How a Family Member Can Get Paid to Provide Home Care in Pennsylvania (PA)
Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services will cover the costs of your home care and allow you to choose a family member to be your paid caregiver. However, the process for applying for services and the eligibility rules that govern who qualifies are often unclear. We have developed this guide to help you understand how the program works, answer your questions, and give you the tools you’ll need to enroll.
The information provided in this guide is for the “Community Healthchoices” program which is by far the largest program available for this type of service. However, there are other programs that may be more appropriate for your particular situation.
Table of Contents
Consider the following example:
Joanna Torres was a dedicated mother who had worked hard her whole life caring for her children and grandchildren. Now in her 80s, she had reached a point where she herself needed help with dressing, walking, bathing, and meal preparation. Her daughter Samantha was there as often as possible, but she had to work full-time to support her own family.
Samantha wanted to get her mom a caregiver, but she knew that her mother would be uncomfortable with a stranger in her home. Then Samantha learned that she could get paid to care for her mother. She told her mother, and Joanna enrolled in Pennsylvania’s Community Healthchoices (CHC) program. Samantha was now able to give her mother the kind of care that only a daughter can provide without compromising on her responsibilities to her own family.
There are two important categories for which you must qualify in order to be eligible for services: Clinical and Financial.
This means that you must be determined to require home care. While there are many technical aspects to this, we recommend that you ask yourself if you need home care before applying.
Financial eligibility is broken down into two parts: income and assets.
- Income is money coming in on a steady basis such as Social Security or a Pension.
- Assets refer to what the consumer has on hand such as money in bank accounts.
Non-Married Consumers qualify for services if their monthly income is less than $2,382 and their assets are less than $8,000. Married consumers are allowed higher limits depending on their circumstances. Additionally, consumers with income above the limits can often still qualify for services by what is know as “spend-down”.
Calculations for financial eligibility can become quite complex and we have not attempted to break down every circumstance. Please note, however, that consumers that avoid applying because they think they are ineligible financially may well be doing themselves a disservice. In many cases, it may be worthwhile to apply and to receive a determination. You will then gain insight into your options. Additionally, some consumers may benefit from seeking professional counsel to learn their eligibility options.
Where can I get an application?
If you want to apply to have a family member become your paid caregiver and you’re trying to figure out where to start, please know that there are often several steps in the process. As such, it is not just a matter of filling out a single application form. We break down the process into three components:
- Assessments – Most consumers must undergo an assessment, sometimes more than one. We can help arrange any required assessments.
- Doctor’s Form – Your doctor must complete a required form (see form in the following section). We can help with this.
- Request your Caregiver – We will help them with any required training and certification
While these steps may sound overwhelming, please know that we are here to help you every step of the way. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff are happy to explain all the details. We do this every day and we would love to help you.
How long does the application process take?
Application for enrollment goes through Pennsylvania’s “Independent Enrollment Broker”, which is a company called “Maximus”. The Independent Enrollment Broker is required to issue an eligibility determination within 90 days of your application. However, while Maximus is responsible for arranging the application process, there will also be other other entites involved (such as your local County Assistance Office). It is important that you reply promtly to any requests made throughout the application process as applications can sometimes stall or be closed because the assessing entities do not receive requested documentation. We can often help consumers get their cases re-opened, but it is best to get things right the first time.
Your doctor will need to complete the following form to verify your need for home care:
Don’t worry, the form is short and fairly straightforward so it should not pose an issue to complete so long as your doctor feels that you meet the qualifications.
Hours of Care
How many hours of home care will I receive coverage for?
Not all consumers receive the same number of hours. In fact, there are often vast differences between consumers in the number of hours for which they are approved. Usually, your Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO) will make the final determination on how many hours of care you will receive coverage for.
Pay Rate and Salary
What is the hourly pay rate that you compensate caregivers?
Your caregiver’s hourly pay rate and salary may depend on a number of factors.
Get an Instant Pay Quote
Please complete this form and we will send you an instant quote on what your caregiver can get paid:
Please contact us at 215-770-0066 to discuss what your caregiver’s pay rate and salary can be.
Family Members that are Allowed to be Paid Family Caregivers
Most family members can get paid to provide care for their loved ones under Pennsylvania’s Community Healthchoices home care program. However, there are some exceptions. The following are answers to some common situations:
Can children get paid to care for their parents?
Yes. Children can get paid to provide care for their parents.
Can spouses get paid to provide care for each other?
Spouses are not allowed to be be paid caregivers as they are considered legally responsible for each other.
Can parents get paid to care for their children?
It depends. Parents can get paid to care for adult children. However, parents cannot get paid to care for minor children for whom they are legally responsible.
Can grandparents get paid to care for grandchildren?
Yes. Grandparents can get paid to care for their grandchildren.
Certification and Training for Family Caregivers in Pennsylvania (PA)
Are family caregivers required to have any training or certification?
Yes. Family caregivers are required to have the same level of training as any other caregiver. But don’t worry if your family member has not yet received training. We can help with the training and certification process and it is usually not a big inconvenience.
Paid Family Caregiver and Medicare
Will Medicare provide coverage for a paid family caregiver?
Unfortunately, Medicare does not provide significant coverage for non-medical home care (also referred to as “custodial” or “personal care”). This includes such care received from family members. However, having Medicare is certainly not a reason that you do not qualify. You can have Medicare and also apply for Pennsylvania’s Community Healthchoices program.
Best Home Care Agency in Pennsylvania (PA)
All Generations Home Care.
Okay, fine, we chose ourselves. But really, it’s true!
All Generations Home Care distinguishes itself as one of the premier home care agencies in both the Philadelphia area (PHL) and in all of Pennsylvania (PA). When you work with us, you will experience white-glove service. We work hard to anticipate your every need and to make all things home care go as smoothly as possible for you. Give us a call to experience the All Generations difference.
Our office is conveniently located in the Philadelphia metro area in Elkins Park, PA. But regardless of where you live, we can usually come to you to help complete any necessary paperwork. We work with consumers in Philadelphia, Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, Lancaster, Reading, Lebanon, and more. The following section has a full list of the PA counties we service.
Locations We Service
We service the following Pennsylvania (PA) cities / metro areas and counties:
Cities / Metro Areas
- Philadelphia (Philly)
- Allentown – Bethlehem – Easton