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Thread: Can an HHA freelance?

  1. #1

    Can an HHA freelance?

    I found out through another website that an HHA cannot work independently as a freelancer AND keep their certificate valid as they must satisfy their required in-service training ONLY through an HHA agency - soooo..... How does one freelance? Can an HHA work independently at all? I see a ton advertising on Craigslist (some do say they have a certificate) - Is it a question of what they call themselves say a Caregiver or Companion? I want to freelance as my hourly wage is pathetic through the agency I work for - It seems unfair that an HHA has to be a slave to an agency because it's really an employment agency and that hits us where it hurts - my agency makes $10 for every hour I work - I make $10 an hour - I should have that extra $10 - Alan

  2. #2
    Senior Member willingtocope's Avatar
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    Having run a computer consulting company, I can assure you the agency you work for does NOT pocket that extra $10. They pay the employer portion of FICA, unemployment taxes, and various other taxes for the privilege of having employees. Do they offer any benefit? Holiday pay? Vacation pay? Overtime? All that would cost them money. In general, we paid employees between 65-75% of the billing rate, depending on how hard they were to place. We generally made between 10-15%...the government took the rest.

  3. #3
    Anyone can work as a personal care attendant (PCA). A certificate as a CNA or HHA is not required for private hire. You could continue to work part-time for the HHA and also take on private clients in your free time if you so choose (although it is best if you do not reveal this to the agency). This has the advantage (for some) of having access to benefits such as health insurance in addition to a little higher pay. I don't think you are going to find a person with a disability who is private paying for PCA care at a $20/hr. rate very often, esp. for someone without a lot of experience, and you are unlikely to have any benefits including Social Security, health insurance, workers comp, etc. etc. working for a private employer. Most insurances that do cover any non-licensed nursing care will only pay through an agency, so if you are looking for private jobs, most likely the employer is paying out of their own pocket.

    (KLD)

  4. #4
    When hiring PCAs or whatever the directly employed person is called there are requirements to make it legal. For example, when employees earn more than $1800 a year the employer is required to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. There are also state taxes, such as an unemployment that also needs to be addressed. Essentially PCA employers are subject to the same tax laws that small businesses have to contend with. These laws vary from state to state so setting up record keeping takes some research. The disabled person can hire people or businesses to do that, but it adds to the cost. That is why insurances and disabled persons usually use agencies who do all those things.
    Last edited by SCIfor55+yrs.; 08-10-2014 at 10:13 AM.
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  5. #5
    That is technically true, but most people do NOT do that and consider PCAs independent contractors (we included this in our contract with them).

    (KLD)

  6. #6
    Senior Member willingtocope's Avatar
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    Doesn't matter if you consider them to be independent contractors...it matters what the IRS thinks. The IRS says... www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Independent-Contractor-Defined

    Note...if you control "...what will be done and how it will be done.." then they're not independent. That means YOU are responsible for withholding taxes, etc. There are also laws regarding who must be paid overtime...and today, under the Affordable Care Act, who must be given access to health insurance.

  7. #7
    Willingtocope is correct as far as South Carolina is concerned, as well as the IRS. I was audited by the state 3 years ago and I am glad that I follow the law. It could have been a hefty fine. Moreover, if SS is not paid on the income the employee will not get credit for it when s/he retires. It catches up one way or another.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

    See my personal webpage @
    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

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