People with disabilities and Home Care workers demand that Governor Quinn stop cuts to home care

Chicago—As of July 1, Governor Quinn announced cuts to Illinois’s Home Services Program (HSP) that will affect up to 16,000 of the 30,000 people with disabilities currently receiving services.

Today, disability advocates, HSP consumers and home care workers rallied outside Governor Quinn’s office to call on the Governor to stop these devastating cuts.  A delegation entered the Thompson Center to deliver a letter to the Governor’s office, while others chanted and gave personal testimony outside.

“Our consumers need us so they can stay independent and live by themselves at home.  Besides that, cutting home care means that more people will end up in nursing homes, and that will just cost the state more than providing care at home,” says Lisa Ganious, a Personal Assistant from Chicago.

The Governor’s plan will implement service parameters that will limit the hours per month of home care that people with disabilities can receive for specific types of support.  For example, consumers will be limited to 30 hours per month for meal preparation and 18 hours per month for going outside the home.

“Governor Quinn has the power to stop this.  We are calling on him to make the right decision,” said Susan Aarup, a person with a disability who uses HSP.

“I need up to nine hours of attendant services a day.  That means 270 hours a month.  Back in March, HSP cut 30 hours from my plan so now I am down to 240.  I use about 30 hours a month for laundry, 60 hours a month for meal prep, and 20 hours a month for house work.  My plan is based on my specific needs as an individual.  These service caps are completely arbitrary, and won’t work for me or for a lot of other people.”