What is the Personal Care Assistance (PCA) Program?
In order to maintain employment, look for employment, or participate in training for employment, some Ohioans with severe physical disabilities may require a personal care attendant/aide to assist them with activities of daily living (ADLs). OOD’s PCA Program provides partial reimbursement to eligible individuals so that they may hire an attendant/aide.
How Does the PCA Program Work?
After an individual is determined to be eligible and receives a start date, eligible individuals:
1. Screen, interview, and select their attendant(s)/aide(s);
2. Agree to a payment structure with the attendant(s)/aide(s);
3. Pay the attendant(s)/aide(s) wages and maintain records of those payments;
4. Submit bi-weekly reimbursement requests (Reimbursement Billing for PCA) to the PCA Program; and
5. Request quarterly reimbursement of any employer costs (Employer Costs Billing) incurred (e.g., Social Security, Medicare, State and Federal Unemployment, and Workers’ Compensation costs).
What are Activities of Daily Living (ADL)?
ADLs may include but are not limited to: dressing, grooming, bathing and toileting, food preparation, feeding, medicating, turning, repositioning, transferring and assisting with ambulation.
Eligible individuals require assistance in ADLs so that they may work, look for work, or attend training that will lead to work.
Who is Eligible for the PCA Program?
The PCA Program is an employment program. All individuals must be competitively employed, actively looking for work, or be in an approved training program that will lead to work. Additionally, to qualify for the PCA Program, an individual must:
- Have a severe physical disability;
- Be 18 years of age or older;
- Be an Ohio resident and obtain services in Ohio;
- Need no fewer than 6 consecutive months of PCA and no more than 455 hours per quarter;
- Be capable of instructing and supervising an attendant/aide;
- Be living independently, or, through the PCA Program, be capable of living independently; and
- Agree to reapply for the PCA Program annually.
Individuals do not need to be involved in the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program in order to be eligible for the PCA Program.
Who Can Be an Attendant/Aide?
Eligible individuals must ensure that their attendant(s)/aide(s):
- Agree to the terms of work and payment;
- Are able to perform required tasks;
- Report to work as scheduled; and
- Understand their tax obligations as required by law.
OOD’s PCA Program does not hire attendants/aides, nor does the program provide a list of qualified attendants/aides. Attendants/aides are hired by the eligible individual who requires the assistance.
What are the Responsibilities of Eligible Individuals?
Eligible individuals must:
1. Screen, interview, select, instruct, and supervise their attendant(s)/aide(s);
2. Pay the attendant(s)/aide(s) wages;
3. Develop an organized system to maintain all PCA Program-related paperwork;
4. Follow all obligations, procedures, and payments of employer costs as required by law;
5. Reapply for the PCA Program annually; and
6. Follow all other rules and procedures established by the PCA Program.
How do Ohioans Apply to the PCA Program?
An Ohioan can apply to the PCA Program by following the steps below:
1. Contact the PCA contractor in your area Statewide Facility Contact List to discuss how the PCA Program might fit your needs;
3. Provide documentation that supports your employment status (e.g., paystubs and tax forms for employment; resume for job seeking; school schedule);
4. The PCA contractor will conduct a home visit and interview; and
5. PCA eligibility will be determined within 30 days of a complete application packet and home visit.