Self-Directed Personal Assistant Services

In June, NCIL reach out to gather input on the changes that COVID-19 has had on access to in-home support workers. Many of you graciously replied, sharing stories of the struggles being faced daily, and your very personal perspectives and this allows NCIL to continue to advocate for solutions. They have compiled an overview from the 100 responses they received.

The respondents ranged in age from 19-87 years old, that’s quite an age spread! The majority (64 persons) rely on personal care attendants using Medicaid as a payer. Hours of support authorized by Medicaid varied widely, but almost every respondent hired privately and indicated a new or worsening worker shortage due to COVID, and delays in receiving services or funds to make payments. Pay ranges reported an average of about $12.50 an hour. Compounding the worker shortage issue was a universal lack of personal protective equipment PPE, and many reports of out-of-pocket costs to supplement workers’ needs. In addition, 4 out of 5 responses recorded a disruption to their routine or elective healthcare due to COVID.

Many respondents detailed the commitment of attendants during these difficult times. As they search for a means to ease the burden of hiring and onboarding new workers, the majority of respondents believe that, along with greater pay, relaxing some of the background and drug testing restrictions would be useful, as well as creating access for care workers to receive their own health benefits. 

In short, the conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic have been difficult across the board. Please stay tuned as NCIL continues to advocate for legislative and policy relief.

And for those of you who responded, thanks for sharing your experiences!