What is the status of the community system of support for people with disabilities?

It’s very fragile.

More than 12,400 people with disabilities remain on the PUNS wait list, not receiving any services. 

The state is moving 123 residents from the Choate state institution to the community system – where will they go? Community agencies are forced to turn away new residents for lack of staff. The state is not complying with the Ligas Court decree, which mandates choice for care in community settings. Meanwhile, the state is seeking to cut DSP hours – nearly 3.8 million of them! That’s nearly 1,800 full-time staff who would be cut.

The crisis by the numbers: Fifty-three community agencies serving people with IDD responded to a June 2022 survey:

2,137 — Number of unfilled DSP positions at 53 Illinois provider agencies, averaging 40 unfilled positions per agency. 

25% — DSP vacancy rate

28% — Survey respondents not accepting new admissions for services due to staff shortages 

14% —Survey respondents who closed a residential setting in 2022 due to staff shortages

72%  Survey respondents are delayed in expanding services due to staffing shortages