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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.
In order to be a Home Care Allowance recipient, there is no age requirement. However, one must be a legal Colorado resident and receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or be enrolled in the Colorado Aid to the Needy Disabled program. As of 2017, individuals are permitted a monthly income up to $735, or in other words, an annual income up to $8,820. Countable resources, which do not include a home's value, given the applicant lives in it and it does not exceed a value of $560,000, cannot exceed $2,000 (or $3,000 for married couples). An assessment of functional need may also be required.
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.