People with Disabilities


PCA Choice

The PCA Choice option offers you greater control and choice. By choosing this option, you the consumer are acting as the employer of your direct support workers. That is referred to as “participant employer.” For more information, please see Participant Employer Option. You are responsible for the finding, hiring, training, scheduling and firing of your staff. You are also responsible for finding your own back up staff and developing your own care plan. You must pick a PCA Choice provider agency by the date listed on your service agreement letter.

  • What does a PCA Choice provider agency do?

    Both traditional PCA and PCA Choice agencies:

    • Bill the state for PCA services
    • Provide qualified professional supervision
    • Bill the state for qualified professional supervision
    • Pay and withhold taxes for personal care assistants and qualified professionals
    • Get criminal background checks done for staff
    • Maintain written agreements with you, personal care assistants, qualified professionals and responsible parties
    • Assure your staff have completed required training
    • Maintain enrollment as a PCA service provider
  • What am I responsible for under PCA Choice?

    Under PCA Choice, you must:

    • Find, hire, train, schedule and fire your staff
    • Find back up PCA staff
    • Monitor and evaluate your staff
    • Maintain a written agreement with your PCA Choice provider agency
    • Maintain documentation of PCA tasks and actions
    • Work with your qualified professional to make sure your health and safety needs are met
    • Develop your care plan, with help from your qualified professional if needed
    • Sign time sheets
  • Is PCA Choice right for me?

    Consider the following questions:

    • Do I want the responsibility of finding and supervising my own staff?
    • Do I want greater flexibility in scheduling PCAs?
    • Do I have a back up plan if my regular PCAs cannot work?
    • Is it difficult to find PCAs in my region?
    • Do I have friends, neighbors or family who could be my PCA?
    • Do I want more control over my care?
  • How do I find a provider?

    You can choose a PCA Choice provider agency from a list you may receive at your assessment. You may also search and see choosing a provider.

  • Can I use more than one agency?

    You can only have one PCA Choice agency. You cannot use both a traditional PCA provider agency and a PCA Choice provider agency at the same time.

  • Are there any consumer tools that can help me use PCA Choice?
  • How do I find potential PCAs?
    • Ask people you know if they want to be a PCA
    • Check with other people with disabilities about PCAs
    • Contact disability-related organizations or agencies for recommendations
    • Place an ad in the local newspaper or online
    • Place a flyer at local colleges and universities, church, libraries and other community boards
  • What should I say in my ad or flyer?
    • Keep it short and to the point
    • Explain specifically what you need the PCA to do
    • Read other ads for ideas
    • Include basics of job, hours
    • Include preferences, non-smoking, valid driver’s license
    • Don’t list your full name, address
    • Don’t include
    • too much information
    • Don’t include discriminatory words, race, gender, age
    • Don’t use jargon or acronyms
  • How do I make a decision?

    Think carefully about the people you interviewed.

    • How did the person respond to your questions?
    • What did the person respond to questions?
    • What information did you get from references?

    Ask yourself:

    • Did this person seem uncomfortable about any questions or duties?
    • Did you feel comfortable with this person?
    • Was there anything that stood out in the interviews? 
  • What do I do once I’ve chosen my PCA?

    Before starting work, the PCA must:

    • Pass the background check
    • Complete necessary paper work with your PCA Choice provider
    • Complete the required training.
  • How do I train and orient my PCA?

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