Capitol Correspondence - 08.20.18

ANCOR’s Congressional Letter Asking DOL to Recognize DSP Profession Now Circulating

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While a long time in the making, ANCOR is pleased to announce that Congress has responded to our advocacy by lending its assistance to pressure the Department of Labor (DOL) to establish a Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) – you can find a good refresher on this topic here. Specifically, U.S. Representatives Pete Roskam (R-IL) and Joe Courtney (D-CT) have drafted a letter to DOL requesting that it create a SOC for DSPs – they are now actively collecting signatures from other members of Congress. Creating a SOC is an important first step in compiling key data on the DSP workforce that will allow providers to strengthen their case when negotiating rates with their states, and other workforce-related policy request.

ANCOR has been leading on this issue since 2016, when we raised the need for more data to DOL as part of our conversations on its overtime rule. As a result of those conversations, we met with leadership of the Bureau of Labor (BLS) statistics to discuss a SOC – BLS is a branch of DOL. Because of the importance we ascribed to a SOC, we addressed the topic in our 2017 workforce report. In our Hill Day in September 2017 we asked members of Congress to help us pressure DOL by asking that it create a SOC for DSPs. That is how we began conversations with the offices of U.S. Representatives Courtney and Roskam, which came to fruition last week! ANCOR is also proud to support NADSP’s new advocacy campaign on creating a SOC for DSP, for which we are listed as an official partner.

If you wish to advocate on this topic in-person, you will find resources such as Congressional staff contacts and general contact templates at our Digital Advocacy Page! Remember, it is not too late to participate in ANCOR’s August Advocacy Challenge to save time and resources by taking advantage of your members of Congress being home to meet constituents. Sarah Meek, our Director of Legislative Affairs, can assist you with understanding the issue content and the political landscape in Congress – please email her at [email protected]. Doris Parfaite-Claude, our Federal Advocacy and Research Manager, can also assist you with content and help you with advocacy techniques. She can be reached at [email protected].