Direct Care Worker Crisis

From The Arc Michigan: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Your action is needed!

Effectively caring for people who have mental illnesses or developmental disabilities is an important job—one that takes a huge logistical, personal and economic toll.

Michigan’s Direct Care Workers provide much-needed personal care, training, emotional support and respite. They work around the clock to help people with disabilities live and work in their communities, addressing challenges in ways that require tremendous physical and intellectual strength.

Theirs is a singular mission: to ensure the people in their care can achieve their greatest potential, no matter how big the obstacles are.

But while nearly a million Michigan residents rely on the value Direct Care Workers provide, members of the profession are becoming harder to find, due to low pay, inadequate (or non-existent) benefits, and limited professional growth opportunities.



  • An increase in Medicaid funding to provide for attractive wages for Direct Care Workers. Higher wages will increase the economic activity of the workers and the return on investment will be evident. Overtime expenses for providers will be reduced, thus cutting monetary waste in the system. An increase of $1.00 per hour would require an estimated $130 million in gross Medicaid funding, approximately 2/3 of which would be federal funds, and which would be substantially offset by the ROI. Shockingly, half of current direct care workers themselves qualify for public assistance due to their low pay and lack of benefits. (1)
  • Adoption of the other recommendations made in the 2016 Section 1009 legislative report, (see reverse), which will bolster Direct Care Worker recruitment and retention and improve the safety and quality of life of individuals with disabilities.

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