of Illinois Building
Jason is not alone. Under the new Illinois implementation guidelines of the Department of Labor Rule, it is estimated that about 4,500 people in the Home Services Program will be forced to hire additional personal assistants.
“The implementation guidelines don’t make sense,” Jason said. “Before moving forward, the State should talk with people with disabilities and personal assistants to come up with a plan that doesn’t threaten independence and doesn’t threaten the income of pa’s.”
In addition to people with disabilities in the Home Services Program, individual providers who work for people in the program will be impacted. According to numbers provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services, approximately 6,000 personal assistants will be impacted by the Illinois implementation of the new overtime policy.
If you are concerned about the implementation of the Department of Labor Overtime Rules in Illinois or if you want to support the effort to project home services, contact the Governor’s Office.
Click here to sign a petition that tells Governor Rauner not to cap hours.
Also, call the Governor Tell the Governor to meet with members of the disability community and provider community to address the concerns.
Springfield Number: 217-782-0244
Chicago Number: 312-814-2121
If you are a member of the Home Services Program, or if you are a personal assistant employed through the program, and you have questions or concerns regarding the Illinois implementation of the new overtime rules, please contact Access Living at 312-640-2199 or firstname.lastname@example.org