Rauner calls for decrease in number of in-home care recipients

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to decrease the number of people in Illinois who receive in-home care, a move disability advocates say could put people on the street.

The proposal appears unlikely to clear two major hurdles for approval, and its acceptance could even cause the state to run afoul of a longstanding court order.

Among Rauner’s many other proposed cuts to social services is a plan to raise the threshold for elderly people and people with disabilities to receive home services, a pair of state-funded programs which offer qualified people help with basic tasks like laundry and paying bills.

Home services allow recipients to live independently, instead of living in nursing homes or other institutions. In order to qualify, an individual must undergo a “determination of need” assessment, which scores each person’s needs on a scale of 0 to 100.

Currently, anyone who scores 29 or above qualifies for home services and a higher score means more hours of service.

Rauner, who campaigned for governor as a compassionate conservative, wants to increase the threshold from 29 to 37.

Amber Smock, director of advocacy for the Chicago-based disability group Access Living, estimates that the change would knock 10,000 people with disabilities out of the program, along with 24,000 senior citizens