Before hiring support staff, you must understand the requirements regarding hiring set by the source of funding.
Some Medicaid, for example, requires hiring services from an approved home-healthcare provider agency.Residential supports are not an entitlement. The county board distributes the money in the most efficient way possible. Families have to make compromises to manage the funds received.
Advice for Applications
Accuracy is essential when describing your child’s needs on any form that will help determine benefits.
When filling out applications for services, think about the child’s needs in a different home. Would he or she know how to adjust the water temperature if the faucets were different? Would he or she be able to navigate a new neighborhood?
It is also essential to imagine what your child would be able to do if left alone. Would he or she know who was safe to let in the house? Would your child remember to take her medications? Can he or she handle an emergency?
How you describe your child should reflect all the assistance that he or she needs in order to ensure physical health and safety, as well as emotional well-being.
CAUTION: Supplementing with Separate, Additional Staff
You do have the option of supplementing the amount Medicaid pays and the services paid for by a Waiver by hiring separate, additional staff.
Be aware of the following issues with this strategy:
- Do not use agency staff for additional work “on the side” or “under the table.” The agency will not cover the staff for such work with Worker’s Compensation or liability insurance. If hiring separate staff, clarify staff responsibilities with the agency.
- It may helpful to hire separate staff only for specific support, such as taking your child to community activities or tutoring.
- Avoid hiring separate staff for homemaker-personal care — those services that the agency provides. This creates training, communication, and liability issues.