As of 10/1/2017, this manual has been retired. For current policies, procedures, and standards for the Texas Workforce Commission Vocational Rehabilitation Division, please refer to the following manuals:

In this manual, references to DARS now refer to TWC. The manual includes both links to public content and links to content available only to staff.

Chapter 23: Personal Assistance Services

23.1 Introduction

Personal assistance involves a range of services provided by one or more persons. They are designed to assist an individual with a disability with on-the-job or related daily living activities that the individual typically would perform if they did not have a disability. Personal assistance services may be provided when the consumer is actively involved in a program of other vocational rehabilitation services necessary to the achievement of an employment outcome, e.g., vocational training, college training, attending CCRC, supported employment and job placement.

23.2 Range of Such Services

Personal assistance may involve assistance with daily living activities such as these in the following categories:

23.3 Locating Personal Assistance Services (PAS)

The information and referral coordinator (I&R) at local centers for independent living (CILS) may be a source for locating personal assistance services for the purpose of assisting the consumer with independent living. The local DHS office and home health agencies are sources for personal assistance services when the consumer's needs also include health maintenance services delegated by a registered nurse.

In locating PAS, the consumer should be involved to the greatest degree possible in determining:

The counselor and consumer may find information on local PAS resources from:

Note: If possible, the consumer should:

23.4 Responsibilities

The consumer is responsible for determining the qualifications of the personal assistant. The prospective personal assistant should have some orientation and training in providing personal assistance services. Due to the individualized nature of the services provided, the consumer is primarily responsible for instructing the personal assistant regarding specific needs. The consumer is also responsible for informing the counselor about issues related to the on-the-job performance of the personal assistant.

23.5 Comparable Services

(Revised 02/13)

When appropriate for the needs of the consumer and available on a timely basis a comparable service such as the assistance of a family member or friend may be available at no cost.

In some areas the Department of of Aging and Disability Services contracts for personal assistance services for consumers who are Medicaid eligible.

23.6 Fees

Fees for personal assistance services are negotiated by the consumer, personal assistant, and counselor, with the final determination made by the counselor. Fees vary depending on the needs of the consumer, the availability of personal assistants, and other factors. The maximum fee DBS will pay is $15.00 per hour.

To receive reimbursement for personal assistance services, the consumer or service provider must submit a monthly written statement to DBS that contains

23.7 Consumers Hiring Their Own Personal Assistants

Consumers who hire their own personal assistant shall be considered the employer under applicable employer tax laws, and shall be responsible for:

23.8 Initial Planning

When personal assistance services are included in a consumer's rehabilitation program it must be with the understanding that the consumer will eventually have to assume financial responsibility for the service. Usage will be reviewed by the supervisor or designee each 90 days.

Assistive devices which allow the consumer to do things independently should be explored.

23.9 Duration of Services

Personal assistance services are provided only while the consumer is actively involved in a program of other VR services. Services may be continued for 90 days after a consumer enters employment and extended one additional month with documented determination of need and approval from the Field Director.