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New rule: In-home care providers to receive higher pay

Published on September 20th, 2013

People who receive Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income often have to coordinate their Medicare and Medicaid benefits, as well as make certain they receive any necessary in-home care. Illinois residents who are approved for SSD benefits can usually start receiving Medicare benefits two years after the SSD benefits start. SSI recipients may be able to receive Medicaid soon after the SSI is approved.

Illinois residents who are currently receiving disability benefits and in-home care will want to be aware of recent changes in how much in-home care providers should be paid. The changes apply to care providers who work for agencies and who provide particular medical services.

A new rule was approved to ensure that at least the federal minimum wage is paid to in-home care providers, and that they receive overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week. In the past these workers have not been afforded the same employment rights as workers in other professions. The change won’t officially go into effect until 2015 because the government wants to give all affected parties time to prepare.

Thomas Perez, the U.S. Secretary of Labor, said the change “will further stabilize and professionalize this critical line of work, which of course will lead to better quality care.”

But not everyone is necessarily in favor of the new rule. The National Council on Independent Living’s executive director said she thinks the wage requirement could cause problems in the way people living with disabilities receive care. She said Medicaid alone would not be able to pay overtime.

Still, a member of the American Association of People with Disabilities said he approved of the rule change because it’s only fair that care providers are paid a reasonable wage.

The new rule is likely to affect roughly 2 million in-home care workers, but the rule will not apply to family-hired individuals whose job is solely to provide fellowship to people with disabilities.

To help maximize their care options, Chicago-area residents applying for disability benefits may want to speak with an SSD attorney.

Source: Disability Scoop, “Disability Caregivers Get Pay, Overtime Protections,” Michelle Diament, Sept. 18, 2013

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