How Can You Help?
For over a decade, New York State did not make adequate investments to sustain the programs and services its citizens with IDD rely on. During this time, inflation rose approximately 25%, yet the IDD field received only a 1.2% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). This systemic lack of investment resulted in wage stagnation for direct care staff and the inability of providers to maintain physical infrastructure. We believe the State Assembly’s proposed 11% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) is the most straightforward and effective way to allocate the critical investment Governor Hochul proposed in her Executive Budget.
As the State budget is being prepared for approval, The Arc of Monroe and the people we support need your help. They include:
Workforce Solutions - Direct Support Retention Bonuses
Immediate and sustained investment in Direct Support Professional (DSP) salaries is needed to recruit and retain staff and ensure the future viability of the field. The Executive Budget includes a proposal to make bonus payments of up to $3,000 available to frontline health care and mental hygiene workers.
- We fully support these bonuses, but recommend changes to the eligibility requirement to be more equitable better reflect real-life workforce scenarios.
- We propose modifying the bottom-tier requirements to include part-time employees who work at least 15 hours per week on average, and to reduce the top-tier threshold from 40+ hours to 35 hours.
- We ask legislators to include funding for bonus payment in their one-house budgets with amended eligibility requirements.
Personal Income Tax Credit for Direct Care Staff
A personal income tax credit of up to $5,000 for DSPs should be established to provide recruitment and retention incentives to these vital employees.
- This would recognize their essential work, and address the significant workforce challenges of Mental Health and I/DD service systems.
- We urge legislators to include this tax credit in their one-house budgets.
- Model bill language for inclusion can be found in S7643/A9200.
Recruitment And Retention Initiatives
The Governor’s proposed budget includes initiatives aimed to enhance recruitment and retention of direct care staff, including:
- Implementation of Statewide Recruitment Programs
- Implementation of Credential and Career Ladder Programs
The Executive Budget proposes authorizing additional funds for the Statewide Health Care Transformation Program (SHCFTP) and new funding for the Nonprofit Infrastructure Capital Investment Program (NICIP), which was created to make targeted investments in capital projects that aim to improve the quality, efficiency, and accessibility of nonprofit human services organizations.
- These investments are vital to spurring innovation and efficiencies in the service delivery system to improve outcomes for individuals with disabilities, however, community-based IDD providers are not currently eligible under SHCFTP.
- We ask the legislature to support the inclusion of the NICIP, and amend the SHCFTP language to include community-based IDD providers that are authorized, approved and/or funded by OPWDD as eligible applicants.
We are thrilled to see a COLA in this year’s budget – this COLA would be the first pay increase in more than a decade, marking a sharp departure from the prior administration. We applaud Governor Kathy Hochul for pledging $500 million in funding for human services cost-of-living adjustment.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are grateful to have thoughtful, caring leaders in office who personally care about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Arc of Monroe Contacts
Chief Operating Officer
(585) 271-0660 x 1014
Executive Director, Arc Foundation of Monroe
Coordinator of Person-Centered Approaches & Arc Alliance Leader
Director of Marketing & Communications
DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL STATISTICS AND FACTS IN THE US
Research Summary: Using a database of 30 million profiles, Zippia estimates demographics and statistics for direct support professionals in the United States. Our estimates are verified against BLS, Census, and current job openings data for accuracy. After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:
46.3Average Age of a DSP
Female - 71%
Male - 25%
Most Common Degree
High School Diploma - 23%
Bachelor's Degree - 23%
$29,469Annual DSP Pay
50%Non-profits is the most common industry hiring DSPs
$11,000Average Starting Salary for DSP
Arc Alliance Self Advocacy Group
Arc Alliance is a self advocacy group organized by The Arc of Monroe that is comprised of people with disabilities. The group meets monthly to talk about the latest issues that people with disabilities face in their communities, as well as practical solutions to bring meaningful change. The group is open to anyone in the greater Rochester area!