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New Tool for Consumer Advocates to Ensure Effective Implementation of DOL Wage Rule

September 9, 2014

The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law released guidance on September 5 to help people enrolled in consumer-directed programs and their advocates urge states to prepare for implementation of the new Department of Labor (DOL) regulation to extend home care workers basic federal labor protections.

The resources, Action Steps for Consumers and Advocates Regarding the Home Care Rule and a companion Home Care Rule Advocacy Fact Sheet, were developed in cooperation with the American Association of People with Disabilities, National Centers for Independent Living, National Disability Rights Network, and National Senior Citizens Law Center.

The Action Steps advise that advocates make sure that states:

  • prepare now for the new home care rule to take effect;
  • analyze which programs are affected by the new rule and what the budget impact will be on these programs;
  • provide additional funding for impacted programs;
  • comply with the new rule in ways that would not cause harm to consumers and workers;
  • use Medicaid funding to cover overtime and travel costs — not other money allocated to consumers for purchasing services;
  • do not “abandon” consumer-directed models and instead consider different consumer-directed models; and
  • educate individual consumers about the rule even it is not a “joint employer.”

The Action Steps conclude by noting that, “The new home care rule can be implemented in ways that help consumers and workers, but only if people with disabilities and those who advocate on their behalf act now.”

To view other resources regarding the implementation of the new DOL rule, including PHI’s State Implementation Toolkit (pdf), visit the PHI Campaign for Fair Pay website.

— by Deane Beebe

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