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April 2016

State and Advocates Clash On Overtime Rules

people with disabilitiesPeople with disabilities relying on Personal Attendants for in-home care may be left without the support they need come May 1st, the deadline for implementing new Department of Labor rules. The rule extends overtime protections to the home care workforce, which means that Personal Attendants who work more than 40-hours a week would have to get paid an overtime rate.

The issue? The State, with its dire financial situation, is saying it can't pay the overtime rate. It plans instead to cap the number of hours for home care workers at 35-hours per week, with five hours of travel. This is disastrousfor people with disabilities, manyof whom require more than 35 hours of personal care to maintain their independence.

"We will not be able to survive this. We will not be able to stay in our home," a caller told Chicago Progressive Talk radio, WCPTAM 820

Now people with disabilities face the challenge of cobbling together enough hours of Personal Attendant support to remain in the community. Some people getting Personal Attendant care may not even know about the deadline, either because they didn't receive or didn't understand the notices sent from the State.

With the May 1st deadline imminent, advocates from Access Living, SEIU, Chicago ADAPT and the Alliance for Community Services have been vocal critics of the cap, recently organizing a protest at DHS' Chicago offices. Family members have also been sharing their stories about the consequences of the cap. Count on IHM to keep you updated on how things pan out.

Take Action!

Fight for the rights of older adults and people with disabilities

Spread the word Share graphics created by SEIU Illinois on Twitter and Facebook

Call the State Access Living has prepared a script and has the numbers for you to call. Just enter your contact info.

Share stories Do you know a person with a disability who is getting in-home care? Advocates are collecting personal stories for legislative and legal advocacy. E-mail for more information.

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“Housing is a social determinant of health – we all know that,” says Barbara Otto, CEO of Chicago-based Health and Disability Advocates. “What's interesting about this is that there's a hospital that is recognizing that, from an operational perspective, they can improve their bottom line.”

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