Government Relations

Funding for Direct Support Professional (DSP) Wages


The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted almost every aspect of the nation’s economy, but nowhere was it felt more than in communities that relied heavily on daily supports and services to thrive in their communities. Leaders at the Strategic Indiana Provider Network(SIPN), who provide critical services to Hoosiers with disabilities, joined in partnership with the Arc of Indiana and the Indiana Association of Rehabilitative Facilities (INARF) to pursue language in the state budget, House Bill 1001, to increase wages of their front-line workers—direct support professionals (DSPs). Increased wages across all industries made the already low average hourly wage, $11.36/hour, even less competitive, ultimately exacerbating workforce shortages within the industry. And because DSP wages are highly dependent on state reimbursement rates, providers had little ability to increase wages absent legislative action. 

RJL Solutions partnered with dedicated advocates at the Arc of Indiana, INARF and other stakeholder groups to advocate for a 14% increase in Medicaid rates, totaling a collective $80 million, to raise wages for DSPs. As a member of the coalition, RJL Solutions met with key leaders in the House and Senate to share the stories of individuals with disabilities who rely on services that DSPs provide and the stories of those who serve as DSPs.   

Ultimately successful, language was included in HB 1001 (2021), allocating $80 million over the biennium to increase rates for DSPs. The final language requires that providers use 95% of the increased rates to directly increase wages and benefits for DSPs. 

The legislation in its entirety can be found here

*The documents below were utilized by SIPN during the 2023 General Assembly Session to support legislation supplementing the wage increase language passed in the 2021 budget bill.


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