A home health care service based in Milford reportedly dismissed its entire workforce Tuesday after its state license lapsed.
Earth Angels Home Care provides home care for aging Mainers, assistance with recovery after surgery and disability support, according to its website.
A letter sent to employees obtained by ABC affiliate WMTW said the organization had submitted a license renewal application, but it hadn’t yet been approved.
“This means we can no longer bill the State for the services you provide until our application is reviewed and approved,” the email said, according to the TV station.
Maine Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Jackie Farwell said Earth Angels Home Care’s registration with the state lapsed on Feb. 24.
The department received the organization’s renewal application Wednesday and processed it, she said.
“Effective yesterday, the agency is registered with DHHS,” Farwell said Thursday.
Earth Angels Home Care did not respond to requests for comment Thursday.
Organization leaders reportedly told employees they hope to resume operations within weeks, according to WMTW. Until then, employees were advised to apply for unemployment insurance.
Maine Department of Labor spokesperson Jessica Picard said the department’s Rapid Response team is offering services to affected employees, including information about unemployment and health insurance and resources to help them train for or seek new work.
The department did not have information about how many employees were let go.
While Earth Angels Home Care has halted operations, another agency, Presque Isle-based Professional Home Care Specialists, has hired about 17 of Earth Angels’ former employees and taken on 20 of the agency’s former clients, said Kyla Cronkhite, Professional Home Care Specialists’ district supervisor.
The Presque Isle organization plans to keep the Earth Angels caretakers it has hired and their clients together to minimize disruptions and confusion for the clients, Cronkhite said.
“Sometimes, we, their caregivers, are the only outside source of companionship they have, especially over the last two years,” Cronkhite said. “When their schedules get interrupted, it can cause anxiety because they wonder who’s going to help them get dressed in the morning. We become their family.”