Bills Would Create DSP Occupational Classification

Bipartisan bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to revise the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system to establish a separate code for direct support professionals (DSPs). The bill, the the Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act, was introduced by Senator Susan Collins (R—ME), Senator Maggie Hassan (D—NH) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in the Senate, and by U.S. Representatives Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Peter King (R-NY), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and John Katko (R-NY) in the House.

 The legislation directs OMB to create a new code in the federal SOC system for “direct support personnel” that would include individuals who assist people with disabilities with activities of daily living and with services that allow them to live in the community. The bill defines “direct support personnel” as an individual who, in exchange for compensation, provides services to an individual with a disability that promote such individual’s independence, including:

(1) services that enhance independence and community inclusion for such individual, including traveling with such individual, attending and assisting such individual while visiting friends and family, shopping, or socializing;

(2) services such as coaching and supporting such individual in communicating needs, achieving self-expression, pursuing personal goals, living independently, and participating actively in employment or voluntary roles in the community;

(3) services such as providing assistance with activities of daily living (such as feeding, bathing, toileting, and ambulation) and with tasks such as meal preparation, shopping, light housekeeping, and laundry; or

(4) services that support such individual at home, work, school, or any other community setting.

NASDDDS, as always, will be monitoring this legislative effort. The Staff Stability Survey, part of the National Core Indicators (NCI) project, will continue to collect state specific turnover, tenure, vacancy rate and termination rate data, provide data on causes of vacancy and turnover, and track variation in wage data across specific state systems in order to help quantify the impact on turnover and provide meaningful context in the ongoing efforts to provide a more robust and stabile workforce within DD systems. 

FMI: To read the legislation or track its progress, go to or To learn more about the staff stability report, go to