SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WREX) — In-home care workers in Illinois will soon be making more money.
On Tuesday, the state announced a $54 million investment for eligible in-home care providers by raising their hourly pay.
As of April 1st of this year, in-home service providers within the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) Community Care Program (CCP), which provides care to nearly 70,000 older Illinoisans, received a rate increase to $23.40 an hour.
Now, IDoA and Department of Human Services (DHS) will issue a bonus payment for services rendered by eligible providers between January 1 and March 31, 2021, to make up for the rate increase that was frozen until April 1st.
Providers will receive an additional rate increase on January 1, 2022, paving the way for employees to receive a minimum wage of $15 an hour.
The department will now make a one-time bonus payment to over 400 providers for services provided from January 1 through March 31, 2021 at that increased rate.
The rate increase will assist with stabilization of the CCP workforce, while the additional rate increase early next year will allow providers to pay individual workers a minimum wage of $15.
Furthermore, the increases will assist older Illinoisans in need of critical services to remain in their own home to avoid premature institutionalization.
“One of the best ways we can recognize the workers who support our most vulnerable residents is by ensuring they can support themselves and their families,” Governor JB Pritzker said in a press release. “I’m proud to deliver additional compensation – including retroactive pay for the early months of 2021 – to the providers who bravely did their jobs as physical and mental caretakers during the pandemic. A strong social safety net begets a strong state, and Illinois is investing in the people who make in-home care for our seniors possible.”
Additionally, IDHS Home Services Program will also be issuing bonus payments to nearly 90 providers for homemaker services rendered since the beginning of the year through March 31, 2021.
As of April 1st, 2021, the Home Services Program homemaker rate is set at $23.40 an hour.
An additional rate increase scheduled for early next year will allow providers to pay workers a minimum wage of $15 an hour. Also, the one-time bonus payments and increased rate of pay will help retain current Home Services Program employee and attract new workers to apply.
For more information on programs and services available to assist older adults in Illinois, visit the IDoA website at www.illinois.gov/aging or contact the Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 (hearing impaired call 888-206-1327) or by email [email protected]. For services available through DHS, visit the DHS website.