UCP Responds to Delay of Home Care Final Rule Enforcement

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is pleased to hear that the Department of Labor will delay enforcement of the final rule they issued tightening the Fair Labor Standards Act last fall for six months. The final rule significantly narrowed the “companionship exemption” to give nationwide minimum wage and overtime protections for in-home, direct support caregivers.

At the time the rule was issued, UCP made a statement warning of the serious potential consequences people with disabilities and their families faced. Many services provided by caregivers are reimbursed by Medicaid – which, in many states, does not allow for overtime. In these cases, the options for people with disabilities living in the community would be limited and result in more individuals winding up in costly institutions. We urged Medicaid agencies to set reimbursement rates that would enable caregivers to continue to provide the critical support people with disabilities need to live at home.

“We expect at this point that the Department of Labor will assess the potential harm this may cause for people with disabilities and their families. We are hopeful that the manner and timing of the enforcement protects both caregivers and the families they are serving,” said Stephen Bennett, President and CEO of United Cerebral Palsy. “We want to see those caregivers fairly compensated for their work, but we don’t want that to come at the cost of someone else’s independence. We have come so far in helping individuals remain in their homes instead of being confined to institutions. It would be a shame if the unintended consequences of this rule unraveled that.”

 

 

UCP ON NEW DEPARTMENT OF LABOR RULE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Kaelan Richards: 202-973-7175, krichards@ucp.org

UCP ON NEW DEPARTMENT OF LABOR RULE

Washington, DC (September 20, 2013) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) released the following statement in response to a final rule from the U.S. Department of Labor aimed at tightening the Fair Labor Standards Act by significantly narrowing the “companionship exemption” to give nationwide minimum wage and overtime protections for in-home, direct support caregivers.

“While we understand that the new rule from the Department of Labor is intended to ensure that direct support caregivers are being compensated fairly for their work, there are serious potential consequences to these changes for individuals with disabilities.  Many of the services that these caregivers provide are reimbursed by Medicaid—which in many states does not allow for overtime.  This new rule may limit the services and supports that can be provided to individuals with disabilities living in the community, and ultimately result in more people with disabilities winding up in costly institutions,” said Stephen Bennett, former President and CEO of United Cerebral Palsy. “To avoid this unintended outcome, it is imperative that state Medicaid agencies take advantage of the delayed implementation of this rule to set reimbursement rates that will enable organizations like UCP to continue the in-home, community services and supports that people with disabilities need.”

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About United Cerebral Palsy

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.