Caregiver IDHS Letter, January 21, 2021

To Whom It May Concern:

Illinois has a large population of people with disabilities. Recent COVID-19 studies have identified several groups within this population as being at high risk of COVID-19 complications and related fatalities. The purpose of this letter is to clarify that family members of certain people are "health care workers" pursuant to the State of Illinois' Vaccine Administration Plan (VAP) and thus are prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination within Phase 1a.

Those providing "Home Health" or serving as a "Home Aide/Caregiver" for a relative with a disability are included on pages 13-14 of the VAP. These family members include those who care for people with any of the following conditions. This list is not necessarily exhaustive:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Down Syndrome
  • Epilepsy
  • Specialized health care needs, including dependence upon ventilators, oxygen, and other technology

The eligibility of these family members can be ascertained by presenting medical documentation of the qualifying condition of the member of their household who has a disability.

We hope this letter clarifies the eligibility of certain family members as "health care workers" for the COVID-19 vaccine pursuant to the VAP, and thereby assists in protecting the health of Illinoisans most at risk from COVID-19 impacts.

Sincerely,

Rahnee Patrick, Director-IDHS Division of Rehabilitation Services

Allison Stark, Director-IDHS Division of Developmental Disabilities

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