Action Alert – More information on the rule changes was provided by the Maine Association for Community Service Providers (MACSP) and can be found in the minutes from the 10/15 Coalition meeting.
The Department has moved forward to permanently implement changes to Section 21 and 29, Chapter III to increase rates for in-home support, work support, and community support (click here for the Section 21 proposed rules; click here for the Section 29 proposed rules). The Department is proposing to make the recent rate increases permanent. However, it appears that even with the increase, this leaves direct support professional (DSP) wages only slightly above $11/hour. With minimum wage increasing, by January 2019 this will be barely above minimum wage, and this will be below minimum wage by January 2020.
The Department is seeking written comments regarding the rate increases for Section 21 and 29. Written comments are due by 11:59pm on October 20, 2018 to Trista Collins at Trista.Collins@maine.gov.
Please take a moment to reach out to the Department to provide your thoughts on the rates and the future of Section 21 and 29 services.
To contact the Department, simply email Trista Collins at Trista.Collins@maine.gov and describe how the rates for DSPs have affected you and your family. You could thank the Department for increasing the rates. Some people who have read the rules and have knowledge of the rates have commented that the current system in place for adjusting the rates may not be the best methodology to account for cost of living increases and increases to minimum wage. Whatever you say can be brief. Thank you for raising your voice!