Impact of Enhanced Minimum Wage on Direct Support Workers

Jan 30, 2019 by

As momentum builds for increasing the Illinois minimum wage, we urge policy makers to assure that the impact of this decision on the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the staff they rely upon is addressed.  Any decision to increase minimum wage must be accompanied by a commitment to increase reimbursement to community agencies that employ direct support workers to at least maintain the current differential that exists.  Direct support workers were never intended to be minimum wage positions, given the tremendous responsibility, capability and disposition the work demands.  When the state first began contracting with community agencies, the gap between DSP reimbursement and minimum wage was 93%.  Today, the differential has shrunk to 45% statewide, 9% in Cook county and is even with minimum wage in Chicago.  Reimbursement for DSPs cannot simply keep pace with minimum wage; rates paid for direct support staff must surpass minimum wage to reflect the complexity, value and demands the position merits.

Minimum Wage Impact on DSPs

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