Connecticut Personal Care Assistance (PCA) Program

Page Reviewed / Updated - Mar. 2017

Description

For Connecticut residents who need help completing their activities of daily living, state Medicaid officials created the Personal Care Assistance (PCA) Program. PCA pays for the cost of a personal care attendant to assist the participant with their activities of daily living as well as provides for adult day care and medical alert services.

This program was originally modeled on the national Cash and Counseling framework, allowing program participants to elect which service providers and personal caregivers to use. Spouses and Powers of Attorney are barred from being hired as paid caregivers through this program. The PCA is an optional program that can be added to various waiver services, including the Connecticut Home Care Program for the Elders.  

With the introduction of Medicaid's Community First Choice (CFC) option in Connecticut, persons who are using the PCA are automatically moved to the CFC. The advantage is that the CFC option does not have waiting lists for services, as are common for this program.

 Did You Know?  In 35 years, the number of persons living past 100 is projected to be 15 times higher than it is today.

Eligibility Guidelines

The PCA program serves both the aged 65 and over and individuals aged 18 – 64, who have a recognized disability. Under a unique option, working individuals with disabilities may have significantly more income and assets than the standard criteria.

In addition to the age requirement, applicants must need assistance with their activities of daily living, such as bathing, eating, meal preparation or administration of prescription drugs.

Applicants must be financially eligible for Connecticut Medicaid, which considers both their income and countable resources.

CT Personal Care Income Limits - single applicants are limited to $2,205 in monthly income per the 2017 cost of living adjustments. Married individuals can exceed that limit provided their spouse is not also applying for Medicaid. 

CT Personal Care Asset Limits - single applicants can have up to $1,600 in countable resources. This limit has not changed in 2017. An owner-occupied home, primary vehicle and some personal effects are not considered as countable assets.
Persons who cannot afford their cost of care, but are over Medicaid's limits may still qualify through the Medically Needy pathway. The state has a program that evaluates the individual's care costs and their income. If it is calculated they cannot meet their care costs, they can qualify for Medicaid provided they spend-down the income over the limit on their medically necessary care costs. 
Medicaid planners help to re-organize a person's finances using trusts, annuities and asset conversion techniques that can preserve a family's assets and qualify the applicant for Medicaid. Find Medicaid planning assistance.

 

 

 

Benefits and Services

Personal caregivers can aid participants with their bathing, dressing, and hygiene, among other routine tasks. In addition to personal care services to help participants with their activities of daily living, the PCA program pays for subscriptions to Personal Emergency Response services, meal preparation and clean up, access to adult day care programs, modifications to their living quarters, assistive equipment, and wellness coaching.  

 

How to Apply / Learn More

More information about the PCA program can be found in this downloadable PDF. However, it should be noted that some of the information in the brochure may be out of date as it was published in 2009. Interested applicants can call the state Department of Social Services at 1-800-445-5394. Persons can also go the Department’s website to check their eligibility and apply using their online application tool. This program is available throughout Connecticut but it is not considered an entitlement program and waiting lists of several months are common.