U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL,9), state Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) and other advocates for seniors and people with disabilities sought to rally support Wednesday for proposed state legislation aimed at preventing the governor from making eligibility requirements tougher for home services programs.
Harris is spearheading the bill, HB 4351, in the state legislature.
The measure involves the Determination of Need (DON) score, which sets eligibility for the Home Services Program for people with disabilities and the Community Care Program for low-income seniors. Through the programs, seniors and people with disabilities are connected to personal attendants who can assist them at their homes.
Under Harris’ proposal, the minimum eligibility DON score could not be raised above the current figure of 29. Rauner in the past has proposed raising the DON score from 29 to 37 as a means to cut costs.
“Nearly 40,000 seniors and people with disabilities are estimated to lose their essential home care if the governor were to have his way,” Schakowsky said during a press conference at the Thompson Center. “And countless more would be denied (services) in the future. Shame on Governor Rauner.”