New Jersey Human Services Recognizes Professionals Who Support Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

$42 Million Wage Increase as of Jan. 1, 2022 Will Mark Fourth Consecutive Year of Rate Increases to Support Higher Wages

Sept. 15, 2021

(TRENTON) – New Jersey Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman today marked Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week by amplifying how the recent state budget signed by Governor Murphy includes $42 million for wage increases for those who work with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to help them live successfully in communities across New Jersey. 

This increase will go into effect January 1, 2022.

This is the fourth consecutive year reimbursement rates to community providers of developmental disability services have been increased to raise wages for direct support professionals. The wage increases were included in the state budget signed by Governor Murphy and approved by the Legislature in June. The size of the wage increase per employee is based on factors such as agency pay scales and services provided.

“More so than ever, direct support professionals play a critical role in helping individuals with disabilities live successfully in communities across New Jersey,” Acting Commissioner Adelman. “Their commitment to the individuals they serve has improved the quality of life for so many New Jerseyans, and we are proud to continue investing in increased wages for this workforce. While the pandemic created a challenging situation, the dedication of direct support professionals and their resiliency during this difficult time has been remarkable. I thank them for all that they do each and every day.”

The new state budget builds on previous increases with about $42 million in new funding to ensure Direct Support Professionals are paid above the state’s increasing minimum wage and to raise wages of managers and other more senior members of the developmental disability frontline workforce to support retention and professional growth.

This funding both maintains the prior fiscal year rate increases and, as of January 1, 2022, will add about $1.25 per hour for direct care staff and their supervisors.

“Direct Support Professionals provide a broad range of support, while developing strong, trusting relationships with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Assistant Commissioner Jonathan Seifried, who directs the Division of Developmental Disabilities. “They make a tremendous difference in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

New Jersey Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities provides supportive services to about 24,000 adult individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including employment, housing and community engagement.  To thrive in the community, many individuals depend on the support provided by direct support professionals who ensure that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are achieving their personal goals. 

Direct Support Professional Recognition Week runs this year from Sept. 12th to 18th.