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The Kansas Senior Care Act (SCA) is a non-Medicaid program that offers elderly state residents the opportunity to receive care services and support in their homes or primary places of residence. Funded at the state level by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) provided under the Senior Care Act, SCA is administered by the state's 11 local Area Agencies on Aging. The specific services available are determined in each county, but generally include personal care and other forms of non-medical, in-home support.
Services provided under this program that do not require medical training are available to be self-directed. This includes personal care and homemaker services. Phrased another way, the program participant can select from whom they receive care, as well as manage the selected caregiver. An interesting aspect of self-direction is that because the participant is free to select their service provider, family members can be hired in these roles. In most cases, spouses cannot be hired and are not eligible to be paid. However, there are some exceptions, such as a participant who lives in an area so rural there isn’t another caregiver available to provide services.
The SCA Program has eligibility criteria with regards to the applicant's age, residency, functional ability and financial status.
Age – applicants must be at least 60 years of age. Unlike many programs, an exception is not made for persons under the age of 60 who have a disability.
Residency – applicant must be legal residents of Kansas. Newcomers to the state are eligible just as are long term residents. Priority is not given based on duration of residence.
Functional Ability - Applicants must be professionally assessed and found to require assistance with two or more activities of daily living (ADLs) and with three or more instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). Definitions here.
Financial Status - While there technically are no income or asset limits, there is a sliding scale for services based on one’s income and assets. These guidelines are staggered and complicated. They also change each year in July (this page was last updated in March, 2018). In simple terms, single individuals with monthly income less than $2,091 in 2018 should be eligible for some financial assistance. (This figure will change to $2,112 on 7/1/18). However, that threshold may be lower for persons with considerable liquid assets. Persons with monthly income less than $1,012 and with less than $10,000 in liquid assets receive assistance free of charge (without co-pay requirements). Although outdated, granular details of the complex financial criteria are available here.
Services provided under the Senior Care Act are selected to help individuals continue to live independently, outside of a nursing home environment. While each individual is approved for a different variety of services depending on their needs, these can include case management, attendant care, respite care, homemaker and chore services, adult day care, and transportation assistance. Via attendant care and homemaker services, assistance may be provided with bathing, grooming, dressing, mobility, shopping, housecleaning, medication management, laundry, meal preparation, and more.
There is a monthly spending limit per program participant in 2018 of approximately $1,445, but this does not include the cost of the participant assessment, case management, or any one-time service. For a one-time service, the spending limit is also $1,445. The average beneficiary receives services valued at approximately $200 per month.
The costs of services range from free to full cost on a sliding scale based on income, assets, and family size. Most services are free for individuals whose incomes are less than 100% of the Federal Poverty Level and who have less than $10,000 in countable assets.
The SCA Program is managed separately by each of the 11 Kansas Area Agencies on Aging. To learn more about the program or to apply for assistance one should contact their local AAA office. Limited information is also available on the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services website.