Putting a Cap on Overtime for Homecare Workers

It's an attempt to stop some people from taking advantage

PEORIA - The state of Illinois is putting a cap on overtime for home healthcare workers.           

It's an attempt to save millions

The state started paying time and half in overtime to home healthcare workers in January.

Now, new limits put in place by the governor will make collecting that money harder.

"He would have been in a nursing home at an early age, early 20's."

Paula Templeton's son was hit by a car at the age of 22.

A traumatic brain injury left him disabled.

"It's a strain, it's a tremendous mental strain to be a caregiver, you really have to be strong,” Templeton said.  

Home healthcare workers, like Templeton, get paid by the department of human services.

Starting May 1st they’re limited to 40 hours of work per week with some exceptions.

"It's not a fair system, if people are putting in the time, they need to be compensated for it,” said Democratic Senator, Dave Koehler.

The department of human services says some people are taking advantage of the system, collecting dozens of hours in overtime pay.

The new rules mean the state will more closely review which workers earn time and a half.

"I think we do, in general, a pretty good job, I mean, we are under fund restrictions, but we work a lot as a state with social service agencies,” Koehler said.

The state says that cooperation won't end, and nobody will lose care.

In fact, it will help find another care worker to take over at 40 hours, but for Templeton, that presents a problem. 

"I'm not going to have someone else coming in my home, I'm not going to be forced to have somebody else come in my home, I'll take care of him,” Templeton said.

Not everybody works with their child, but workers say they still make strong connections.

"There's nothing like a mother's love or a loved one, even though if you're not related to them, you become attached to them,” Templeton said.

Templeton says this is the wrong place to make cuts.

"I just hope the governor is never sitting in the situation we are, where we want our loved ones to be taken care of,” Templeton said.

The state says continuing to pay overtime to everybody would cost tax payers tens of millions of dollars each year.

Some workers say it's not about money it's about help.


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