DSP Industry Comparison

Supported Living Direct Support Professionals:  Pay should be commensurate with work

Direct Support Staff working for Supported Living providers are often compared to Medicaid Personal Care staff. Supported Living staff work with clients requiring a greater amount of support, as well as providing habilitative services (MPC serves people on the Basic Plus Waiver while Supported Living serves people on the Core Waiver).  However, funding for direct support wages for supported living providers has been cut to the point that wages no longer reflect the increased responsibility and complexity of supports.  In fact, Supported Living provides exactly the same level of support to clients on the same waiver as those in the State Operated residential settings (SOLA), who are paid over 33% higher.  Below are comparisons of the different supports that Supported Living staff and Medicaid Personal Care staff provide for their clients.

Community Residential Provider

(Supported Living)

Current starting wage = $10.26

Personal Care Services (Agency and IP)

Current starting wage = $11.56

State Operated Living Alternatives (SOLA)

Current starting wage = $13.32

Fully responsible for well being up to 24 hours a day Primarily for PERSONAL CARE – average of 36 hours per week Fully responsible for well being up to 24 hours a day
Assist with transfers for non-ambulatory clients Assist with transfers for non-ambulatory clients Assist with transfers for non-ambulatory clients
Teach dressing, toileting, and hygiene skills to increase independence Assist with personal hygiene tasks Teach dressing, toileting, and hygiene skills to increase independence
Teach cooking skills to increase independence Assist with meal preparation Teach cooking skills to increase independence
Teach nutrition and shopping skills to increase independence and promote health Assist with shopping Teach nutrition and shopping skills to increase independence and promote health
Coordinate, attend and monitor health services, supervise medications, and Dr’s orders Assist with travel to medical appointments Coordinate, attend and monitor health services, supervise medications, and Dr’s orders
Coordinate, attend and monitor services from all medical and mental health professionals Assist with travel to mental health appointments Coordinate, attend and monitor services from all medical and mental health professionals
Teach skills to be able to get around and socialize in the community Assist with household care such as laundry Teach skills to be able to get around and socialize in the community
Teach skills to be able to access community services, banking, food etc. 0 Teach skills to be able to access community services, banking, food etc.
Teach skills to independently manage daily activities & pursue personal goals 0 Teach skills to independently manage daily activities & pursue personal goals
Create an environment where people are healthy, safe, and exercise personal choice 0 Create an environment where people are healthy, safe, and exercise personal choice
Teach effective communication skills 0 Teach effective communication skills
Develop & implement  mental health service plans & positive behavior support interventions to deal with assault and behavior challenges 0 Develop & implement  mental health services and positive behavior support interventions to deal with assault and behavior challenges
Advocate on behalf of the person & teach skills to advocate for self 0 Advocate on behalf of the person & teach skills to advocate for self
Coordinate & Monitor family visits 0 Coordinate & Monitor family visits
Teach money management/ budgets 0 Teach money management/ budgets
Managing SSI and income services 0 Managing SSI and income services