Page Reviewed / Updated - Feb. 2018
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.
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 candidate must be eligible for, and receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or be enrolled in the Colorado Aid to the Needy Disabled program. As of 2018, individuals are permitted a monthly income up to $750, or in other words, an annual income up to $9,000. Countable resources, which do not include a home's value, given the applicant lives in it and it does not exceed a value of $572,000, 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 of activities with which they require assistance and the frequency with which they require assistance 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, therefore newcomers to the state are eligible as well as long term residents.
Usage of the Home Care Allowance, with the maximum allotted amount of $530 per month, is largely left to the discretion of the program participant. Note that this amount may vary based on geographic location within the state of Colorado. The types of eligible services include:
The Home Care Allowance is a Colorado Department of Human Services program. Interested parties should contact their County Department of Social Services office. An application can be downloaded here.