Policy protects Illinois' most vulnerable, saves taxpayer dollars
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Human Services' proposed overtime policy to govern overtime in the Home Services Program cleared the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. This rule will protect Illinois' most vulnerable residents, create jobs and ensure the long-term sustainability of the program to allow individuals with disabilities to continue living independently in their homes.
"This overtime policy protects Illinois residents who depend on the Home Services Program. Under this policy, people with disabilities living in the community will still be able to choose their caregivers, will see no reduction in the amount of service hours in their plan, and will not lose the opportunity to be part of this program," said IDHS Secretary James Dimas. "Policies regarding overtime are a basic practice used by employers throughout the country. This is a thoughtful, responsible policy on the use of overtime in the Home Services Program that will ensure our most vulnerable residents are protected for many years to come."
IDHS took careful consideration when crafting this overtime policy and engaged with the people who rely on our home services program, individual providers, and union representatives at multiple public hearings and through more than 300 written comments. Changes were made directly in response to many of the concerns that were raised by the HSP community. The policy outlines many reasonable exceptions that would allow for overtime pay. Most notably, overtime would be allowed for individuals whose needs are so profound or complex that training a back-up provider would be impractical. The policy also outlines approvals for emergencies, traveling and other circumstances.
The new policy will go into effect on August 1, 2017. Communication will soon be sent to the people that rely on our Home Services Program providing detailed information about the overtime rule and to reemphasize the key steps they should take to find alternate providers as required under the current Home Services Program and ensure a smooth transition.
Customers with questions about the new policy should visit http://www.dhs.state.il.us or contact their local IDHS Division of Rehabilitation Office for more information.