Submitted by Jermaine Raymer, Interim Program Director
One of the most contentious parts of the budgetary battle currently raging in the State Capitol is the Determination of Needs (DON) score. In short, this score is what determines whether someone qualifies for services through the Department of Rehabilitation’s Home Services Program. And if it is determined that a person qualifies, the DON is used towards determining the number of hours of Personal Assistant (PA) services for which they are eligible.
The minimum score to qualify for services is twenty-nine and has remained at this level for more than thirty years. However, the budget that the Governor put forward this February, proposes to raise the minimum qualifying score up to thirty-seven. This is a drastic change! There is not a transition plan in place for the more than twenty thousand Illinois residents who may lose PA services. Every person who has a DON score less than 37 would be put at risk. Many persons with disabilities utilize Personal Assistant services to remain independent, maintain jobs, and simply participate in society. And if they lose these vital services; there is a chance that they could find themselves back in a nursing home, which has proven to cost the State even more money!
We at PACE urge you to click on this link, enter your address, and contact your legislator. Simply let them know you want the DON score to remain the same! Thank you for your advocacy!
And remember, check back next Friday afternoon for a brand new blog!