Medicaid’s Personal Care Services (PCS) program provides services to Nevada residents who need assistance to continue to live at home due to a chronic health issue or disability. By providing services in the home that assist eligible applicants with everyday activities, such as eating, walking, dressing, preparing meals, and light housecleaning, individuals who would otherwise require nursing home placement are able to continue living independently in their own homes.
With PCS there is an option for Self-Directed Care, also known as consumer directed care, meaning individuals in this program act as the employer of their caregiver. They (or their Personal Care Representative) are able to hire, train, oversee, and fire the caregiver of their choosing, given the provider is qualified for the position. An Intermediary Service Organization (ISO) handles the budgetary aspects. Self-Directed Care is available throughout the state of Nevada and offers flexibility in not only choosing the provider, but also in determining when and how care should be provided. Family members, including siblings and adult children, can be hired and paid as caregivers unless they are legally responsible for the care recipient. Spouses and other Legally Responsible Individuals (LRIs) may not be paid for providing personal care under this program.
Provider Agency Care, an alternative to Self-Directed Care, is also available, but is limited to the areas where there are provider agencies. Via this option, the individual selects the agency in which to provide care, but it’s the agency that acts as the employer.
PCS program is administered under the Nevada Medicaid program.
In order to be eligible for PCS, applicants must be residents of the state of Nevada. They must be disabled or have a health issue that results in a need for assistance with ADLs, also known as Activities of Daily Living. These activities include mobility, toiletry, dressing, grooming, and eating. An in-home assessment must be done by a licensed occupational therapist or physical therapist to determine the level of functioning and needs of the applicant.
In addition to the functional need, eligibility for Medicaid in Nevada also has financial criteria and these change based on the age of the applicant and the year of application. In 2022, a single applicant is permitted a monthly income not exceeding $841. The value of one’s countable assets is limited to $2,000. However, a home is exempt should the owner’s equity be valued under $636,000. Married applicants, with both spouses applying, are permitted slightly higher income and assets. In 2022, a couple can have as much as $1,261 / month in income and $3,000 in assets. It is worth noting that the state of Nevada also offers personal care under its Elderly Waiver, which has higher income limits.
To learn more about gaining Medicaid eligibility, it is recommended one connect with a Medicaid planning professional.
The Personal Care Services program provides eligible applicants with an in-home Personal Care Aide, of their choosing, who provides assistance with ADLs, such as getting in and out of a wheelchair or bed, using the bathroom, bathing and grooming, dressing, eating, continence, and mobility. Assistance with Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) may also be provided. This includes aid with laundry, preparation of meals, grocery shopping, and light housecleaning, such as dusting and vacuuming.
To learn more details about this program, one can read the state’s Personal Care Services Program Manual. However, readers should be aware that the manual is not intended for a consumer audience.
In order to receive Personal Care Services, a request for services must be made. You can do so by calling 800-525-2395. Select option 1 and then select option 4. Alternatively, one can visit the state’s long-term services and support webpage.