HSP COVID-19 Initiatives FAQ

5/2022 - The information contained in this webpage has been archived for historical documentation.  For current/up-to-date information on the Home Services Program, please visit www.DRS.Illinois.gov/HSP. 

HSP COVID-19 Initiatives FAQ (pdf)


The Home Services Program (HSP) is focused on protecting the health and safety of all our Customers, Providers, and staff. To ensure our customers can maintain safety and appropriate care during this state of emergency, a number of temporary changes were made to HSP policies and procedures. The following fact sheets include a basic introduction for customers to understand the changes that have been made. For additional details, please visit the Home Services Program (HSP) Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates webpage at: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=123225 or at www.dhs.state.il.us and search "HSP COVID".

All communications impacting HSP will be posted on this site. Because of the speed at which the situation is changing, please check this site often as information will be added as it become available.

Fact Sheets:

  1. Phone Assessments
  2. Increasing Respite Hours
  3. Allowing Family Members to be a Paid Provider
  4. Providing Care while Hospitalized
  5. Emergency Provider Program
  6. Contacting your counselor

Phone Assessments

What will this change entail?

Counselors may contact you via telephone to complete an annual redetermination. They may request an e-signature or verbal approval to proceed with new plan implementation.

Why is this being changed?

By reducing in-person visits, we reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 and limit customers to unnecessary contact with outside visitors.

Who is eligible?

If you have not received a redetermination from HSP in the past 12 months AND you do not expect any changes to your needs, you will likely receive a telephonic assessment.

Other details

You may choose to contact your counselor by email or leaving a voicemail message at the local office. If you don't have the contact information, call the DRS Hotline at 877-581-3690.

Increasing Respite Hours

What will this change entail?

Respite service hours have traditionally been limited to 20 hours/month, 240 hours per calendar year. This change will increase the number of hours per month/year based on need..

Why is this being changed?

The Respite service has historically been established based on the notion that a customer's caregivers are meeting the entirety of their unmet needs and they are not requesting paid providers to assist.  The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting customers and families across the state in ways previously unknown. Needs may arise suddenly.

Who is eligible?

Customers with active Respite plans who are experiencing direct or indirect disruption in care due to COVID-19 and could benefit from additional hours. Pre-approval must be received by the HSP Counselor.

Allowing Family Members to be a Paid Provider

What will this change entail?

Allowing previously prohibited legally responsible family members to become paid providers during this pandemic.

Why is this being changed?

It is likely to becoming increasingly harder to hire new providers in the wake of this pandemic, either due to real or perceived fears of COVID-19.

Which providers are being included?

  • Customer's spouse
  • Parents of minor children (including foster and step-parents)
  • Legal guardians of minor children

Any other details?

Services provided by these expanded providers will only include personal care: Eating, Bathing, Grooming, Dressing. Additional tasks that could be considered would be bowel and bladder care, transferring, routine and special health care needs. Contact your HSP Counselor for assistance in hiring a new provider.

Providing care while Hospitalized

What will this change entail?

Allowing customers the opportunity to use Individual Providers for person- al care while hospitalized for COVID-19 diagnosis or symptoms.

How is this different?

Up to this point, customers were only able to receive care from individual providers in the hospital in situations where their total DON score exceeded 75 points.

What service plan tasks may be provided?

Service plan tasks include personal care: Eating, Bathing, Grooming, Dressing. Additional tasks that could be considered would be bowel and bladder care, transferring, routine and special health care needs.

How can I get more information?

If you are currently hospitalized, or expect to be soon, from complications surrounding the diagnosis or suspicion of COVID-19, and you would like to continue receiving individual Provider services, contact the DRS Hotline at 1-877-581-3690

Emergency Provider Program

What is this new Program?

To further enhance customer health and safety in the wake of this State of Emergency, the Home Services Program has contracted with the Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living (INCIL) to provide short term

emergency providers to assist customers with care during their time of need.

I already have backup providers.

If you already have a network of supports in place, then you are well pre- pared. However, in the case that your backup providers are unable to fulfill your short term needs, INCIL can assist with locating additional help.

What can the emergency providers do?

These providers will assist you with your daily living tasks much like a per- sonal assistant. However, their use is expected to be immediate and short term. If you require a long term personal assistant, INCIL can also assist you in identifying more permanent providers.

How can I get more information?

Contact the INCIL hotline at 1-800-587-1227

How do I contact my Counselor?

Call the Local Office

Please continue to call your local office with any questions or concerns. Many of our offices have the ability to automatically forward calls. If your call is not automatically forwarded, please leave a message. The DRS-HSP staff will return your calls as soon as possible. Please speak clearly, state your name and phone number. Provide a brief reason for the call.

Call your Counselor

If you know your HSP Counselor's direct phone number, call and leave a voicemail message. Counselors check their voicemail messages every day. Many phone systems turn a voicemail message into an email message and deliver it directly to your Counselor's inbox.

Call the DRS Hotline

The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) is proud to announce the launch of a new toll-free number for all DRS customers to use during the current global pandemic. Existing or prospective customers can call 1-877-581-3690 to receive assistance regarding DRS programs and services that are designed to allow those with disabilities throughout the state to live, learn, and work independently. This new toll-free number provides customers with another avenue to stay in touch with their local DRS office for service-related questions.