cervantes caregivers 080823SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Javier Cervantes’ initiative to expand personal care provider eligibility to include a person’s guardian, kin or siblings was signed into law Friday.

“Illinois residents have been pushing for personal care provider qualifications to include family members for a long time,” said Cervantes (D-Chicago). “This law will ensure that family members can assist loved ones without hurting their eligibility for benefits.”

Currently, a recipient’s spouse is the only eligible family member who can contract with the Department of Rehabilitation Services to serve as a personal assistant to a person with a disability, and that individual may not have more than $10,000 in assets in order to be eligible. People who need home-based services can hire their own personal assistants to provide care in their home, based on their DRS service plan, but have not been able to hire and pay family members besides their spouse.

The new law allows guardians, kin and siblings to serve as personal assistants for their family member with a disability. They can provide services such as personal assistance, home-delivered meals, adult day care, respite care, home health services and supported employment services. Under Cervantes’ law, any wages earned by the employee will not count against the $10,000 asset limit required for disabled individuals to be eligible for the program.

“This law ensures that residents in need of home care get the help they need,” Cervantes said. “Families in our state are trying to navigate how to best take care of their loved ones, and this law tackles workforce shortages and lets families provide care in their own homes.”

Senate Bill 505 was signed into law Friday and takes effect Jan. 1, 2024.