The Home Care Allowance (HCA) is a financial assistance program for elderly, low income and / or disabled Colorado residents. It is intended to help program participants avoid placement in a nursing home by paying for unskilled home care services, which allow them to continue living independently.
The program’s name is somewhat misleading in that the financial assistance can be used for a variety of purposes. It is not strictly limited to home care. For the most part, program participants use the allowance for non-medical care, which includes assistance with the activities of daily living, such as bathing, eating, and basic mobility. Chore services that help the individual maintain their home’s safety and upkeep are also permitted under this program, as is respite care and other forms of caregiver support for informal (unpaid) caregivers.
This program is designed under the consumer direction model of service, which allows program participants flexibility. Payments may be made toward any provider of the recipient’s choosing. This includes paying family members to provide assistance services, as long as they are over the age of 18.
The Home Care Allowance is not an entitlement program, which means that assistance is dependent on the availability of funds.
The candidate must be eligible for, and receive, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or be enrolled in the Colorado Aid to the Needy Disabled – State Only program (AND-SO). As of 2020, individuals are permitted a monthly income up to $783, or in other words, an annual income up to $9,396. Countable resources, which do not include one vehicle and the value of one’s home, given the applicant lives in the home, cannot exceed $2,000 (or $3,000 for married couples).
An assessment is made of the candidate’s capacity to complete Activities of Daily living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily living (IADLs). Both the number and frequency of activities they require assistance with are considered.
Other Eligibility Criteria
There is no age requirement. However, the beneficiary must be a legal Colorado resident. There is no length of residency requirement. Thus, newcomers to the state are eligible as well as long term residents.
Beneficiaries cannot concurrently receive assistance from the Home Care Allowance program and the Elderly and Disabled Medicaid Waiver or the Adult Foster Care program
Usage of the Home Care Allowance, with the maximum allotted amount of $605 per month, is largely left to the discretion of the program participant. Note that an assessment is done and payment amount varies based on one’s level of need. As of 2020, there are three monthly payment tiers based on one’s need: $330, $472, and $605. The types of eligible services include: