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Collins, Hassan led Bipartisan Bill to Recognize the Role of Direct Support Professionals Passes Senate Unanimously

Washington, D.C – The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the bipartisan Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act introduced by U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) to help address the critical need for more Direct Support Professionals in the workforce by improving the data collected on workforce trends. Direct Support Professionals assist with communication, provide on-the-job coaching, and help with daily living needs for individuals who experience disabilities.

“Every day, Direct Support Professionals work hard to provide critical support to individuals with disabilities that leads to more independent living and a better quality of life,” said Senator Collins. “We face a considerable shortage of information on the work they do and the important services they provide. I’m pleased the Senate has passed this bipartisan bill that would address this information deficit by directing OMB to improve data collection to help us better understand and address the challenges Direct Support Professionals experience.”

“Direct Support Professionals provide invaluable support for people who experience disabilities and their families, and I have seen the difference they can make first-hand as the mother of a son who experiences severe disabilities,” said Senator Hassan. “This bipartisan bill addresses the need for more Direct Support Professionals by improving data collection. I am glad to see it unanimously pass the Senate and urge my colleagues in the House to pass it immediately.”

Home- and community-based providers in Maine and across the country struggle to recruit and retain Direct Support Professionals. The Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act would revise the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ classification system, ensuring more informative data on this pressing workforce challenge.

This bill is part of Senator Collins’ continued efforts to support caregivers. Last month, Senator Collins joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in reintroducing the Credit for Caring Act, which would provide a tax cut of up to $5,000 for eligible and working family caregivers.