As long as you can work legally in the State of New York and the person in need of services is (A) Medicaid eligible and currently receiving benefits, (B) capable of self-direction, and (C) not your spouse or your child, you are eligible to be hired as a Consumer Directed Personal Assistant. According to the regulations, “a consumer directed personal assistant may include any other adult relative of the consumer who does not reside with the consumer or any other adult relative who resides with the consumer because the amount of care the consumer requires makes such relative’s presence necessary.” People serving as Designated Representative for a non-self-directing consumer may not also be the Personal Assistant for that consumer.
- the consumer selects the PA;
- the consumer trains the PA exactly the way s/he wants tasks performed;
- the consumer schedules and supervises the PA;
- the consumer terminates the PA (if the employment relationship isn’t working.)
Since the consumer, assumes the employer responsibilities, (to recruit, hire, train, supervise and terminate), the rules shift a bit. PAs work directly for the consumer – there is no agency “middle-man.” The consumer directs you to complete the tasks listed in his/her “Plan of Care.”
Personal assistants’ salaries and benefits are paid by Medicaid via a fiscal intermediary (FI), which is a third-party organization that contracts with managed care/managed long-term care plans/local departments of social services to provide authorized services as a part of the consumer’s plan of care. FIs process personal assistants’ timesheets and payroll and bill Medicaid for hours worked. Many FIs also serve as independent living and community centers, hosting regular social functions and providing outreach and peer counseling services to consumers and their personal assistants.