They Deserve More
They Deserve More, a coalition of nearly 90 agencies and organizations, was founded in 2017 to ensure that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Illinois get the services they deserve. After nine years without a DSP wage increase, three small raises were secured, resulting in the current $12.38 an hour reimbursement. Additionally, the 2019 state budget provided the first slight cost-of-doing-business increase in 11 years for programs for people with disabilities. The Illinois Department of Human Services, pending federal approval, plans to increase the DSP reimbursement to $13 an hour this year – but
that increase has not yet been implemented.
While this is a step in the right direction, wages reimbursed by the state are still below poverty level, and much more is needed to ensure that our state’s people with disabilities have access to the quality care they deserve.
People with disabilities deserve the opportunity to lead a full meaningful life. But they must have support for everything from eating, bathing and administering medication to job and life-skills training.
That support comes from DSPs whose starting wages, on average, are now just above $12 per hour.
Illinois state funding for wages is among the worst in the country!
We call on state leaders to make the needs of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities a top priority.
Support Senate Bill 3269 and House Bill 5074: Raise DSP wages to increase state funding for people with disabilities by 20% - with 75% of this increase dedicated to DSP wage reimbursements!
Thousands of these positions go unfilled every year, and DSPs are leaving their jobs in droves to take retail, warehouse and fast food positions – just to make ends meet. Caring, compassionate people who want to do this important work simply cannot afford to.
Children and adults with disabilities and their families now face constant change and uncertainty. And worse – it can be dangerous, even life-threatening, when there isn’t enough staff. More and more providers are forced to shut down programs and turn people away who need and deserve support.
People with disabilities deserve more – they need caregivers who earn a living wage.