Can a Family Member Get Paid to Be a Caregiver in Pennsylvania?

 

As a family caregiver, you are providing incredibly valuable support to your loved one and potentially incurring personal expenses that are related to your role.

With that in mind, you may want to consider your options for getting paid as a family caregiver through Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program.

grandmother and granddaughter hugging

What is a caregiver?

Caregivers are people who help elderly, ill, injured, and/or disabled patients with attaining their needs and completing day-to-day tasks.

A paid caregiver could work with a patient that requires long-term assistance at the sick or elderly person’s residence.

Although many caregivers fill this role as professional and paid employees, family caregivers are those who take care of their own family and/or one that they’re friends with or close to.

Does Pennsylvania allow family members to be caregivers and get paid through Medicaid?

Simply put, the answer is yes. Medicaid in Pennsylvania participates in Personal Assistant Services (PAS).

This program provides PAS services to family members and pays them to assist with the services related to ADL and IADL care. These services include meal preparation, mobility, housework, shopping, grooming, eating, bathing, toileting, laundry, and more.

Almost anyone can be a paid family caregiver as long as they meet certain requirements.

How can one become a caregiver in Pennsylvania?

To become a family caregiver and qualify for PAS, you must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Complete caregiver training requirements
  • TB tested

Once you satisfy these conditions, you can start looking at the options for how you would get paid.

The following are some of the waiver programs in Pennsylvania:

These are the 3 waivers in PA for the PAS program:

 

OBRA –  https://www.dhs.pa.gov/Services/Disabilities-Aging/Pages/OBRA.aspx

  • Age 18-59
  • Developmentally disabled
    • Short reminder for criteria: OBRA = Developmentally Disabled

 

ACT 150 –  https://www.dhs.pa.gov/Services/Disabilities-Aging/Pages/Attendant-Care-Waiver.aspx

  • Age 18-59
  • Meet level of care for a SNF – NFCE
  • Self Directing
  • Chronic Disability (expected for more than 12 months, or end in death)
    • Short reminder for criteria: ACT-150 = Physically disabled without Medicare

 

Community HealthChoices (CHC) –  http://www.healthchoices.pa.gov/info/about/community/ 

  • Age 21+
  • Has Medicare
  • Receive Long Term Care
    • Short reminder for criteria: CHC = Physically disabled with Medicare

Average Pay Rate for Pennsylvania Caregivers

On average the amount could range between $11 and $14.50.

girl-counting-money

Who cannot be a caregiver?

Across the board (that is to say, in Pennsylvania and about every state), spouses cannot be paid to be family caregivers for each other. This is regardless of the age, medical diagnosis, and needs of both the spouse that requires help and the one that is providing care.

The same thing applies to parents who want to be the family caregiver of their non-adult children.

Elderly family caregivers cannot be a Power of Attorney (POA) or Payee for the patient or spouse.

However, apart from this, any family member, relative, or friend can get paid by Medicaid to care for their loved ones.

Who can be a caregiver?

Here is who a sick or elderly patient can hire as a family caregiver:

  • Any family member or friend over 18 that is not a spouse, POA, or payee.

The PAS program also allows Pennsylvanians to pay other relatives and friends to be their family caregiver. Yet, in addition to the above requirements, the caregiver must be no younger than 18 years old, and fulfill the training and certification rules.

After that, FreedomCare may pay them through one of the waivers or programs that we outlined in this article.

In short, you should consider your and your loved one’s options carefully. Not only will you provide them with intangibly-valuable services, but you get paid while you do so.

 

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