The JJs List Blog

Action Alert: Stop the Elimination of Direct Support Professional Hours

Posted by on January 23, 2024 - 0 Comments

Update as of 1/25/2024: Thanks to your advocacy, the Illinois Department of Human Services – Developmental Disabilities Division (DHS-DDD) has decided not to move forward with funding cuts to Direct Support Professional hours, and will keep the current rate reimbursement structure until July 1, 2024. The fight for supports for people with IDD is far from over however, and we ask that you remain vigilant in case we should need to call on your support again. Read on to hear about the situation and how it would have affected Search and other agencies like it.


We need your help urgently. Please send a message to Governor Pritzker today through our partner, IARF, and stop the elimination of Direct Support Professional (DSP) hours in community-based residential settings for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in Illinois.  

DSPs are the foundation of IDD agencies, providing 24/7/365 support to people with IDD. They are responsible for empowering people with disabilities to achieve their full potential by supporting community outings, assisting in daily tasks, coordinating medical appointments, and so much more. 

In the last few years, Illinois has made significant progress in providing person-centered services for people with IDD. In direct conflict with this momentum, the Illinois Department of Human Services – Developmental Disabilities Division (DHS-DDD) has recently announced potential changes to the rate methodology used to reimburse agencies that provide community-based residential services for people with IDD. The rates calculate each person’s unique need for staff support, determining how many DSP positions are available to support people in community homes. Search operates 26 of these community homes, housing over 160 people. 

The new rate methodology, set to be implemented on March 31, 2024, would eliminate 2.5 million DSP hours statewide, or 9% of total service hours across the state in group home settings. Service hours would be reduced for 90% of the people with I/DD receiving residential services in Illinois under this proposal, ultimately cutting a massive $87.7 million in funding. These lost hours represent less time spent in the community for people with IDD in residential settings and less support available for those who need it. 

The negative impact of the state’s proposed rate changes on the 11,500 people residing in residential programs in Illinois would be drastic. At Search alone, a 13% cut in funding is proposed to our Supported Living Program This cut is approximately 91,000 hours or the equivalent of 47 DSP positions. Cory Gumm, Chief Executive Office of Search, shared that “there would be significant negative impacts resulting from these cuts. It is disappointing that while Search desires to expand and innovate programs and services, the State is planning a significant cut in resources that would preclude not only expansion but current services from continuing.  The ongoing funding uncertainty presents immense challenges to people with disabilities, their families and the service providers like Search that look to meet the community demand for high-quality, customized services. Please make your voice heard to stop the proposed funding cuts!”

You can make a difference today by sending a message to Governor Pritzker through our partner, IARF. We are grateful for your support.

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