Governor Announces a Temporary $3 Wage Increase for Direct Support Professionals

May 01, 2020

On April 29th, the Murphy Administration and the Department of Human Services (DHS) announced that they would be allocating $24 million of state and federal dollars towards a temporary wage increase for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) working with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in group homes and supervised apartments. This temporary pay increase, which amounts to an additional $3 per hour for each DSP, will be effective May 1st through July 31st.

Details were outlined yesterday on a conference call with providers led by  the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) Assistant Commissioner, Jonathan Seifried, who stated that the pay increase will be distributed through an increased rate for the Individual Support service category. DDD has also released additional guidance that provides important details about this temporary wage increase and ongoing funding for day and residential programs.

This news comes just days after New Jersey Department of Health released guidance that requires hospitals to allow a designated support person to accompany an individual with a disability during a hospitalization.

This crisis is shining a light on the important role that DSPs play in caring for adults with autism in residential settings and in the community. The Coalition for a DSP Living Wage, of which Autism New Jersey is a member, along with national advocates, has been advocating for increased wages and recognition of DSPs as essential personnel so that they can access personal protective equipment, which remains in short supply.

We thank Governor Murphy, DHS Commissioner Carole Johnson, and all state officials for acknowledging how essential DSPs are as they risk their own and their family’s health to provide the round-the-clock care that is desperately needed by the individuals they serve.

To see more stories about the heroic acts of our DSPs and the important role they are playing, visit the DSP Coalition’s Facebook Page.

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Autism New Jersey is following recommendations from the CDC and state Department of Health and is implementing telework and remote meetings for its employees to help reduce the community spread of the coronavirus.

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