Paying for Personal Care Attendants
Many people with spinal cord injuries require personal care attendants (PCAs) to help them with daily living activities once they are discharged from the hospital. However, PCA services do not come cheap, which means that most people with SCIs cannot afford to pay for PCA services out of pocket. Thankfully, there are several resources available that can help cover the costs of PCA services. Learn more about your options for PCA funding assistance below.
Minimum Wage Reality
While the minimum wage keeps getting higher in many states across the U.S., PCA wages have unfortunately remained stagnant, with most PCAs earning minimum wage or near minimum wage nationwide. Because of this low pay, it is important to recognize that it may be difficult to find a quality PCA. However, there are ways to guarantee that you find quality PCAs. One of the easiest methods: offering whatever you can in addition to their wages.
One of the best ways you can keep good PCAs on-staff despite the minimum wage is to offer them additional money, if you can afford to do so. If this is not possible, consider offering your PCA additional job benefits such as room and board or free meals. Fortunately, many kind and quality people become PCAs and accept the wages they are offered.
Public Funding Sources
Most people with SCIs use publicly funded insurance programs to pay for their PCAs. One of the most common publicly funded programs is Medicaid. This state program varies in coverage from state to state. Make sure to check with your local Medicaid employees to see if they offer PCA coverage. Other publicly funded resources that pay for PCAs are as follows:
– Department of Vocational Rehabilitation
– Department of Veterans Affairs (if you are a veteran)
– Crime Victims Compensation
– Other state-funded programs, including Medicaid waiver programs
Private Funding Sources
If you have private health insurance at the time of your injury, your policy may have a clause that covers PCAs in case of a catastrophic injury. You can also purchase a private insurance plan after your injury that may cover PCA wages, as well. In addition to private health insurance, there are two popular private funding sources for PCAs:
– Auto insurance payments
– Workers’ compensation
– Watch This Is My Journey: Jenny, PCA Program Participant: https://spinalpedia.com/video/owxykg9Jyld
– Read more on hiring PCAs from our blog: https://spinalpedia.com/blog/2014/06/hr-job-never-planned-staffing-pcas/
– “The Business of Managing Your PCAs” http://www.newmobility.com/2017/08/managing-personal-care-assistants/?utm_content=buffer3efc5&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com