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New Jersey Assistance for Community Caregiving, or JACC for short, is a non-Medicaid program that provides a variety of care services and supports for elderly residents that require assistance with their activities of daily living, such as eating, bathing, and dressing, and are therefore, at-risk of nursing home placement. Services are provided for program participants in their homes, in the homes of caregivers, or in adult day care centers. Services are also provided for the primary caregivers of qualified participants in the form of respite care.
JACC offers program participants the option to choose their own services providers for several approved services. To avoid confusion, it should be mentioned that this model of care delivery is referred to by a variety of names including participant direction, consumer direction, cash and counseling, participant employed provider and client employed provider. For services such as attendant care, chores and transportation assistance, nearly anyone can be hired to provide assistance including family members and friends so long as they meet the program's requirements. Unlike in many states, in NJ, spouses and the adult children of aging parents are included in the list of relatives that can be paid.
The JACC program also covers minor home modifications to improve home access or safety. Examples of this are wheelchair ramps, widening of doors to allow for wheelchair access, and walk in tub replacements for dangerous showers.
In addition to being New Jersey residents and at least 60 years of age, there are also financial and functionality requirements to be eligible for this program.
Functional - persons must need "nursing home level care". However, they must live at home, in a rental property, or with a family member or friend. They cannot live in a residential care facility, such as adult foster care, assisted living, or a nursing home.
Financial - The income limit is 365% of the Federal Poverty Level. For a single, unmarried applicant in 2017, this amount is $3,668 / month. For a couple, this amount is $4,938 / month. Assets or countable resources (which do not include the value of a home or personal effects) must be less than $40,000 for a single person or $60,000 for a couple.
Income and assets cannot be so low that the applicant is also eligible for Medicaid or a Medicaid HCBS Waiver (approximately $2,205 / month in income and $2,000 in assets). Individuals in this situation will qualify for the Medicaid Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) instead, which provides similar services. In addition, one cannot simultaneously be receiving services from the New Jersey Alzheimer’s Adult Day Services Program or the New Jersey Statewide Respite Care Program.
A broad array of services and supports are available via the JACC Program. For some individuals, services are provided free of charge, while others will be required to make a co-payment. Rest assured that any co-payments would be well below the market rate for care services in NJ. Co-payments are based on a sliding scale on the participant's income. The total value of the services provided to a single applicant cannot exceed $7,200 in one year or $600 / month.
Participants and their caregivers can receive any of the following services / benefits:
This program is overseen by the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Aging Services, and is administered by local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) offices, which also serve as an Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC). To apply, call 877-222-3737 to contact your local office. A list of locations is available here.
One can download a PDF brochure about the program here.