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Thread: Employing a personal HHA versus an agency

  1. #1

    Employing a personal HHA versus an agency

    Hello all, this is my first post so please bare with me. I am a C5/C6 quad and I have run into a situation where I will have to start paying out of pocket for caregiver services. Though my family has been great about helping me, I need someone who can be with me during the day, instead of my family, to help me with daily tasks (i.e. going to school, shopping, going to the gym, etc.). I am trying to find out which is more beneficial as well as cost effective to receive services.
    Going with a personal HHA, I know I need to consider taxes and salary. Where can I go to find out how to do all the tax stuff and is it worth while to do this? On the other hand, is it better to go with an agency and not have to worry about everything that goes with employing someone myself?

    Thanks,
    Ian

  2. #2
    If you have unlimited funds, you might want to use an agency, but on the other hand, you will actually have LESS choice of who works for you, and what they can do through an agency than if you hire on your own and arrange your own background checks. It sounds like what you need is actually a PCA (personal care attendant).

    Here a couple of resources you may want to check out when considering hiring your own PCAs (they don't have to be certified HHA or CNAs...in fact sometimes you do better with someone who does not have any healthcare background):

    http://www.craighospital.org/sci/met...assisthire.asp

    www.tbi-sci.org/pdf/pas.pdf

    http://www.wa-ilsc.org/toc2ack.html

    http://sci.washington.edu/info/forum...caregivers.asp

    http://www.banis-associates.com/books/attend.htm

    http://www.pva.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=8115

    http://www.suite101.com/content/pers...-part-1-a10521

    http://www.amazon.com/Personal-Care-.../dp/193260328X

    http://www.spinalcord.uab.edu/show.asp?durki=21684

    Also, spend some time reading some of the older posts on this forum. There have been many previous discussions of pros and cons of each method for obtaining PCAs, and tips on how to go about recruiting, hiring, contracting, supervising, and when needed, firing PCAs.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    Thank you for the info.

  4. #4
    I also was wondering about this same question.
    My aunt has decided that she no longer wants to have the caregivers sent in
    anymore and would prefer I took over her care. Someone mentioned to her
    a possibility of also cutting out the agency and hiring me directly? Is that possible?
    Where can I lookup information on that here in Tx? Keep in mind she isn't sci,
    but is pretty much 90% blind. Any information is much appreciated.

  5. #5
    Who is currently paying for her agency care? Private pay? Private insurance? Medicare waiver? This will make a difference in whether or not she can use non-agency, and if she can employ you or not. Programs vary by state (and in my state by county as well).

    (KLD)

  6. #6
    At the moment she is receiving her care, I believe through Medicaid. Her situation is pretty much the same as my Mom's was.

  7. #7
    I've done both. First as a caregiver and now as one who has a caregiver on salary. Had I not been a caregiver and worked with two different agencies, I would have never met my current employee. I do know a little about having a private employee (taxes. etc). The Federal taxes are easy. The state ones, vary by state and for me, got to be a hassle. The jury is not in yet, since this will be the first year I have done this but hopefully I have all my ducks in a row.
    Last edited by lwoobub; 11-19-2010 at 03:32 PM. Reason: miss spelling

  8. #8
    Can they be hired 1099?
    "What has happened, has happened; What I am going through, I shall rise above; And what will come, I will meet with courage"~Hazrat Inayat Kahn

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