New OT Rules for Home Health Care Workers Helping People with Disabilities

Mar 14, 2017

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has jumped another hurdle in his push to reduce the cost of home health-care. But, some people affected by the change are warning of dire consequences.

K-L Cleeton runs a video production company from his parents’ home in Effingham. His parents work for him, but not to grab coffee at his film shoots.

“Because my disability is so severe, I require 24-hour assistance. If I have an itch, I can’t scratch it. So this is very much my choice.”

Cleeton prefers to have his parents care for him instead of hiring a home health aid. He says his muscular condition is like being quadriplegic.

Under the governor’s new rules, Cleeton’s parents will be limited to 45 hours of work a week. After that, they’ll have to find an outside worker to fill in the gaps — and figure out to how to replace the lost income.

The administration says the rule change will keep caretakers from being overworked, create jobs and save money.

But Fred Flather, chief of staff for the Illinois Department of Human Services, says money is not the driving factor.
"The main thrust of this rule is to enhance customer security and safety by making sure they have enough providers, and that they're providers are going to be fresh. And the side benefit is yeah it's going to save a little bit of money."

The new policy will go into effect August 1st. Exceptions will be made for clients requiring more extensive care.