Support Rider 109: Maintain Funding for IDD Services
Recommit to these rates at NO COST to SB 1
The 86th Texas Legislative Session provided necessary support for Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Frontline caregivers had not experienced an increase to the ICF/IID, HCS and ICF waiver line in over 10 years until Texas legislators worked together on commonsense legislation. This allowed providers across Texas to continue serving our state’s most vulnerable citizens. Cutting these funds, especially during a pandemic, will jeopardize the I/DD workforce and the communities they serve.
Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) provide a critical service for Texas’s most vulnerable population.
- There are more than 196,000 jobs in Texas providing direct care for people with intellectual disabilities.
- DSPs serve individuals who require support to meet even their basic needs and live in settings, including group homes, operated by specialized I/DD service providers.
- Many organizations that provide direct support personnel to individuals with disabilities lack funding and are forced to cut critical staff, limit services offered, close locations, delay referrals, and shut their doors.
Texas passed legislation to increase the rate for I/DD services, providing much needed support for the community.
- DSPs have a difficult job and low wages prevent people from entering this much needed profession
- Prior to the rate increase, the average wage for a Texas Direct Support Professional was lower than the national average and not competitive in the Texas job market. DSPs start at $8.10/hour.
- The 86th Texas Legislative Session passed a much needed 2.5% rate increase to help address this workforce crisis. Even with this support, COVID-19 has exacerbated the existing crisis into a looming catastrophe. Those rate increases must be maintained to help keep providers afloat.
Without direction from the legislature, these reimbursement rates will be reduced at the end of the fiscal year.
- The legislature directed the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) NOT to make any rate reductions in their base legislative appropriations requests, specifically including services supporting people with IDD.
- However, without direction from the Texas Legislature, HHSC set an expiration date on some of the funds appropriated last session.
- This HHSC decision would result in reductions to rates for group homes – the service where providers experience the most chronic and serious challenges with staff recruitment, retention, and overtime.