What is the Personal Assistance Services Program?
Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 30:4G-13 et seq., the Department of Human Services provides support to individuals with permanent physical disabilities in meeting their daily needs for personal care and assistance with activities of daily living in order to live independently within their community. The Personal Assistance Services Program, administered by county designated agencies in each of New Jersey's 21 counties and within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available to it, shall assist self-directed adults with permanent physical disabilities to:
- Be employed in a paid occupation (as defined in the definition of "employment" under N.J.A.C. 10:140-1.4);
- Receive training or education related to employment; or
- Actively participate in community-based independent living (that is, volunteering).
Which counties will the program be available in?
The law establishes the program in each of the 21 counties in the State of New Jersey. County government has the responsibility for designating an office of county government or another community-based agency that has experience in providing information and services for persons with disabilities, to administer the program locally.
Who will administer this program?
The law established the Personal Assistance Services Program in the New Jersey Department of Human Services. The program is currently administered by the New Jersey Division of Disability Services.
Program services are delivered through the county designated agency responsible for the local administration of the program, subject to the approval by the Commissioner. In order to provide services, the county designated agencies enter into a contract for the provision of services, which includes an allocation for applicant assessments, consumer reassessments, funding for the purchase of personal assistance services and for program staffing and local administration. The counties are responsible, under the supervision of the Division of Disability Services, for consumer selection, assistant recruitment and local operation of the program.
What are Personal Assistant Services and who provides them?
Personal assistants are individuals with training or related experience in providing in-home services who directly assist a physically disabled person in carrying out routine non-medical tasks such as bathing, dressing, transfer to a wheelchair, meal preparation, laundry, shopping, household management, and transportation.
Who is eligible to receive these services?
Consumers served under the program are subject to the following eligibility criteria:
- permanently physically disabled
- capable of self-direction and able to supervise a personal assistant
- reside in the State of New Jersey
- currently employed, attending school, participating in a job training program, or volunteering a minimum of 20 hours per month.
Are there financial eligibility criteria?
No, under the law there are no financial eligibility criteria for consumers. Those persons who qualify under the current Social Service Block Grant guidelines receive the service at no cost; those with incomes in excess of those guidelines are expected to contribute toward the cost of their services based on a sliding fee scale.
How are the hours and type of service established?
Consumers selected for the program receive up to 40 hours of service per week, based on their individual needs. A plan of service specifying the type of service required and the hours requested, is completed by the applicant in conjunction with a registered professional nurse, social worker, or rehabilitation professional. A professional assessment will be conducted to determine the person's capacity for self-direction, and the appropriateness of the requested plan of service to meet their needs. A recommendation will be made to the county office regarding the person's suitability for the program and award of hours. Additional services that a consumer may be eligible to receive through other funding sources (Medicaid, private insurance, etc.) are taken into account in formulating the consumer plan of service.
Where can I get further information about the program?
Further information on the Personal Assistance Services Program may be obtained by contacting:
Lisa Lombardo, PASP Consultant (973)-940-5200 ext. 1370 or email@example.com
New Jersey Department of Human Services
Division of Disability Services
P. O. Box 700
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0700
(609) 292-7800 or 1-888-285-3036 (toll free)