Ask Mike Mike Oxford

Mike Oxford, the Director of the Topeka Independent Living Center in Topeka, Kansas, and the Past President of the National Council for Independent Living (NCIL) will answer weekly questions from readers on this page. Mike has been a PAS provider for many years and at many levels - from hands on assistance to directing a large statewide PAS program.

Mike is not qualified to offer medical or legal advice. Please direct those questions to your medical or legal professional, or a local agency that can provide those resources. If your question is a medical or safety emergency, please call 911.

Mike has answered many different questions and the most popular one asked by people with disabilities is whether family members can be paid to provide assistance to them. Check to see whether your state offers a paid family caregiver program.

Mike may have already answered your question so please look at the frequently asked questions.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this page is to share ideas. This is to say that there is not only one right answer to the questions on this page, but the opinion of Mike Oxford based on his experiences as a PAS User, director of an Independent Living Center, and President of NCIL. These opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the University of California or the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.



Can my mother can receive respite services and adult daycare services … 

Dear Mike,

My 78 year old mother lives with me she has schizophrenia and dementia. We live in Utah. My mother is a part of the aging waiver program. Mother has home health, and I am her personal attendant. I would like to know if mother can receive respite services and adult daycare services and still fall within her budget. I was told that I could not be paid as her attendant if she uses respite services or homemaker chore services. Could you please enlighten me and provide the source where I can access this info also how might I file an appeal or grievance.

Thank you,
sincerely a frustrated daughter

Dear frustrated daughter,

Have you talked with your mother's case manager about any of this? Case managers are often a great source for this kind of information. They can explain  … 

Read more about Can my mother can receive respite services and adult daycare services


Are there assisted living facilities that has auxiliary grants available in Virginia … 

Dear Mike,

Is there is an assisted living facility (ALF) that has auxiliary grants (AG) available in the State of West Virginia?

Thanks,
Auxiliary Grants and Assisted Living in West Virginia

Dear Auxiliary Grants and Assisted Living in West Virginia,

The first thing I need to do is to clarify your question. My understanding of auxiliary grants (AG) is that they are a combination of local and state funding made available to pay for long term care  … 

Read more about Are there assisted living facilities that has auxiliary grants available in Virginia


My brother needs a counselor or advisor … 

Dear Mike,

My older brother was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. He beat doctor's predicted odds and survived. My mother adopted him from his medical facility, where she was working as a nurse. He was raised in special school programs for children with learning disabilities, etc. His IQ is just above the level for legal mental retardation, but his math, reading, and science skills never progressed beyond a 5th-7th grade level. Despite my mother's effort to raise him to be able to take care of himself, he has been persistantly struggling as an adult(he is 29 now). He has had jobs in the past but they never are permanent (I think the longest was 2 years), and he is terrible managing his finances. He is legally an adult, has no restrictions on what he can do, and refuses to take financial or life advice from family. It inevitably leads to a cycle of him destroying himself financially and emotionally, coming back for my mother or I to help him rebuild, then he goes out on his own and does it again. The last time he tried on his own it ended with a serious suicide attempt that put him in the hospital for several days and then to a crisis stabilition unit for a week. I am seriously afraid his next attempt could lead to death. I'm trying to find some sort of government assistance that can help him break this cycle. I am completely unfamiliar with PAS, medicaid, disability, or other social services. I feel like he should have a 'counselor' or 'advisor' or something that has legal power to help him make financial decisions. What can I do to get him (and my family) some help? There has to be a way to get some help, but I really do not know where to start.

Yours Concerned Brother

Dear Concerned Brother,

It sounds like your brother might benefit from a "Conservator". A Conservator is an individual appointed by the court to assist with financial and other decision making  … 

Read more about My brother needs a counselor or advisor


Can my wife get payed for taking care of our son … 

Dear Mike,

my wife is rep-payee for my disabled stepson who is 32yr old. He is getting a large settlement from his dads death benefits (SSI).

What can the money be spent on and what kind of records need to be kept. Also what can my wife get payed for taking care of him. We are his sole care givers.

Thank you,
Rep Payee

Dear Rep Payee,

This is a complex situation. You should be aware that there are very strict income and asset limitations that apply to SSI eligibility  … 

Read more about Can my wife get payed for taking care of our son


Will my income affect my mothers benefits if she moves in with me … 

Hi Mike,

My mother is on SSDI and Medicare for disability. She has been on this for about 10 years. She currently lives alone, but we want her to move in with my husband and myself. Will our income affect her benefits at all? Is there anything I should know about this situation, financially for her?

Thanks,
Mom's moving in

Dear Mom's moving in,

You want to know if your income will affect her benefits and if there is anything you should know, financially-speaking  … 

Read more about Will my income affect my mothers benefits if she moves in with me


My Aunt wants to come and live with me … 

Dear Mike,

I have an aunt who is in a group home who wants to come live with me. Who do I contact in Michigan that can help me with the laws and what I need to do. She is mentally ill but in good health and older but is doing well.

Regards,
Compassion

Dear Compassion,

In general, your aunt has a right to live wherever she wants. There are no barriers, in particular, to her moving in with you  … 

Read more about My Aunt wants to come and live with me


Need help for daughter … 

Dear Mike,

I been caring for my 23 year old daughter all of her life. We've been moving from place to place because I can't pay the rent. We only get $710 a month. I need help.

Yours,
Need Help for Daughter

Dear Need Help for Daughter

Thanks for writing. You have been your daughter's caregiver for her entire life, 23 years. You have had to move a lot because of inability to pay the rent. Your family income is only $710.00 per month. You need help  … 

Read more about Need help for daughter


No longer able to be sons paid caregiver … 

Dear Mike,

My son has Autism, Mental retardation (mild/moderate), and mood disorder. I am a Certified Nursing Assistant living in Indiana, getting paid to be my son's attendant care person. He is currently receiving an aged and disabled waiver. I have been through 15 jobs due to caregivers coming and going and waiting for the next one to start takes weeks to months. Prior to getting on board with this company and caring for my own child, my child went through 30 caregivers. Currently this is a win win situation. The state is wanting to change the wording back to NOT allow it any longer. This will once again leave my child and myself with no consistency. Since I have been able to care for my child he is learning to read and tie his own shoes. How can I fight this? Are they violating my child's civil rights?

Thanks for any answers you may have.

Losing Waiver.

Dear Losing Waiver,

To respond to your first issue: Your son may very well have a right to receive PAS under the Americans with Disabilities Act "Olmstead" decision, but  … 

Read more about No longer able to be sons paid caregiver


Having a hard time finding a nursing home … 

Dear Mike,

I'm trying to get my mother who now resides with me into a nursing home. So far I have been having a hard time. She's 90 years old and has a disability. I am 60 and my husband is 64. We don't have the money for assisted living for her and she doesn't either. We are applying for Medicaid, but everywhere I call, they don't want Medicaid. What am I doing wrong?

Thank you,
Looking for Nursing Home

Dear Looking for Nursing Home,

The purpose of this column is to assist folks with solving different problems, addressing issues and providing information related to Personal Assistance Services (PAS), also called in-home services. As such I would be remiss if I didn't let you know that Medicaid in New Jersey … 

Read more about Having a hard time finding a nursing home


Searching for any assisted living facilities in Florida … 

Hi Mike

I'm searching for any assisted living facilities in Jacksonville, Florida that are part of the Medicaid Waiver program in Florida. Any leads?

Seeking ALFs in Waivers

Dear Seeking ALFs in Waivers

You are in luck … 

Read more about Searching for any assisted living facilities in Florida


Continuing PAS services in another state … 

Dear Mike,

My friend lives in Illinois and has a son with a disability which her daughter is his PA and my friend has disablities as well and, her grand daughter is her PA she is trying to relocate her family to Indianapolis to live. What should she do or who should she call to continue services because she cant afford to move to Indy without services. Need info ASAP because she's trying to move in Feburary PLEASE HELP !!!!!!

Yours,

Services in Indy

Dear Services in Indy

A little background might be helpful. You need to know that every state's PAS programs are different  … 

Read more about Continuing PAS services in another state


Is a family member REQUIRED BY LAW to care for another family member who has become disabled? … 

Dear Mike,

In New Mexico, is a family member REQUIRED BY LAW to care for another family member who has become disabled? If the family member does care for the other family member, can he or she be compensated at the same rate of pay as the current caregiver? Thank you.

Required by Law

Dear Required by Law

Your first question really involves matters of law and, as such, is beyond the scope of this column. Many states do have some sort of nurture and care requirement … 

Read more about Is a family member REQUIRED BY LAW to care for another family member who has become disabled?


Client wants to live with her carer … 

Dear Mike,

I am a respite worker for a young person (32) who has become so attached to me that she only wants me to take care of her. The Client says they want to be with me and really means it. They tell their parents this also. They say mother is always screaming and griping. She wants to come live with me. I do care about this person, but now the parents are angry. What do I do. I think when I am not there the parents argue and there are also other children and grandchildren in the home. This is a home full of noise and alot of loud talking and dysfunction.

Yours,
Client Wants to Leave Home

Dear Client Wants to Leave Home,

First of all, you have indicated that the person you are talking about is well past her age of majority. She has a right to live wherever she wants  … 

Read more about Client wants to live with her carer


Can I get paid to care for my Dad … 

Dear Mike,

The cost of assisted living for my father who lives in Florida is outrageous. I work full time, if I quit to care for my father, is there a way to get paid and pay into social security so when my time comes to retire I will have social security to collect? My father gets a VA pension and social security, if he pays me instead of a assisted living facility how would I pay into social security or just taxes in general and do i need to be a CNA in order to take care of him in the state of Florida?

Taking Care of Dad in Florida

Dear Taking Care of Dad in Florida,

The answer to your first question about Social Security and taxes is: "Yes", there is a way to pay into your Social Security account and pay taxes  … 

Read more about Can I get paid to care for my Dad


Can our mother qualify for an Auxiliary Grant … 

Mike,

Our mother is an Alzheimer's patient who is 89 years old. She is currently residing in an assisted living facility in Richmond. Her income is SS widow's pension & Vetren's widows pension. As her condition worsens, her level of care needs goes up so does her expenses. Would she also qualify for an AG, (her facility is in Henrico County)? We appreciate any direction you can give us.

Thank you,
Stuck in Virginia

Dear Stuck in Virginia,

I checked with sources in your state about "Medicaid Auxiliary Grants" and whether assisted living providers will accept them or whether they are even aware of  … 

Read more about Can our mother qualify for an Auxiliary Grant


Sons hours are being cut … 

Dear Mike,

My son's hours are being cut. Do you have pointers on what I can [use] for my appeal?

Please help. Thanks.
Appealing cuts to son’s hours

Dear Appealing cuts to son's hours,

I assume that when you refer to "hours being cut", you mean your son's home and community services and supports. This is a situation that is all too common in today's environment of very tight state budgets  … 

Read more about Sons hours are being cut


Can a Power of Attorney decide how much to pay my sister for my dads care … 

Dear Mike,

My brother was POA over my dad. He had my sister watch my dad for a year, paid her $36,000 for staying at her house. Is he allowed to decide how much to pay her for my dad's care and does she have to pay taxes on the money she received for letting him stay with her? He died in Jan. 2012.

Thanks,
Care and Taxes

Care and Taxes

You should know that I am not an attorney and legal advice is beyond the scope of "Ask Mike". This being said, your brother may, or may not, have been legally entitled  … 

Read more about Can a Power of Attorney decide how much to pay my sister for my dads care


Looking for a traditional assisted living setting for my sister … 

Dear Mike,

My sister lives alone and is currently receives SSI, social security and Section 8 entitlements. She was diagnosed as being bi-polar and suffers from a number of debilitating physical conditions such as fibromyalgia and autoimmune disease. Whenever she was prescribed personal care in the past, she would not cooperate with the schedule expectations of the providers, which makes me think she might be better off in some kind of living facility except she cannot afford traditional assisted living care. She lives in NJ and I was hoping to find an advocacy resource I can turn to for help with figuring out what to do for her.

Yours,
Sister Help

Dear Sister Help

Has your sister been included in the decision making around scheduling staff? Agency directed services may not be as flexible as is desired when it comes to scheduling … 

Read more about Looking for a traditional assisted living setting for my sister


Is there a way to get paid to care for my dad and pay into my social security? … 

Dear Mike,

The cost of assisted living for my father who lives in Florida is outrageous. I work full time, if I quit to care for my father, is there a way to get paid and pay into social security so when my time comes to retire I will have social security to collect? My father gets a VA pension and social security, if he pays me instead of a assisted living facility how would I pay into social security or just taxes in general and do I need to be a CNA in order to take care of him in the state of Florida.

Yours,
Taking Care of Dad in Florida

Dear Taking Care of Dad in Florida

Thanks for writing. You note that assisted living for your father is too costly. He is paying privately, out-of-pocket, to live in the assisted living facility. You want to know how to pay into your Social Security account and how to pay taxes if your father moves back home and you provide for his needs. You also want to know if you have to be a CNA to be his provider in the State of Florida … 

Read more about Is there a way to get paid to care for my dad and pay into my social security?


Do assisted living providers accept Auxiliary Grants? … 

Dear Mike,

Our mother is an Alzheimer's patient who is 89 years old. She is currently residing in an assisted living facility in Richmond. Her income is SS widow's pension & Vetren's widows pension. As her condition worsens, her level of care need goes up and so does her expenses. Would she also qualify for an A.G. (her facility is in Henrico County)? We appreciate any direction you can give us.

Thank you,
Stuck in Virginia

Dear Stuck in Virginia,

I checked with sources in your state about "Medicaid Auxiliary Grants" and whether assisted living providers will accept them or whether they are even aware of them … 

Read more about Do assisted living providers accept Auxiliary Grants?


Moving my sister who has disabilities between states … 

Hi Mike,

We are thinking of moving my handicapped sister, (mental/physical) from Ohio to Colorado. We plan to move her into an assisted living center. Please confirm; there is a medicaid waiver for the state of Colorado for those in an assisted living center. What are the conditions from a pay perspective? Does medicaid pay 100%, do all assisted living centers accept medicaid waivers, or is it per center? Thanks.

Assisted Living and Waivers in Colorado

Dear Assisted Living and Waivers in Colorado,

Medicaid provider individuals, agencies and organizations, including assisted living facilities, each decide individually whether to accept their State's Medicaid reimbursement rate for their services … 

Read more about Moving my sister who has disabilities between states


Looking for similar IHSS programs in Arizona … 

Dear Mike,

Hello, my family might move to Prescott, AZ due to job transfer but we are worried about the services they have for my 8 year old son with autism. In California, he is currently receiving in-home supportive service with max hours (195) and (I), his mom and I are his care provider. I need to know if there is such similar program provided in AZ?

Thank you

Moving to Arizona

Dear Moving to Arizona

The short answer to your question is: "No". IHSS is pretty much unique to California. Arizona operates all of its in-home services and supports … 

Read more about Looking for similar IHSS programs in Arizona


Can I get income for caring for my son … 

Dear Mike,

I have a 22 year old son with autism I have been caring for him since birth. I was talking to someone about my son's disabilty and they told me that I can get income for caring for him and to look under medicaid waiver. Could you please give me information on this please.

Thank You,

Parent Curious About Waiver

Dear Parent Curious About Waiver

The first thing you need to do is to determine whether your son is eligible for Medicaid Waiver services. If your son is an adult, this is quite likely … 

Read more about Can I get income for caring for my son


Compensation for caring for a daughter with a chronic illness … 

Dear Mike,

I'm only 24 years old with a ... dependent child. It has been a struggle both mentally and financially. I worked for a period of 8 months but my supervisor couldn't seem to notice my dedication to work. I only missed 1 day out of the 8 month period. She had to discuss my daughters medical needs with other employees with out my consent. I had no choice but to quit I'm hoping you could answer this - can I be compensated due to my daughters chronic illness or is there anything that I can do at home. Please let me know. It feels like I'm never going to get past this.

Thank you,

Mom from New Mexico.

Dear Mom from New Mexico,

Thanks for writing. You have a daughter with a multiple developmental disabilities. You have had to stop working in order to be able to care for your daughter and want to know if there is any compensation available for this situation … 

Read more about Compensation for caring for a daughter with a chronic illness


Wish to work with adults with disabilities on weekends … 

Hi Mike,

I work with adults with disabilities. I want to do weekends or every other weekend. What can I do? What phone number can I call?

Yours,
Want to Work

Dear Want to Work,

Thanks for writing. You wish to work with adults with disabilities on weekends, or perhaps, every other weekend and want to know who or where to call … 

Read more about Wish to work with adults with disabilities on weekends


Getting paid for taking care of my mother-in-law … 

Dear Mike,

I am writing to find out of there is a payment program available in Wisconsin to help off set the costs of caring for my mother-in-law. She had a stroke just over a year ago. She requires 24 hour care in her home. My husband and I have moved our family in with her to help her pay her bills and mortgage. Since her insurance does not cover in home nursing care and she cannot afford to pay anybody for caring for her, I have had to leave my full time job to care for her. We are also pretty sure between her social security benefits and her widowers pension that she makes too much money per month to qualify for medicaid. Is there anything we can do to get paid for taking care of her? I am spending 50+ hours per week just taking care of her and my husband does the rest. Please let us know if you have any suggestions.

Thank you.

Wondering in Wisconsin

Dear Wondering in Wisconsin,

You describe a situation that is all too common … 

Read more about Getting paid for taking care of my mother-in-law


Having trouble finding information about PAS rules & benefits … 

Dear Mike,

My brother would like to live with me and requires care because he is paralyzed from the waist down. I am having trouble finding information requiring PAS benefits for the state of South Dakota. I was wondering if you knew anything about South Dakota's PAS benefit guidelines. (i.e. Can a family member provide care, can someone living in the same home that is not a family member provide care, and is there a license requirement for our state.) I hope there you are able to give me some insight on these questions or point me in the right direction on where I can find these answers.

Thank you so much for your time,

Brother in South Dakota

Dear Brother in South Dakota,

The PAS Center Website can assist you with finding answers to your questions … 

Read more about Having trouble finding information about PAS rules & benefits


Does a respite care provider have to be certified to work with people with developmental disabilities … 

Dear Mike,

Does a respite care provider have to be certified to work with people with developmental disabilities in the state of Wisconsin? They don't live with me. I only take them when they need me. Sometimes I have a respite over night for a few days. I don't run my own business. I work for an adult family organization.

Regards,

Respite in Wisconsin

Dear Respite in Wisconsin,

Without more information, your best bet might be to pose your question to the state's Medicaid agency since it sounds like you are describing, primarily, Medicaid funded respite services … 

Read more about Does a respite care provider have to be certified to work with people with developmental disabilities


In need of respite services for my mom … 

Dear Mike,

I care for my mom who is 86 and legally blind. I live in Illinois. I'm looking to see if there are such places that will take care of her while I'm on a vacation. Just for about 2 weeks. I would like her to be able to stay there during that time if a emergency comes up. I don't know if there are places like that.

Thanks,

Short Term Need

Dear Short Term Need,

What you are asking about is broadly referred to as "respite services", or "respite care". Some nursing facilities allow for planned brief stays … 

Read more about In need of respite services for my mom


Can no longer care for disabled mother … 

Dear Mike,

My 89-year old mother-in-law has been living with us for 3 years. She is diabled and can no longer care for herself. We are at the point where we cannot take care of her needs and need to know what resources are available in Virginia to guide us in placing her in assisted living/nursing home. What steps? Who to contact? She only has social security and no long-term provisions. How can we do this without using our personal bank account?

Need help in Virginia

Dear Need help in Virginia

Based on the information you have shared, it sounds like your mother-in-law very well may qualify for … 

Read more about Can no longer care for disabled mother


Want to get guardianship of sister and some visitation rights for my father  … 

Dear Mike,

This is a long story but any advice will help. My sister is 23 years old. She is mentally challenged and is currently under guardianship of my mother who has shipped her off to a home and hardly goes to visit. My father raised all three of us our whole lives without any support from our mother. But when I moved out my mother petitioned the courts for custody when she was a minor. She was granted custody but has kept her hidden from my father from the age of 16-23. My sister asks to see him all the time. My mother obtained guardianship of her falsely by saying she did not know where my father lived. My father has lived in the same place for 7 years. So she put an add in the local town newspaper knowing my father would not read that paper as he lived in a different town. Because he was not properly notified he did not show up for court. His rights were never dissolved but it does state no visitation until father proves why he should get visitation. She is now 23, does this still stand because she is an adult or not because my mother has guardianship of her. What can we do to possibly get guardianship of her and some visitation for my father. We are in Oklahoma if that helps in any way.

Thank you in advance!

Guardian for Sister

Dear Guardian for Sister,

Thanks for writing. You are concerned about your sister's guardianship. Your Mother is currently your sister's guardian and your Dad has been cut out of your sister’s life due to a number of legal snarls … 

Read more about Want to get guardianship of sister and some visitation rights for my father


Want to take family trip with disabled son to Disney World  … 

Dear Mike,

My husband and I are trying to take our handicapped/disabled son to Disney and to see the ocean. He is 20 and has never been. He has nursing services here in the state of WV and we are trying to figure out if he can get nursing hours in Florida as well. He is on a vent and needs suctioned frequently through the night. The company here that provides his nursing is also located in Florida. Please advise. Thanking you in advance.

Traveling Family

Dear Traveling Family

You should ask the West Virginia Medicaid agency for permission to travel with his services … 

Read more about Want to take family trip with disabled son to Disney World


Is there any chance that I can get paid to stay home and care for my son … 

Dear Mike,

I am a single mother with a disabled son (application for SSI is pending now). He is nine years old and diagnosed with severe ADHD, impulsive disorder and has an additional learning disability of Dyslexia and Dysgraphia on top of his ADHD. He has seen numerous psychologists since the age of three. He has been kicked out of several day cares and pre-k systems since the age of three and still currently the school calls on average about twice a week to pick him up due to severe emotional outburst and severe anger issues leading to violence (usually inflicted upon himself). I have had to completely stop working due to his problems and this is severely financially devastating to us. I cannot even find an after school care program that will keep him. To make matters worse, his entire family (both fathers and mothers side) cannot and will not help me with him! I live in Louisiana and in desperate need of some financial assistance! His tutoring for his disabilities is on average $800 a month and insurance will not pay anything for it because of the nature of the particular learning disability (it is considered a hidden disability). His father refuses to help pay as well! Is there any chance that I can get paid to stay home and care for him?

Thank you in advance for any advice

Son in School

Dear Son in School,

Before I respond to the issue of being paid to provide services and supports, you need to be aware of your son's right to a free and appropriate public education … 

Read more about Is there any chance that I can get paid to stay home and care for my son


Are state services transferrable to another state … 

Dear Mike,

Are state services transferable to another state?

Thanks,

State to State

Dear State to State

Unfortunately, the answer is: "No" … 

Read more about Are state services transferrable to another state


Have not been paid in 9 months … 

Hello Mike,

I am an in home caregiver for an 87 year old woman and have not been paid in 9 months. Her niece who takes care of her finances claims she does not have the money to pay me. However, I cannot afford to do this job any longer. I need money. Are there any programs in New Hampshire that pay in home caregivers? I keep searching online and and I am not finding anything.

Thank you,

Caregiver Needs to be Paid

Dear Caregiver Needs to be Paid,

There is definitely a Medicaid Waiver (Aged Waiver) that pays for services for those individuals that are aged 65 and older … 

Read more about Have not been paid in 9 months


Can civilian agencies reimburse family members with a salary when they travel as personal care assistants … 

Dear Mike,

Can civilian agencies reimburse family members with a salary and per diem when they travel as personal care assistants for a federal employee?

Thanks,

Traveling PA

Dear Traveling PA

The short answer is, "the agencies could reimburse these expenses", but this short answer points to a need for additional … 

Read more about Can civilian agencies reimburse family members with a salary when they travel as personal care assistants


How can I transfer my waiver from state to state … 

Dear Mike,

How can I transfer my waiver from state to state. I am moving to Florida from Georgia.

Yours Moving Waiver

Dear Moving Waiver

The short and to-the-point answer to your question is: "You can't" … 

Read more about How can I transfer my waiver from state to state


Need to check Waivers in another state … 

Dear Mike,

My husband has a job opportunity in Charolotte, North Carolina. We currently live in Ohio, and have a 22 year old son with severe disablities. Our son is on an I/O waiver here, and lives with us. How would we go about checking into a waiver for him in NC so that he could continue to live with us?

Thank you.

Waivers from NC

Waivers from NC

Thanks for writing. Your son is currently receiving personal assistance services (PAS) via an "I/O" (Individual Options) Waiver in Ohio … 

Read more about Need to check Waivers in another state


Need tax and payroll advice for a caregiver … 

Dear Mike,

My mother requires daily assistance now that my father has passed away. My sister, who lives with my mother, has quit her job to provide this assistance and my mother would like to pay my sister something (approx. $200 per week) so that she can continue to cover some of her own expenses. Does my mother have to treat this arrangement like a household employee situation for income tax and payroll tax purposes? Thanks for any clarification you can provide.

Taxes for PAS

Dear Taxes for PAS

First of all, it is highly recommended that you get advice from an accountant or attorney with expertise in this area. The PAS Center website has information … 

Read more about Need tax and payroll advice for a caregiver


Will my dad get his pension and Social Security if he moves in with his son … 

Dear Mike,

My Father is being released from the hospital and going to a Nursing Facility for Rehab. If he applies for Medicaid at the end of his rehab - if he can't go home and my brother decides to take him to his house for care - can my Dad get off Medicaid and start getting his pension and SS again for my brother for his care? My Dad is 90 years old.

Yours,

Dad's Medicaid

Dear Dad's Medicaid,

The short, direct answer is "yes". He will get his retirement income back. The facility cannot keep his money after he leaves and no longer uses their services … 

Read more about Will my dad get his pension and Social Security if he moves in with his son


Can my caregiver work directly for me … 

Dear Mike,

I live in Wisconsin. I have a current caregiver that does all my cares. I would like to know if there is a program where she can get paid to take care of me on her own. She is getting paid through a home health agency right now. If she gets paid on her own how does that work and how much will she get paid an hour? She is such a good caregiver to me & I want to keep her. Is their any insurance that pays the caregiver & benefits? Do you know any good insurance for a person with a disability? What I have now really stinks? It does not give me many of the services I need & want & does not pay my good caregiver well at all? So I would like to know if you can help me & give me some information & advice or who I can talk to? I will be looking forward from hearing from you.

Thank you.

Caregiving Insurance

Dear Caregiving Insurance

Well, I hate to share bad news, but being familiar with the programs in Wisconsin … 

Read more about Can my caregiver work directly for me


How much do home health aides get paid … 

Dear Mike,

How much do home health aides get paid.... and do they have the weekend off?

Thanks

Health Aide Pay

Dear Health Aide Pay

There is no one answer to your question. Not only do pay and benefits (such as weekends off) vary significantly from state to state, but … 

Read more about How much do home health aides get paid


Can I become my daughters personal aide at school … 

Hello Mike,

my daughter has osteogenesis imperfecta (type iv) and she is nearing the age for pre-kindergarten. I am trying so hard to find out how I can become her personal aide for school (without pay) because she is a little fragile and I can't afford to have her fracturing any bones at school. Do you know of a website where I could perhaps further investigate my inquiry, maybe a phone number?

Sincerely,

Dad at School

Dear Dad at School,

Thanks for writing. Your daughter has osteogenesis imperfecta. This means that her bones are very brittle and can break quite easily … 

Read more about Can I become my daughters personal aide at school


I need a personal care assistant for my disabled seven year old daughter … 

Dear Mike,

I have a 7 year old daughter with multiple disabilities. She has Autism, Epilepsy, ADHD, Tourettes, Axiety, depressive disorder and sensory issues. She sees multiple doctors every week and it makes it very difficult to work at a job not knowing if my cell phone is going to ring to come and pick her up from school. We live in Wisconsin and I need to know what to say to our health services and what to bring with me to show them that I need to be a personal care assistant for her. I don't want to go to this meeting unprepared so what can I show them that will help our family get this extra income that is so needed in our home? Just this past October I had to put her in an Institution. She was there for a week and she was put on Risperidone. She is not a well child at all. She has constant seizures and some days her meds work, and then other days you think she never took them. What do I do? What do I need to bring to this meeting? Is this even possibly?

Thank you

Mom in need

Dear Mom-in-need,

There should be no real need for you to worry about "preparing" and having a meeting with health services and so on … 

Read more about I need a personal care assistant for my disabled seven year old daughter


Transferring Medicaid HCBS Waiver services between states … 

Dear Mike,

We moved to Myrtle beach and was told that my mother, who is on a Medicare waiver in Maryland, can't transfer her benefits from one state to another. This creates a hardship for my family. I was told this was possible in Maryland. Now she is there and we are here. Is there anything we can do without bringing her home and applying again which would take years?

Thanks,

Stranded in Maryland

Dear Stranded in Maryland,

Whoever in Maryland told you could automatically transfer her HCBS Waiver services from Maryland to another State, did you a real disservice … 

Read more about Transferring Medicaid HCBS Waiver services between states


What options are out there for in home care or VA assisted living for my parents … 

Dear Mike,

My mother was just released back to our home from Hospice. My dad has second stage dementia and both live in our home. Dad is a WWII veteran. They only receive Social Security each month and do not have savings. What options are out there for in home care or VA assisted living for both of them...Mom has Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Chronic Leukemia.

Yours,
Home Care for Mom and Dad

Dear Home Care for Mom and Dad,

Most states provide publicly funded long terms services and supports via Medicaid. Medicaid provides health care and long term care for poor people of all ages who are disabled … 

Read more about What options are out there for in home care or VA assisted living for my parents


Starting doing private pay respite in my own home … 

Hi Mike,

I'm an RN with extensive experience with Developmentally Disabled (DD). I'm 54, and getting tired of the rat race of the work world. Also, I don't need as much income now, so can work part time.

I love the DD population and am contemplating an idea and would like your input:

I'd like to start just doing private pay respite in my own home. A day, a weekend, or occasionally longer for caregiver vacations. Just one client at a time.

Having worked with the state & federal programs for years, I really don't wish to deal with the paperwork and rules/regulations, etc.. I want to keep it simple.

I believe my background will support my having a safe environment with excellent attention to each client's individual medical & cognitive needs.

Is this possible, or do I have to go through the state? I would get a business license & some liability insurance, but is there anything else I would need to cause caregivers to feel safe placing their loved one in my care, from a business perspective?

Thank you most kindly.

Private Pay Respite

Dear Private Pay Respite,

Thanks for writing. What a great idea. There is always a need for high quality respite services … 

Read more about Starting doing private pay respite in my own home


Finding care for a patient that needs 24 hour nursing care with ventilator … 

Dear Mike,

How do I find long term care for a patient that needs 24 hr nursing care with ventilator?

Yours,

Seeking LTC for 24 hours

Dear Seeking LTC for 24 hours

There are a couple of different levels to the question you pose. The first is the issue of whether adequate programmatic support is readily available to support folks with the most significant levels of functional disability … 

Read more about Finding care for a patient that needs 24 hour nursing care with ventilator


My mum needs help being clothed and fed … 

Dear Mike,

I am wondering if the government will pay for my mother to have a provider. She currently recieves social security for an illness she has; however, not enough to afford a provider. She currently can not get out of bed due to a back problems and also her illness. She needs help being clothed, fed, ect. and unfortunately is left home alone Monday to Friday.

Yours,

Mom Needs Help

Dear Mom Needs Help

You are describing a very dangerous situation. It sounds like your Mother could not help herself if there were an emergency and that she doesn't have proper access to nutrition … 

Read more about My mum needs help being clothed and fed


Can a felon get paid to care for his mother … 

Dear Mike,

I'm an adult foster care provider for a woman. Her son wants her to come and live with him. Medicaid pays me for her care. She used to live with her son, his girlfriend, and his sister. It was a total mess and everyone was always fighting and yelling at everyone. The mom paid all the bills with her disability payment.

She came to live with me when the family got kicked out of where they were living. Her son and his girlfriend live in a 1 bedroom mobile home and neither work. His girlfriend is going to try to get paid to take care of her. He has a felony in his background. Will Oregon state allow this.

Yours,

Concerned in Oregon

Dear Concerned in Oregon,

I do not know the specific answer to your question, but after a quick look at the Oregon's rules for providers, I think there will, at a minimum, be a lot of scrutiny and … 

Read more about Can a felon get paid to care for his mother


Moving my dad out of a nursing home … 

Dear Mike,

My Dad is in a nursing home near me, since my Mom did not want to take care of him. She has not seen him since he had his stroke (7 years ago) and I am the only person in the family who has taken care of him. Her and I have not spoken for 7 years, and I want nothing to do with her.

We have decided to have him move in with us now. He is currently on Medi-cal and Medicare and fully covered in the nursing home, and we have to deal with my Mom once a year when she files the financial paperwork and she keeps the social security check of his to help pay the mortgage on the house they own.

They both want a divorce but are too poor to do anything.

Anyway I have Power of Attorney , and need to move his case to my county, since she lives in a different county, but the social worker said she cannot do that while he is still in the nursing home. This is a problem since I have to set up IHSS and check on his benefits and all kinds of things before I move him in, I want to make sure we can afford it and he has enough benefits to make it. He will finally get his SS back again which is all he has now in the world.

Is there anything I can do to get this case transferred before he leaves the nursing home?

Yours,

Taking Care of Dad

Dear Taking Care of Dad

Unfortunately, I am not familiar with the entire minutia of MediCal and the various California rules and regs; not to mention the impact  … 

Read more about Moving my dad out of a nursing home


Want to move to Dallas … 

Dear Mike,

I live in Arizona. I am a foster care provider for a 56 year old lady who is cognitive disabled and epileptic since birth. I want to move to Dallas, only if I can successfully transfer her to Dallas and secure a license and continue being her provider. I would like to know if it is possible to smoothly achieve that. I have not even spoken to her parents about it. I want to get information first. She is her own guardian. But I would not talk to her about it at this time because I want her parents approval first. She has brothers who live in New Mexico. It wouldn't be that much further for them. Her and I get along well and I will not do this unless everything lines up right for such a transfer so she continues to receive the same level of services for her care.

Thank you,

Dallas Bound

Dear Dallas Bound,

I urge you to rethink your strategy and motivation. You should talk about the move with the person you serve  … 

Read more about Want to move to Dallas


Paid for sorting my Dads medication … 

Dear Mike,

Can I get some sort of pay to sort my dads prescribed medication. He's a disabled veteran and I heard somewhere that people can get payed for this. Is there any truth to this?

Thanks,
Sort of Medication.

Dear Sort of Medication

I regret to tell you that I have never heard of any program that pays for just  … 

Read more about Paid for sorting my Dads medication


Will I get Medicaid automatically in Kentucky … 

Dear Mike,

I am getting ready to move from Missouri to Kentucky. I have SSI and Medicaid. Since I have SSI will I get Medicaid automatically in Kentucky?

Thanks,

Moving from Missouri

Dear Moving from Missouri

The answer is "yes". SSI beneficiaries always also qualify for Medicaid  … 

Read more about Will I get Medicaid automatically in Kentucky


Needing information about Chicago low income housing and Medicaid  … 

Dear Mike,

I'm a 52-year-old woman on SSDI. I've lived in Atlanta, GA for only six months now, after living in my birthplace of St. Louis, MO for 52 years. I prefer Chicago, IL, and plan to relocate there within the next month. How can I get information about Chicago low-income housing and Medicaid PRIOR to moving there?

Thank you,

Moving and Medicaid

Dear Moving and Medicaid

Our website can provide just the contact information you need to pursue the information you want. Go to  … 

Read more about Needing information about Chicago low income housing and Medicaid


Hiring a personal care provider for our Mother … 

Dear Mike,

My 84 year old mother lives in Georgia. If the siblings get someone to come and live with her 5 days per week, and provide the services that a personal care provider does, are there laws which require us to pay her a certain rate, or can we simply agree upon a monthly amount that she will be paid as an independent contractor?

Thanks Contractor or not

Dear Contractor or not,

First, we need to establish if you are doing the hiring yourselves and not using an agency. If an agency is hiring the person, they will be the employer and establish the pay rate. If you are hiring someone, you can set your own agreement with agreed upon pay rates, etc … 

Read more about Hiring a personal care provider for our Mother


Designating a caregiver for my brother in a will … 

Hi Mike,

I have a 54 year old mentally disabled brother who lives with my mother who is 82. My mother is trying to establish care for my brother in case something happens to her. My mother never established legal guardianship for my brother after he turned 18. She felt it wasn't necessary. She claims Social Security told her she didn't have to do because she was my brothers mother. Now she thinks she can designate a caregiver (my nephew) for my brother in a WILL and things will continue on in this manner. She asked my nephew to move into her house to care for my brother if she passes away. He said he would which I don't believe. My mother also wants to put me and my nephews name on the house so that my brother will always have a home. The house is paid for but will require maintenance and property taxes will need to be paid annually. My brother gets SSI and Medicaid.

My Question: Can my mother designate a caregiver for my brother in a WILL and does she need to establish legal guardianship to designate a guardian for my brother in her absence. My fear is that nothing is legal. If something happens to my mother what rights will we have (his siblings & family) to care for my brother? Is it okay for him not to have a legal guardian?

Yours,

Mom's Will

Dear Mom's Will

You are right to be concerned. Your mother can’t just command someone (your Nephew in this case) to provide services and supports in a will … 

Read more about Designating a caregiver for my brother in a will


We want to keep my daughters worker … 

Hi Mike,

I just moved to Arizona and I am in the process of getting my developmentally disabled daughter DDD services. Since I have moved here the process has been very slow so I have been forced to pay a care provider out of pocket. We love her and would like to keep her. Do you know if going through DDD means we will have to hire someone else or can we keep her and put her through an agency? She is not a certified caregiver but she is great with my daughter and do not want to lose her. Please help!

Want to Keep My Daughter's Worker

Dear Want to Keep My Daughter's Worker

The short answer to your question is that it should be possible to retain this worker as long as  … 

Read more about We want to keep my daughters worker


Worried about cuts in services … 

Dear Mike,

I am a guardian to a 52 year old female who is developmentally challenged and lives somewhat independently with a female who has MS. Both women have special needs and get provider services at this time. I just received a notice regarding budget cuts in Michigan and that their services may be affected. Can you tell me anymore than this notice says? I am ecspecially concerned regarding the woman I am guardian to, she was born mentally challenged and basically functions at a level of a 6 year old. She can dress, bath, feed herself, sure, but she cannot cook, figure out her medications, cannot count money, shop for herself, etc. Will she be eligle for any type of service after these cuts in October 2011?

Regards,

Worried About Cuts

Dear Worried About Cuts,

There is no way to tell how any individual will be affected in a situation like this without a whole lot more information and background knowledge. This being said … 

Read more about Worried about cuts in services


Does my Mom have the right to know what medicine she is buying and taking … 

Hello

My mom is in an assisted living facility in Akron Ohio and she always receives her medicine by mail order. When the medication arrives the nurse gives my Mom the bill, administers the medicine but won't show my Mom what she is taking. Does my Mom have the right to see what she is taking?

Thanks,

Mom's Meds

Dear Mom's Meds,

The answer is unequivocally, "yes"! She absolutely has the right to see and to know what medicine she is buying and taking. If the nurse will not  … 

Read more about Does my Mom have the right to know what medicine she is buying and taking


Eligible for any kind of assistance … 

Dear Mike,

My husband has a younger half brother who is consider to be developmentally delayed and has been living in foster care for about 10 years now. As he will be turning 18 in December his case worker has recently contacted us about him coming to stay in our home as he has no other family. The father left before he was born and their mother passed away 2 yrs ago. We feel that we should be the ones caring for him but at the same time don't think we can afford for either of us to cut back our hours at work or quit our job to stay home and care for him. Do you know if we would be eligible for any kind of assistance if we take him in?

Sincerely,

Developmentally delayed in Oregon.

Dear Developmentally Delayed in Oregon,

Thanks for writing. Your husband's half-brother is "considered to be developmentally delayed". He has been in foster care, but is turning 18 and you have been contacted about him coming to live with you. You feel that he should live with you and your husband, but are worried about cutting back on work and income in order to provide the supports he needs … 

Read more about Eligible for any kind of assistance


Does Wisconsin participate in a paid assistance program … 

Dear Mike,

Does Wisconsin participate in the paid assistance program? My mother has cancer and I help care for her. She had Medicare and a supplemental. Also what are the states that participate? I clicked on the map and it was not a yes or no making it hard to tell.

Thanks,
Hard to Tell in Wisconsin

Dear Hard to Tell in Wisconsin,

You should know that every state in the nation now provides some form of paid in-home assistance, usually funded by Medicaid. How much of what type of assistance, and to whom, varies greatly from state to state … 

Read more about Does Wisconsin participate in a paid assistance program


Caregiver wages in different states … 

Hi Mike,
I am currently the caregiver of a 20 year old quad. We currently live in Kentucky and go through the Medicaid Wavier program. They pay 24 hours per week at $8.00 an hour. He requires 24 hour a day care. We are thinking of moving to Tennessee, but I need to know if they pay more for a personal home assistant. What states would provide the better services?

Thank you,
Moving To Tennessee

You shared that you are a personal attendant for a young man with quadriplegia who currently receives 24 hours of assistance per week. You are paid $8.00 per hour … 

Read more about Caregiver wages in different states


If I move to another state who will pay for my personal assistant … 

Dear Mike,
I'm disabled and DHS is paying for me to have a personal assistance (PA). If Imoved to Clarksdale, MS and my PA came with me who would I talk to about paying them there?

Thanks,
Moving to Mississippi

The answer to your question is that it is quite possible … 

Read more about If I move to another state who will pay for my personal assistant


Looking for more support … 

Dear Mike,
How can I determine caps for total hours offered in each state? I am currently living in Illinois and receiving the maximum hours allowed, but it is still not enough. I am considering moving out of state to obtain the services that are required, but I would like to make sure that the state I move to will be likely to meet my needs before moving.

Thanks,
Looking for more support

Dear Looking for more support,

I am not aware of any way to gather all of the exact information that you want. A factor that further complicates things is … 

Read more about Looking for more support


Can I get paid to look after my son who has speech and language problems … 

Dear Mike,
I have a 4 year old son that has speech and language problems. Someone told me I can get paid for taking care of him. I am not working right now and I do really need that money for his own needs. I am in Los Angeles CA.

Thanks,
LA Mom

Dear LA Mom,
I sympathize with your predicament, but I am not aware of any program or funding stream that would pay you to take care of your son just because he has speech and language impairments … 

Read more about Can I get paid to look after my son who has speech and language problems


Can I get paid to look after my son who has a disability … 

Dear Mike,

I am a registered nurse in Ohio. I currently have a disabled son that I care for on my own. He has autism and also a heart condition. I have been missing much work lately due to his conditions. I was told I may be able to be paid to care for him full time.......a single mothers dream.....since his father stepped out of the picture things have been very difficult for us. I was recently pulled into human resources and told I have a hard decision to make...... do I want to be a mother to my disabled child or continue to work at the hospital? I told them that my child will always come first and it is sad to me that they would expect anything different. Needless to say I still work there while my son pays in the long run.......please help........can I get paid to care for him? Where do I start?

Ohio nurse.

Dear Ohio nurse,
You wrote wanting to know if you can be paid to assist your son. This type of question is the most frequent of all of those I have received … 

Read more about Can I get paid to look after my son who has a disability


Will Medicaid pay for the entire assisted living bill for my disabled husband … 

Dear Mike,

my husband of 33 years had 6 heart attacks in 5 hours in 2005. These left him with a brain injury and motor skill damage. He only has 25% of good heart muscle left. He is now 55 years old and I am 51. We have a son at home who just turned 18. I have been trying to take care of my husband at home and working 45 hours a week just to keep a roof over our heads. I recently put him in a assisted living faculty for which they took his SSD check and medicaid paid the rest. The strain was to much on me financially we almost lost the house. I had to bring him back home and I know I will not be able to give him the care he needs. How do I get medicaid to pay all hisss assisted living bill and let me keep his check for mortgage.

Nowhere to turn in Virginia

Dear Nowhere to turn in Virginia,

This is an all too common problem. Assisted Living Facilities, like nursing facilities, are within their rights to take all but a token amount of an individual's Social Security check … 

Read more about Will Medicaid pay for the entire assisted living bill for my disabled husband


Can I get paid to look after my Dad … 

Mike,

I moved to Oregon 4 months ago from California to take care of my Dad. Can I get paid for taking care of him?

Thanks,
Moved to Oregon

Dear Moved to Oregon,
Thanks for writing to me about wanting to be paid for assisting your Dad in Oregon. Several people from different states have asked this question in one form or another … 

Read more about Can I get paid to look after my Dad


Wants to get paid to care for her Mom … 

Hi Mike,

my Mom is in need of assistance I've been helping her with everything - I take her to doctor appointments and hydrobarics everyday appointments three times a week. Is there a way Ii could get paid?

Thanks,
She Wants to Get Paid

Dear She Wants to Get Paid,

The short answer to your question is: "maybe". It depends on the State in which your mom resides and whether … 

Read more about Wants to get paid to care for her Mom


Need assistance for a WWII vet … 

Mike,

I married an older man. He is a World War II veteran. We have been married for 30 years. He is 92 and is on a 100% disability pension. If I needed help taking care of him in our home in the near future - for he had a bleeding on the brain, and has a lot of heart, lung, kidney and bone disease - is there help, and if so where do I get the help from? We live in West Virginia.

Thanks,
Married to a Vet

Dear Married to a Vet

Since he is a veteran, you should definitely contact the Veterans Administration (VA). The source of his 100% disability pension is unclear, but if it is a VA benefit, then you should already have a connection … 

Read more about Need assistance for a WWII vet


Looking for a personal support worker while on holiday … 

Hi Mike,

My husband and I will be staying in Florida next winter near Orlando. My husband is a quadriplegic and I would like to hire a personal support worker for several hours a week for his care while we are holidaying. Any information you could provide would be most helpful. We are traveling from Canada.

Thanks

Canadian Travelers

Dear Canadian Travelers

You are in luck! You should be able to easily find the help that you need by taking a couple of easy steps … 

Read more about Looking for a personal support worker while on holiday


Insufficient income to pay housing costs … 

Mike,

My mother is 86 and lives in a sunrise house and nearing the end of her funds, will be left with insufficient income to pay the cost.

She has pensions totaling $17,000 per year. Do you know of any federal or state programs that can help. My father was a WWII vet and we have applied for federal funds to a max of $900 per month. Do you know of a list for medicaid approved assisted living in Northern VA.

Thanks

Mom's running out of funds

Dear Mom's running out of funds

While I do not know if there is such a list, I do think our website can be of assistance. Before I get started, though, I do want to point out that with an income of around $27,800 … 

Read more about Insufficient income to pay housing costs


What is the max allowed income I can make while still qualifying for Medicaid? … 

Mike,

What is the max allowed income I can make while still qualifying for Medicaid? I am a Missouri resident.

Thanks,

Missouri Max Medicaid Income

Dear Missouri Max Medicaid Income,

To begin to answer your question, I first need to explain that my knowledge base and the purpose of this column are to help answer questions about personal assistance services (PAS). That being said, I'll do my best to assist you … 

Read more about What is the max allowed income I can make while still qualifying for Medicaid?


Will my husband's social security affect my VA benefits? … 

Hi Mike

I am receiving benefits from the VA now, however in 2012 I can receive my husband's social security. Will the VA stop the benefits that I am receiving from them?

Yours,
Benefits Conundrum

Dear Benefits Conundrum,

My knowledge base is personal assistance services, not Social Security or, especially, VA benefits. However, I do know a little about this and our website may be of assistance … 

Read more about Will my husband\'s social security affect my VA benefits?


Wanting to start up a small agency providing support coordination to folks with disabilities … 

Dear Mike

I have, for quite sometime, wanted to start up a small agency providing support coordination to folks with disabilities. Where do I start?

Thanks,
Starting

Dear Starting

Thanks for getting in touch. You wrote that you are interested in starting a small agency to provide "support coordination" for folks with disabilities. As you will see, this is not an easy endeavor … 

Read more about Wanting to start up a small agency providing support coordination to folks with disabilities


Can I get paid to be a caregiver for my disabled child? … 

Dear Mike,

I live in Kansas state and I want to know if a mom can get paid to be a caregiver for her disabled child (home health care service)?

Yours Curious in Kansas

Dear Curious in Kansas,

Thanks for writing. You ask whether the mom in Kansas could be paid to be a caregiver (of home health services) for her disabled child. The short answer is "Maybe" … 

Read more about Can I get paid to be a caregiver for my disabled child?


Considering opening my own respite/habilitation facility … 

Hello Mike,

I have been a respite/habilitation provider for 6 years and have really been entertaining the thought of opening my own small facility to provide these services. The agency I work for does not have a center where we can bring our clients and at times it is uncomfortable working in the home. Please help me get informed on how I would go about this and how I can get more information, especially about registering and working with the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) so I'll be able to charge for my hired providers.

Thanks

Wants to Open Own Facility

Dear Wants to Open Own Facility

Thanks for writing. You state that you have been a respite/habilitation services worker for six years. You have been considering opening your own facility to provide these services … 

Read more about Considering opening my own respite/habilitation facility


Would a felony conviction prevent me from being my daughter's carer? … 

Dear Mike

I would like to find out if my felony 8 years ago will prevent me becoming my daughter's provider?

Yours,

Wondering about Felony

Dear Wondering about Felony,

Thank you for writing. You wanted to know if a felony conviction 8 years ago would prevent you from being your daughter's direct support staff … 

Read more about Would a felony conviction prevent me from being my daughter\'s carer?


Wanting to be paid to care for disabled sister … 

Dear Mike,

I have a disabled sister who I care for at home. I want to know how I would go about getting paid for this. She's already receiving SSI and Social Security benefits. I want to quit my job and care for her permanently. Is there any financial programs that can help me out. Thank you very much.

Signed,

Wants to help sister

Dear Wants,

Thanks for writing. Your question is a common one. Family members getting paid to provide services and supports to family members has become the most frequent "Ask Mike" issue; your question asks how you can be paid to care for your sister … 

Read more about Wanting to be paid to care for disabled sister


Nurse wanting to paid through clients insurance … 

Dear Mike,
I am a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in the state of Pennsylvania. I would like to know how to be able to have my clients pay me for my work and care through their insurance. It would be a help if this were possible.

Dear Hoping,

It appears that there are at least two barriers to your being directly paid … 

Read more about Nurse wanting to paid through clients insurance


Being payed to care for disabled son … 

Dear Mike,

I have been taking care of my adult son with mental and physical impairments and he is on SSD. I have been providing day care in my home for three years and I now need to stop this and take care of my son. How can I find out how to get paid to take care of him now. We live in Ohio.

Thank you

Cares for Son in Ohio

Dear Cares for Son in Ohio,

Federal rules do not prohibit your being paid to provide direct services and supports to your son … 

Read more about Being payed to care for disabled son


When will I be eligible for Medicaid? … 

Dear Mike,

I receive monthly federal disability payments of $1,325.00 based on being a widow since July 2009. When will I be eligible for Medicaid as I have severe medical problems and can not afford the doctor bills.

Waiting for Medicaid

Dear Waiting for Medicaid

It sounds like you receive Social Security Survivor and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. In any case, you will never automatically receive Medicaid … 

Read more about When will I be eligible for Medicaid?


Insurance company cutting back hours of care … 

Mike

My daughter was in a auto accident in September, 1989 which left her with lots of disabilties. Five years ago they finally began giving her 24 hours a day homecare but recently I got a letter from the insurance company stating a reduction in homecare to 14 to 16 hours per day even though there is no change in my daughters health.

I was wondering what to do because I just bought a house for us. Where do I turn for help?

Signed,

Concerned About Insurance

Dear Concerned About Insurance,

You need to understand that the insurance company is going to pay according to what was agreed upon in any settlement after the accident if the other person's insurance is paying … 

Read more about Insurance company cutting back hours of care


Does the government pay providers for respite and habilitation care for children? … 

Hello Mike,

I am currently working as a provider of respite and habilitation care for children with autism in Tucson, Arizona and I was wondering what the government pays such agencies to provide such care?

Signed,

Probing for Pay

Dear Probing for Pay,

Thanks for writing. You provide respite and habilitation services to children with autism in Tucson, Arizona and want to know how much the agency providers are paid for doing same … 

Read more about Does the government pay providers for respite and habilitation care for children?


Want to become a personal assistant for my mother-in-law … 

Hello Mike

I'm interested in becoming a personal assistant for my mother-in-law who has a mental disability. She receives Social Security for this disability and needs help with everyday living. I help her by cooking, cleaning, giving her medication, taking her to appointments, etc. I live in Chicago and have contacted The Department of Health and Human Services, The Social Security Administration, Medicaid, and a number of other agencies who can't seem to help me and keep giving me the run around. Do you have any advice or suggestions on what I steps I should take to become her paid personal assistant?

Signed

Wants to be PA

Dear Wants to be PA,

Thanks for writing. You want to know how to become a paid personal assistant for your mother-in-law who has a mental disability. You currently provide assistance with things like cooking, cleaning and medication administration, but would like to be paid … 

Read more about Want to become a personal assistant for my mother-in-law


Being paid by medicaid to care for my child in Arizona … 

Hello Mike

I'm a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) for my child in Denver, Colorado. I get paid by medicaid. I was wondering if there is a program in Arizona that does the same.

Thanks

Colorado to Arizona

Dear Colorado to Arizona,

Thanks for writing. Your question is about whether you can be paid to do in Arizona what you do now in Denver Colorado, which is to be a paid CNA for your child.

You should contact the … 

Read more about Being paid by medicaid to care for my child in Arizona


Can I get paid to take care of my father in his home? … 

Hi Mike

My Father has a home in Arizona, lives in a Montana nursing facility but wants to go back home to Arizona. I live in Oregon and am willing to move to Arizona to take care of him so he can be where he wants to live out his life.

He has had a stoke and I would like to be his care giver. Can I get paid to take care of him in his home?

Going to Arizona

Dear Going to Arizona,

Thanks for submitting a question to "Ask Mike". You write that your father would like to move from a nursing facility in Montana to his own home in Arizona City, AZ. You currently live in Oregon and would like to move to Arizona to be his care giver and want to know if you can be paid to do so?

The short answer is likely "yes" … 

Read more about Can I get paid to take care of my father in his home?


Live in son being an independent provider for his father … 

Dear Mike,

Can a live in son be an independent provider for his father?

Thank you,

Son as Provider

Dear Son as Provider,

Thanks for writing. There are a couple of things you should know about whether a live-in son can be a paid provider for a father … 

Read more about Live in son being an independent provider for his father


Can PAS services help me? … 

Dear Mike,

I have been on SSI since 1991 and on survivor benefits since 2004. I was then able to totally take care of myself, but have recently found that I have degenerative bone disease in my spine, neck and hips and that I also have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. I have recently heard from my Dr. that I may need an electric wheelchair to get around to the places that I need to go to and sometimes to just get my mail. I have been a very independent woman all my life so this is hard for me to fathom. I sometimes find it hard to clean my home now. Is there any services that can help my situation, and can PAS help me with it?

Thank you,

Looking for PAS

Dear Looking for PAS,

Thank you for writing. The succinct answer to your question is "yes"! Situations like yours are a perfect example of the reason and purpose for PAS … 

Read more about Can PAS services help me?


Disabled son's habilitation hours being eliminated … 

Dear Mike,

Arizona Department of Economic Security, Division of Developmental Disabilities (DES DDD) is trying to eliminate my disabled adult son's habilitation hours which were 70/month. The DDD worker said they were told to cut my son's hours. His hcbs which include respite, attendant care and habilitation are through Medicaid/ALTCS and they are not part of the AZ budget cuts. So far no agency I have contacted is willing to show or provide what the rules, regulations and caps are for his hcbs services.

Is any of this allowed or legal?

Thank you

Being Cut In AZ

Dear Being Cut In AZ,

The PAS Center cannot give any kind of legal advice. What I can say is that each state has the authority to set its own criteria and rules for eligibility and oversight for services and supports. You should be able to get an explanation about any changes to your son's plan of care from his case manager by asking for the information in writing … 

Read more about Disabled son's habilitation hours being eliminated


Wanting to establish a PAS programme in Kansas … 

Dear Mike,

I am looking to establish a PAS programme in Kansas. What is require to start? Do you know a consultant for PAS in Kansas area.

Thanks

Starting in Kansas

Dear Starting in Kansas,

Thank you for writing. You state that you want to establish a PAS program and you ask what is required to start. Additionally, you ask if I know a consultant for PAS in Kansas … 

Read more about Wanting to establish a PAS programme in Kansas


Disabled son on social security and father retiring … 

Dear Mike,
My disabled adult son lives with me and draws social security on his father's retirement and also a $13/month SSI check. When I retire in less than a year, will he still be eligible for the HCS program? We are currently HCS program recipients. He currently has Medicaid and isbecoming dual eligible for Medicare this year.

Please help me understand this complicated question.

Thanks!

Retiring

Dear Retiring,

You write that your adult son has a disability and that he lives with you. He receives Social Security from his father's retirement and also receives a small amount of SSI ($13.00 / month). He is Medicaid eligible. He currently receives … 

Read more about Disabled son on social security and father retiring


Auxiliary Grants in Virginia … 

Dear Mike,

My Mom qualifies for an Auxiliary Grant (AG) in Virginia. We have gone through all of the paperwork and are now waiting for an available AG bed at her assisted living facility.

A long time ago, we applied for VA benefits (my dad was a WW2 veteran who is deceased). We were initially denied, but then were shocked when we got a letter saying my Mom qualified for the VA benefit. We do not want to accept the benefit because it would make my Mom ineligible for the Auxiliary Grant. We want to cancel the benefit immediately, so that my Mom will not lose her AG eligibility. Unfortunately, dealing with the VA has been very confusing. Can you please advise us on the best way to accomplish this.

Thanks so much for your assistance.

Mom in AG

Dear Mom in AG,

Thank you for writing about Auxiliary Grants (AG) in Virginia and how they may be impacted by Veteran's Administration (VA) benefits. You wrote that your Mother had qualified for Auxiliary Grant benefits that would pay for her to reside in an Assisted Living Facility (ALF). Your Father was a WW II veteran and because of that, your Mother had finally qualified for benefits from the VA … 

Read more about Auxiliary Grants in Virginia


Mother's money will run out in two years … 

Dear Mike,

I have a question about my 92 year old mother who lives in Wichita, Kansas in a nusing home. Her money will run out in 2 years and what do we do then? Her nursing home will not take Medicaid.

Does she need to be in a home before she runs out of money who takes Medicaid and do they have to continue to take her? What do we need to be doing to help her.

Thank you,

Wondering what to do in Wichita

Dear Wondering what to do in Wichita,

You write that your 92 year old mother lives in a nursing facility and that she will spend down all of her own money in two years; at which time she will become Medicaid eligible. The problem is that the facility she is in will not accept Medicaid. You want to know if they have to continue to take her and what you should be doing to help … 

Read more about Mother's money will run out in two years


I want to be able to nurse my daughter … 

Dear Mike,

I have a 28 year old daughter with epilepsy and learning disablities.

She has had a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) for 8 years that has been caring for her. I just found out that I can care for her instead of the nurse who is not the best choice for our daughter. I went through the requirements asked of me and the Nursing brokerage had me signed on to start. I have been denied from the Ohio home care program. My daughter has been nearly seizure free and I have been the person to train the nurses anyway. We want to take her care level down from nurse-to-home health aide. The reason quoted on my denial papers read: Personal care aide services are not medically necessary, consumer needs can be met with Skilled Nursing Services.

The nurse we have now is overweight and has already had 2 nervous breakdowns and is heading towards the 3rd. I do not want to go through having a stranger back in my home. I want to care for her and do the things that since her recovery, have made her more aware and alert and able to do more active things rather than sitting in front of the TV after I leave for work.

Help. What should I do for this hearing?

Thank you,

Caring parent

Dear Caring Parent,

I am sorry I cannot always respond, nor guarantee a response, quickly enough to help in certain situations such as your hearing. Have you already had the hearing? I will share some ideas, that if not useful for your hearing, may be helpful in understanding the situation … 

Read more about I want to be able to nurse my daughter


Can I get paid to stay at home and provide care to my sister? … 

Dear Mike,

I have a sister that has mental handicaps. She is in the adult program of CPS in Arizona. I am wondering if I can get paid to stay home with her and provide care. I would do it without being paid but somebody's got to bring home the bacon. My sister would require full time supervision. Any info on this would be appreciated

Thanks,

Arizona Sister

Dear Arizona Sister,

You write that your sister has mental disabilities and is receiving services "in the adult program of CPS" in Arizona. You wonder if you can be paid to stay home with her and provide her 'care'.

All things being equal, you should be able to be a paid provider of your sister's services … 

Read more about Can I get paid to stay at home and provide care to my sister?


How do I pay a personal assistant for taking care of me when I am disabled? … 

Dear Mike,

How do I pay a personal assistant for taking care of me when I am disabled?

Sincerely,

Questioning

Dear Questioning,

You write to ask a basic, but very important question. If I understand the question correctly, you want to know where the money comes from to pay for the services.

There are four basic sources of funding for personal assistance services … 

Read more about How do I pay a personal assistant for taking care of me when I am disabled?


What is the maximum allowed income to receive Medicaid auxiliary grants for assisted living? … 

Dear Mike,

I understand that Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are extremely limited in "lobbying" either federal or state legislators, is this true? How can I learn how to "advocate" at my state capitol for issues of importance to me as a person with a disability? It seems like there are a lot of people visiting our state capitol. I know how to look up a bill on the Internet if I have a bill number; I sometimes use "key words search" but then I miss some very important bills. Are there tips on how to find all pertinent disability-related bills?

Thank you,

Cautiously spreading my wings

Dear Cautiously spreading my wings,

By and large, CILs (and most other not-for-profits) are allowed to lobby as long as certain rules and restrictions are followed, one of which is that federal funds (such as those going to CILs) cannot be used for lobbying … 

Read more about What is the maximum allowed income to receive Medicaid auxiliary grants for assisted living?


Can I get paid for helping my mother? … 

Dear Mike,

My mother who lives in Illinois, needs help with all sorts of living needs. I currently live in California but am moving to Illinois to help her. Can I get paid for this help as a personal attendant?

Thank you,

Going to Illinois

Dear Going to Illinois,

Thank you for writing. You say that your mother needs help with all sorts of things and that you are moving from California to Illinois to help her … 

Read more about Can I get paid for helping my mother?


I'd like to help advocate for home care services in my state … 

Dear Mike,

I'd like to help advocate for home care services in my state. How can I get started? I keep hearing about Independent Living Centers, do they have separate names instead of Independent Living Center of such a state. It seems so complicated for a new person! I'd like to find other consumers of home care who advocate. My Independent Living Center says they cannot give me other advocates names due to confidentiality.

Thank you,

Want to Help

Dear Want to Help,

Thanks for writing to me and thanks most of all for volunteering to advocate for PAS, aka "home care" … 

Read more about I'd like to help advocate for home care services in my state


Disabled and would like to move to Arizona … 

Dear Mike,

I live in the state of Illinois where I have a personal assistant as I am disabled. I would like to move to Arizona where I have family and the winters would be easier on me. Can you please give me guidance?

Thank you,

Warm Weather Seeker

Dear Warm Weather Seeker,

Thank you for writing. You write that you live in Illinois and you use attendant services there. You would like to move to Arizona where the weather is milder (you got that right!!). You ask for guidance … 

Read more about Disabled and would like to move to Arizona


Is my husband's sister mentally challenged? … 

Dear Mike,

I have been looking online for information but I have been unable to fing anything helpful. My husband's sister has immigrated to California. It is my personal opinion that she is mentally challenged, can you tell me if there is an agency or somewhere she can go to so she can be diagnosed?

Thank you,

Seeker of Information

Dear Seeker of Information,

It is unclear what you mean by "mentally challenged". I will assume that you are referring to a person with a mental health disability and/or someone with a cognitive or intellectual disability. People with these types of disabilities are … 

Read more about Is my husband's sister mentally challenged?


Can a parent be paid to stay home and care for their child with a disability? … 

Dear Mike,

I have a question regarding consumer-directed attendant care services for children in West Virginia. I had heard from a parent that I work with in Virginia that parents in West Virginia can be the paid caregiver of a child with a disability receiving waiver services. This is the opposite of Virginia and I was just wondering if there was any truth to that. Can a parent/primary caregiver in West Virginia be paid to stay home and care for their child with a disability if that child is receiving waiver services?

Thank you,

A caring parent

Dear Caring Parent,

The basic rule of Medicaid is that parents of minor children CANNOT be paid caregivers unless they are so rural and/or the services are so technical and specialized that no other provider is available. This is almost a case-by-case situation … 

Read more about Can a parent be paid to stay home and care for their child with a disability?


Parents residing at an assisted living facility and are running out of money, what options do they have? … 

Dear Mike,

In your answer about auxiliary grants, the max monthly income is $1,075 per person per month in my area of Virginia (Radford/Pulaski). My parents currently reside at an assisted living facility in Pulaski, Virginia. Between the two of them they receive just over $1600 per month. My dad receives a little over the maximum between his government worker pension and his social security, but my mother earns a bit less than $500. Is there a couple maximum? Between the two of them, they are clearly under a combined individual max. They are currently expending their savings and will run out of money in about 16 months. They have no property or other valuables to sell. The savings that they are now using resulted in the sale of their home. What options do they have?

Thanks for your time.

Gentle Reader

Dear Gentle Reader,

Thank you for your question. You bring up problems that are all too common. Unfortunately, your parents probably aren't going to be eligible for any financial assistance at least until … 

Read more about Parents residing at an assisted living facility and are running out of money, what options do they have?


How can we start our own home health aide business? … 

Dear Mike,

My sister and I are both great home health aides. The both of us would like to start our own home health aide business. We know how important it is for the family to get the best for their loved ones. We were wondering, do you know how we can get this business started?

Thanks for your time.

Future Home Health Proprietors

Dear Future Home Health Proprietors,

Best of luck with your endeavor. Your question may be fairly straightforward, but the answer, unfortunately, is extremely complex. I can offer advice on the home health part, but for the starting of a business side … 

Read more about How can we start our own home health aide business?


Is any training available for a new PAS agency owner? … 

Dear Mike,

I am a new owner of a PAS agency in Texas. I was trying to find out if there is any training available for new business owners? Also, I am looking for the software used for billing.

Thank You,

Texas Agency Owner

Dear Texas Agency Owner,

Thanks for writing. I wish you every success with your new business. Providing PAS is challenging and rewarding. Your first question dealt with finding training … 

Read more about Is any training available for a new PAS agency owner?


Which assisted living facilities in Virginia accept Medicaid auxiliary grants … 

Dear Mike,

I was wondering which assisted living facilities in the state of Virginia accept "Medicaid Auxiliary Grants"? I've called quite a few and so far only two facilties are accepting these grants but what other facilties accept these auxiliary grants; there has to be more than two... I've used other resources such as my state website which didn't offer much help along with a host of other resources but I seem to be stuck...

Thank You,

Stuck in Virginia

Dear Stuck in Virginia,

I checked with sources in your state about "Medicaid Auxiliary Grants" and whether assisted living providers will accept them or whether they are even aware of them … 

Read more about Which assisted living facilities in Virginia accept Medicaid auxiliary grants


Guide us to the governing agency of PAS in Georgia … 

Dear Mike,

I am the CEO of a non-medical home care company in the state of Georgia. We would like to be added to the agency provider list. Could you please provide phone numbers, email and web addresses that would guide us to the governing agency of PAS in Georgia, dealing with waiver 1915c.

Thank You,
A Home Care CEO

Dear Home Care CEO,

On the PAS Center website, you can find state agency information,under the State Information link on the left hand side of any screen. Once there … 

Read more about Guide us to the governing agency of PAS in Georgia


Wanting to live independently with PAS support … 

Dear Mike,

I am a social worker in a Medicare psychiatric partial hospital program in Louisiana. I have a 48 year old female client in our program who is currently living in a nursing home near our program. She is a displaced person from Hurricane Katrina. Her father lost a home in coastal Mississippi and their home in New Orleans was damaged.

Our client is medicaid and medicare eligible due to a serious mental illness (Schizoaffective Disorder). She also has ambulatory problems (she uses a walker) due to either a series of strokes or muscular dystrophy (diagnosis is inconclusive at this point).

My question is this; our client wants to live independently with PAS support in southern Mississippi near where her father is rebuilding his home. Are there sufficient PAS services available to adults with mental illness in Mississippi so that she could move there upon discharge from the nursing home and be eligible for services? She is currently a life long resident of Louisiana, but her father is selling the New Orleans home. She is also interdicted and her brother is curator. She is very stable at this point and we see no need for her to continue with nursing home care. She wants to live independently. Could you give me any information about the availability of PAS services and how to access them. I am familiar with services in Louisiana and I know that it is still rather difficult to access them and it usually requires a waiting period.

Signed, Gentle Questioner

Dear Gentle Questioner,

Thank you for writing. The question you ask is complicated and even though you have asked about PAS, more assistance could be needed in order to best support this person … 

Read more about Wanting to live independently with PAS support


Does Kansas offer a Personal Care Option (PCO) program? … 

Dear Mike,

Could you please tell me if Kansas is one of the 32 states that offers a PCO program?

Signed, Kansas Programs

Dear Kansas Programs,

The very brief answer to your question is: "No, the state of Kansas is not one of the states that offers a PCO program." However, I have taken the liberty of expanding my answer to your question in order to provide additional information to you and a wider audience of interest … 

Read more about Does Kansas offer a Personal Care Option (PCO) program?


Need help finding a PAS agency … 

Dear Mike,

I live in Chula Vista, California with my mentally challenged son and I'm having trouble finding an agency that has PAS. Is there a central agency in California or is there one in San Diego County where I can apply at to get service for him, any feedback would be helpful.

Signed, Agency Seeker

Dear Agency Seeker,

I have some contact information for you that I hope you find useful. Before I get to that, however, I would like to take the liberty of providing … 

Read more about Need help finding a PAS agency


We might not need to each end up in a nursing home, wasting away … 

Dear Mike,

I was just diagnosed with MS after two years of thinking the symptoms I had resulted from a very low-speed rear-end car crash on 6/16/05. After getting a runaround from my own insurance company, I finally got a closed brain MRI showing the disease. I am on SSD and Medicare.My worst fear is of going into a nursing home. I now live with my father, who is 78 , in our family home. He is ill also, but does pretty good for his age. Reading this site made me start thinking for the first time that we could actually get our own home in shape, with the help of the government, to remain here in spite of further adjustments that would need to be made to the house--WE MIGHT NOT NEED TO EACH END UP IN A NURSING HOME WAREHOUSED AND WASTING AWAY.

I CANNOT BELIEVE I WAS LED TO THIS SITE. I CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH.

I intend to read completely through this information and act on it not only for my own and my father's benefit in order to remain in our own home, but would also advocate in my town and with my federal, state and local lawmakers. If you have any other suggestions as to how I could also advocate in other ways for this superior cause, I would be more than grateful to hear back from you by mail or email.

Signed, Happily at Home

Dear Happily at Home,

I am really glad to hear that the website information was useful to you and is helping you and your dad to remain in your own home instead of going to a … 

Read more about We might not need to each end up in a nursing home, wasting away


Am I self-employed or is my daughter my employer? … 

Dear Mike,

I am a retired parent, living in Michigan and residing equally with my developmentally disabled 46 year old daughter. I receive earnings for home help services which I give to my daughter. My question is am I self-employed or is my daughter my employer? If my daughter is my employer who is responsible for tax reporting?

Signed, Taxed in Michigan

Dear Taxed in Michigan,

There are two related issues that arise from your questions. The first is to … 

Read more about Am I self-employed or is my daughter my employer?


How many states offer the personal assistance program? … 

Dear Mike,

How many states offer the personal assistance program?

Signed, Curious

Dear Curious,

Currently, 32 states have the "Personal Care Option" (PCO) Medicaid state plan service. Of this … 

Read more about How many states offer the personal assistance program?


Where can I find funding for adult day care in Florida? … 

Dear Mike,

I am the owner of a new adult daycare in Florida. Where can I find funding sources to refer my members to? I've contacted many agencies for seniors and elderly and no one seems to know. Help?

Thank You,
Searching.

Dear Searching,

For funding adult day-care in Florida, it looks like there are two avenues for you to explore … 

Read more about Where can I find funding for adult day care in Florida?


What is the maximum number of hours that Utah will subsidize a PAS worker? … 

Dear Mike,

What is the maximum number of hours that the state of Utah will subsidize a PAS worker to care for my physically disabled friend? She will be moving to Utah in June of 2006.

Thank you for your help.

Friend Indeed.

Dear Friend Indeed,

My answer will be a bit more general than you would, perhaps, expect … 

Read more about What is the maximum number of hours that Utah will subsidize a PAS worker?


Finding attendants willing to travel to my rural residence and work for me … 

Dear Mike,

I live in a rural area and it's tough to find attendants willing to travel to my home and work for me. Do you have any suggestions?

Rural Resident.

Dear Rural Resident,

This is a tough problem all over the country. Many programs do not provide mileage reimbursement,but you should see if it is available, and if not,see if an exception can be made for rural cases where this issue become critical … 

Read more about Finding attendants willing to travel to my rural residence and work for me


How can I get more PAS hours from my state program … 

Dear Mike,

The state program that provides my PAS services doesn't give me the hours I need per month. I do have some hours, but it's not enough to take care of all my needs. How can I request more hours from my state program?

Need more Hours.

Dear Need more Hours,

There are roughly five basic approaches I would suggest you use. You can do them in order or all at the same time … 

Read more about How can I get more PAS hours from my state program