Governor Whitmer Announces Temporary Pay Increase for Direct Care Workers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2020
Contact: press@michigan.gov

Governor Whitmer Announces Temporary Pay Increase for Direct Care Workers
Program Part of Governor’s Ongoing Efforts to Support Front-Line Health Care workers

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced a temporary, $2-per-hour pay raise for direct care workers providing Medicaid-funded in-home behavioral health and long-term care services to Michigan’s most vulnerable residents during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative is part of Governor Whitmer’s ongoing efforts to support front-line health care workers risking their lives every day to protect the health and safety of these residents during the unprecedented public health crisis.

“It has never been more important to care for our most vulnerable residents, and these direct care health workers are risking their lives every day to make sure we continue to flatten the curve,” Governor Whitmer said. “It is our duty as Michiganders to ensure these front-line heroes have the financial support they need to continue doing their critical work while caring for themselves and their families.”

The pay increase will apply to direct care workers providing Medicaid-funded in-home behavioral health and long-term care services for children and adults. The program will apply to services provided between April and June.

"Every day, caregivers are going into the homes of disabled and elderly residents to help them live with dignity,” said State Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor). “These heroes work long hours for low pay and little recognition for the critical care they provide. Thank you, Governor Whitmer, for looking out for these caregivers who are risking themselves to look out for our neighbors in need."

“Direct care workers are on the frontlines and are risking their health in service of our loved ones when they need care the most,” said State Rep. Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo). "Too often, these workers are overlooked and under paid. This pay raise is well-deserved and an important step toward recognizing the invaluable service they perform. I applaud Governor Whitmer’s leadership as we advance a care agenda for our state."

The pay increase for direct health care workers follows Governor Whitmer’s executive order streamlining health care reporting to better identify where outbreaks are occurring in long-term care facilities to provide help and resources where they are needed most to keep residents and workers safe.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

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