By late summer, some home care workers in Illinois may not be permitted to legally work more than 40 hours per week, The State Journal-Register reported.
Specifically, Illinois’ Department of Human Services (DHS) is now free to implement a twice-deadlocked rule that prevents caregivers in the state’s Home Services Program from working overtime. The rule is meant to cut state costs and provide clients with improved service, according to DHS.
Many Illinois Democrats disagree with the rule, however. State Rep. Greg Harris, a democrat from Chicago, claimed the rule is not specific about how caregivers will be denied or granted overtime, adding that it “is really going to be a recipe at some point for a tragedy,” The State Journal-Register reported.
Still, DHS stands by its assertions that Illinois home care clients will continue to be well cared for.
“100% of the people will continue to receive the services they need,” DHS Chief of Staff Fred Flather said, adding that the rule will guarantee every client has a back-up provider when their primary caregiver is unable to work.
SEIU Healthcare Illinois, which represents the state’s home care workers, expressed disappointment in the potential implementation of the new rule.
“The minor cost-savings projected from this misguided policy will be completely negated if only 182 individuals with disabilities are forced into more costly nursing home care as a result, stripping them of their dignity and independence and leaving Illinois taxpayers to foot the bill,” SEIU said in a statement on Tuesday.
Written by Mary Kate Nelson