PCAForever.org - Supporting the MA PCA Program

PCA Program Overview

Jan. 2015 PCA Rally at the statehouseIn Massachusetts, 26,000 – 30,000 PCAs work for approximately 20,000 employers. This program directly affects over 50,000 people in MA, either by giving them independence, or by giving them a job! It’s a win-win program.

The Personal Care Attendants Program is still evolving in Massachusetts. The basis of the Personal Care Attendants program is that the person with a disability is the actual employer of their PCA. The employer determines when their PCA comes, and the employer determines exactly what they need the PCA to do. The employer hires, and fires, and fills out time sheets. In the past, employer had to find PCA's on their own. In Massachusetts, Mass PCA Directory provides an online mechanism for both finding a PCA and finding a PCA job. Follow the Mass PCA Directory on Facebook at facebook.com/MassPCA . And visit our For Consumers page for advice on being an employer.

In most cases, it costs less for people to live in their own homes than to live in nursing homes, yet (see below) an institutional bias exists and some states do not have reimbursements for PCAs. National Public Radio reported on this issue in December, 2010.
"I've learned that being forced into a nursing home can threaten your quality of life at any age. If I had been less assertive, my life would've been destroyed by a handful of people who had no legal guardianship but felt that my need for personal care assistants gave them the authority to control my life. Having a disability doesn't mean a death sentence from participating in the world alongside everybody else."
---by Amy
The 2009-2010 graduates of the 1199SEIU PCA Leaders in Training Program compiled a handbook for PCA's. Download the handbook in English: pca_handbook_english.pdf or in Spanish: pca_handbook_spanish.pdf.

PCA Program Participation Process

In order to be eligible for services, a MassHealth member must require physical assistance in two or more Activities of Daily Living, and have approval from a medical doctor or nurse practitioner for PCA services.2015 PCA Rally at the statehouse

The Fiscal System in Massachusetts

The latest player in this complex system is the 1199 SEIU (Service Employees International Union). Some PCAs are members of this union. SEIU negotiates contracts with the state, and union members receive negotiated benefits. The consumer/employer is represented in bargaining by the Personal Care Attendant Workforce Council (http://www.mass.gov/pca/).

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ADL: Activities of Daily Living include mobility (including tranfers), medications, bathing and grooming, dressing and undressing, range-of-motion exercises, eating and toileting.

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