What is the Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Program?
The Personal Care Attendant (PCA) program is delivered by MassHealth to provide funds for people with disabilities (PCA Consumer-employer) to hire Personal Care Attendants to assist with activities of daily living.
What is a Personal Care Attendant (PCA)?
A PCA is a person recruited and hired by an individual (PCA Consumer-employer) to physically assist in performing tasks, such as:
- bathing and dressing
- denture care
- help with toileting
- meal preparation and feeding
- housekeeping and shopping
- help with ambulation and transfers
Who is the employer?
PCA Consumer-employers are responsible to hire, train, manage, and, if needed, terminate the PCA. The PCA Consumer-employer is listed as the employer on the I-9 and W-4. PCAs are not independent contractors, taxes are withheld.
What is required to be a PCA in Massachusetts?
- Legally able to work in United States
- Understand and carry out instructions of the PCA Consumer-employer
- At least age 14.5 years old with working papers
What should be considered to become a PCA in Massachusetts?
- It is at each PCA Consumer-employer’s discretion to run a CORI, SORI or drug test
- Working full time (up to 50 hours/week) or part-time (as few as one hour per week)
- Each PCA Consumer-employer has their own preferences for worker certification, licensure or educational attainment
What are the benefits for PCAs?
- $15.00/hour (effective July 1, 2018)
- Earned sick leave
- Unemployment insurance
- Workers compensation
- Free training opportunities through Home Care Training Benefit (1199 SEIU):
- CPR/First Aid
- Blood borne pathogens
- Communication skills
- Topics in computers
- Transfers and Mobility
- Alzheimer’s and Dementia
- Medication safety
- PCAs are eligible for college tuition vouchers after completing a year of, at least, part-time employment
- PCAs are eligible to complete the Certified Nurse Aide program after completing a year of, at least part-time, employment
Are there any restrictions on who can be hired as a PCA?
A person cannot be hired if he/she is the PCA Consumer-employer’s spouse, parent/foster parent (if PCA Consumer-employer is a minor), or surrogate (legally responsible decision maker).
PCA New Hire Orientation
All PCAs hired after January 2014, are required to complete a one-time, mandatory, 3-hour PCA New Hire Orientation within six months of their hire date. PCAs that need to complete this required orientation will receive a letter from their fiscal intermediary (payroll agency) with information needed to register. The three fiscal intermediaries are Stavros, Northeast ARC or Tempus Unlimited.
The PCA Consumer-employer will decide to send their PCA to a group session or deliver the PCA New Hire Orientation themselves. The PCA will be paid to attend the orientation, which needs to be scheduled during non-work hours.
What do I need to do to get a job as a PCA?
Visit the PCA Workforce Council’s new PCA referral directory at www.MassPCAdirectory.org to register and complete an application for employment