Personal Assistants : FAQ

Potential Personal Assistant FAQ

  1. What are the requirements to work as a Personal Assistant?
  2. What makes Consumer Directed Choices different?
  3. Where do I interview for positions and who do I meet with?
  4. What type of paperwork do I need to fill out?
  5. What kinds of benefits are offered?
  6. Is this a regular 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday job? Is there weekend work?
  7. If the Consumer is my Employer, how do I get paid?
  8. What is considered acceptable experience? What levels of experience are Consumers looking for?
  9. I see that some Consumers require catheter care, bowel regime and other “nursing type services.” Can I legally perform these tasks without a license?
  10. Do I need a diploma/degree?
  11. Can I work for more than one Consumer?
  12. Can I do this job if I don’t have a car?
  13. What happens if I get hurt on the job?
  14. How do I make myself available as a Personal Assistant?
  15. I can only work certain hours. How do I find a Consumer who needs a Personal Assistant when I am available?
  16. What if I prefer to work with a specific gender?
1. What are the Requirements to Work as a Personal Assistant?
To be hired as a Personal Assistant for a CDPA Consumer:

  1. You must be 18 years old.
  2. You must be hired by a Consumer/ Designated Representative using CDPA services.
  3. You must be legally eligible to work in the United States and have a Photo ID.
  4. You can NOT be the spouse or custodial parent of the Consumer who is hiring you.
  5. You must NOT have been excluded from working in Medicare, Medicaid, or any other federal health care programs.
  6. You must complete an initial and annual Health Assessment (as required by the New York State Department of Health).

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2. What makes Consumer Directed Choices different?
Consumer Directed Choices (CDChoices) is a Fiscal Intermediary that helps Consumers use New York State Medicaid Program called Consumer Directed Personal Assistance(CDPA) to direct their own home care. Consumers using this program have the power to recruit, hire, train, supervise, and terminate their own Personal Assistants, rather than relying upon a stranger to choose their home care providers for them.As a Personal Assistant, therefore, your Employer will be either a Consumer or a Consumer’s Designated Representative, not CDChoices. This means that you’ll be coordinating everything directly with the person you care for. Your Employer will work with you to arrange a schedule that works for both of you, and he or she will train and supervise you to perform the services you’ll be providing (as outlined in his or her plan of care). CDChoices, meanwhile, provides payroll services, benefits administration, and other administrative services on behalf of the Consumer.
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3. Where do I interview for positions and who do I meet with?
Once you and a Consumer/Designated Representative are in contact with each other and the Consumer decides to interview you, the two of you will discuss when and where to conduct the interview.
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4. What type of paperwork do I need to fill out?
After the Consumer interviews you, checks your references, and chooses to hire you, the two of you must fill out enrollment documents. These documents include tax forms, employment verification, and agreements as to the roles and responsibilities of each party. The Department of Health also requires that you complete a health assessment.Both the enrollment documents and the health assessment must be submitted to CDChoices before the Consumer will be able to schedule you to work.
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5. What kinds of benefits are offered?
Once you’ve been hired by a Consumer utilizing CDChoices, you’ll have the opportunity to become eligible for a range of benefits. These include:

  • Paid time off
  • Holiday pay
  • Health and dental insurance
  • A 401(k) retirement plan
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Disability
  • Unemployment
  • Supplemental benefits, such as life insurance and medical bridge insurance

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6. Is this a regular 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday job? Is there weekend work?
Your work schedule will be based upon the requirements of the Consumer who hires you. Some Employers need Personal Assistants seven days a week, while others only need someone a few days a week. Some Personal Assistants work as little as one or two hours a day, whereas others may work several hours a day. It all depends on what each individual Consumer needs.With our Recruitment Assistance Intermediary System (RAIS), you’ll be able to search for a Consumer whose needs line up well with your availability.
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7. If the Consumer is my Employer, how do I get paid?
You and the Consumer complete a weekly time sheet attesting to the number of hours you worked that week. Once a Consumer submits the time sheets, CDChoices issues you a paycheck on his or her behalf.
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8. What is considered acceptable experience? What levels of experience are Consumers looking for?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to required experience. Each Consumer determines what experience or qualifications they want their employees to have. There is no special certification or aide training that’s required unless the Consumer specifies it. Some Consumers prefer the ease of training an experienced Personal Assistant, while others appreciate inexperienced Personal Assistants who are willing to learn how to do things the Consumer’s way. No matter how much or how little experience you have, you may be able to find someone who thinks you would be a great fit. If you have a profile on the RAIS, listing any experience you have may make yourself easier to find for Consumers who are looking for someone just like you.
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9. I see that some Consumers require catheter care, bowel regime and other “nursing type services.” Can I legally perform these tasks without a license?
Yes, you can. Consumers using our program are legally allowed to train and supervise the Personal Assistants they hire to perform tasks that fall under the scope of nursing.
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10. Do I need a diploma/degree?
Only if a Consumer personally requires it.
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11. Can I work for more than one Consumer?
Yes, you can be hired by more than one Consumer. Although just like any other time someone has multiple jobs, you – as the employee – need to communicate with your Employers about any potential scheduling conflicts. Also, please know that there is paperwork you need to complete every time a new Consumer hires you.
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12. Can I do this job if I don’t have a car?
Most likely. When searching for Employers in CDChoices’ Recruitment Assistance Intermediary System (RAIS), you have the option of only viewing Consumers who live on or near bus lines, so not having a car doesn’t have to be a problem.
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13. What happens if I get hurt on the job?
When you work for a Consumer who uses Consumer Directed Choices, you are covered by Workers’ Compensation insurance.
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14. How do I look for a job as a Personal Assistant?
You can fill out a profile on CDChoices’ Recruitment Assistance Intermediary System (RAIS). Once your profile is active, you’ll be able to search for prospective Consumers. You can limit your search by location (including nearness to a bus line), gender, language, and schedule. RAIS also allows Consumers to search for job candidates, so make sure your profile is complete and accurate so that you’re easy to find.
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15. I can only work certain hours. How do I find a Consumer who is looking to hire a Personal Assistant when I am available?
When you create your RAIS profile, you’ll be asked to list the days and times you’re available to work throughout the week. When Consumers are looking for Personal Assistants, they can conduct specific searches for people who are available to work during the hours they need assistance. But remember that if your availability changes, update your profile right away to ensure accurate matching.
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16. What if I prefer to work with a specific gender?
You can specify this on your RAIS profile. In addition, you can filter your results by gender when searching for prospective employers.
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