Economics and Workplace PAS

Among the many issues affecting people with disability, the socio-economic factors have a major impact on PAS. With a greater understanding of socio-economic factors, policies and access to PAS services can be improved as well as providing greater information for PAS planning.

For many working-age people with a disability, there are many barriers that prevent working or returning to work. Lack of PAS at work is one key barrier. There is little public funding for workplace PAS, and the ADA does not require employers to provide PAS.

PAS in the workplace are typically construed much more broadly than just help with personal care ADLs, such as eating and toileting. At the PAS Center, we have defined “workplace PAS” to also include “task-related assistance at work, such as readers, interpreters; help with lifting or reaching; re-assignment of non-essential duties to co-workers”. Job-related PAS is, in effect, the equivalent of receiving assistance with instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) at home, in that it enables the person to fulfill his or her role, either of maintaining the household or performing the job. At the workplace, some forms of job-related PAS could reasonably be requested as a job accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, but it is generally understood that non-job-related PAS (e.g., for personal care) could not.

To help provide a better understanding of the socio-economic factors effecting PAS, the Center is looking into the two areas of research.

First, this research activity will analyze the relationship between employment and employment supports, the use of technologies, and PAS. Five separate research activities will be conducted.

  • Analyze the relationship between workplace PAS and AT job accommodations and employment outcomes. This study is being conducted by Stephen Kaye.
  • Collect and analyze primary data on workplace PAS, AT, and employment supports. This study is being conducted by Stephen Kaye.
  • Analyze barriers to employment among Medicaid PAS beneficiaries. This study is being conducted by Wayne Anderson and Josh Wiener.
  • Analyze whether AT lessens the need for PAS among older persons with disabilities. This study is being conducted by Marc Freimanand Josh Wiener.
  • Understand the complexity of the economics of PAS differences by age in paying for PAS in the community. Study conducted byMitchell LaPlante.

Second, this research activity will analyze the role of tax laws that affect reimbursement for PAS. Although tax policies are one way to improve assess to PAS and provide economic support to family caregivers, current federal and state policies offer limited assistance and these are typically in the form of tax credits and deductions. This will involve two projects.

  • Examine federal tax policies related to reimbursement for PAS. Study conducted by Michael Morris and Steve Mendelsohn.
  • Collect and examine state tax policies related to reimbursement for PAS. Study conducted by Michael Morris and Steve Mendelsohn.