Personal Care Attendant Workforce Council
 

COVID-19 Resources for Consumer-Employers and PCAs

Updated April 1, 2021

The PCA Workforce Council has created a special COVID-19 section of its web page to provide important programmatic updates for Medicaid consumers self-directing their own care and the Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) that work for them.  This page is not intended to be an exhaustive resource page on COVID-19.  For the most comprehensive and up-to-date information related to COVID-19 and Connecticut’s response, please visit the official state COVID-19 Web page https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus

If you are fining yourself without a PCA due to COVID-19 please contact your Care Manager immediately.  If you are experiencing a true medical emergency contact 911.

 

NEWS AND UPDATES

Paid Leave Programs - *Updated April 1, 2021*

President Biden recently signed the American Rescue Plan Act (Act).  The Act extends and expands the two Paid Leave programs related to COVID 19 through September 30, 2021:

  1. Paid Sick Leave - up to two weeks (80 hours) of paid time-off.  This benefit is available to all PCAs no matter how long they have worked for an employer; and

  • Expanded Family and Medical Leave (EFMLA) - up to 12 weeks of paid time-off. This benefit is available to PCAs who have worked for an employer for at least 30 days. 
  • Eligible PCAs will have access to these benefits from April 1, 2021 – September 30, 2021.

     

    IMPORTANT CHANGES TO THE PROGRAMS:

    • Extends Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave: Paid Leave benefits set to expire on March 31, 2021 have been extended tough September 30, 2021.

    • Resets the eligibility clock for all employees: Workers who previously exhausted paid leave benefits prior to April 1, 2021 may access the full paid leave benefits should they need to take paid leave for a qualifying COVID related reason during the period of April 1, 2021 – September 30, 2021.
    • Adds two new qualifying reasons for both paid leave options:
      • An employee is obtaining an immunization related to COVID-19 or recovering from any injury, disability, illness or condition related to such immunization.
      • An employee is seeking or awaiting the results of a diagnostic test for, or a medical diagnosis of, COVID-19, when such employee has been exposed to COVID-19 or the employer has requested such test or diagnosis.
    • Expands the qualifying reasons for Expanded Family and Medical Leave:  Expanded Family and Medical Leave used to only be available if it was needed for childcare reasons related to COVID.As of April 1, 2021, the qualifying reasons for Expanded Family and Medical Leave now mirror the same eight qualifying reasons for Paid Sick Leave.  Additionally, all 12 weeks of Expanded Family and Medicaid Leave are eligible to be paid, whereas prior to April 1, 2021 there was a two week waiting period before 10 weeks of paid leave kicked in.  As of April 1, 202,1 this two week waiting period for leave that begins on or after April 1, 2021 has been eliminated and the full 12 weeks of leave is payable beginning on day of the commencement of qualifying leave.

    IMPORTANT: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded FMLA are paid for with additional federal funding and do not impact Individual Consumer-Employer budgets in any way.

     

    PCAs may be eligible to use both programs.

     

    For more information about the benefit amounts, eligibility criteria, application process and the rights of consumer-employers and PCAs please view the resources below. 

     

    Please note: The Frequently Asked Questions documents will be updated as needed.

    Frequently Asked Questions for Consumer-Employers

     

    Employer Paid Leave Poster     English 

     

    Fiscal Intermediary Intake Forms to Apply for Paid Leave

    Paid Sick Leave Intake Form   English  | Spanish 

    Paid Expanded Family and Medical Leave Intake Form English | Spanish

     

    *NEW* Emergency Supports for Consumer-Employers During COVID-19 

    During the COVID-19 Pandemic, DSS and DDS have established emergency procedures for:

    • Approval of PCA Overtime

    • Increasing Individual Budgets

    • Hiring New Staff

    • And more …

         For information on these new options and how to access them during the COVID-19 crisis, please review the memo below that pertains to the agency through which you receive services:

    DSS - including all Consumer First Choice Recipients *Updated October 13, 2020*

    DDS Self-Directed Programs

     

    Moratorium on New Hire Orientation Requirement  - *Updated April 1, 2021*

     

    The PCA Workforce Council and SEIU 1199NE puts the health and safety of consumer-employers and their Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) above all else.  Therefore, in light of COVID-19, the decision was made on March 15, 2020 to cancel all New Hire Orientations until further notice. Fortunately, the 1199 Training and Upgrading Fund (TUF) has been able to launch a virtual orientation program using the virtual platform Zoom. Therefore, the requirement for all PCAs hired on or after January 1, 2020 to attend new hire orientation is back in effect. This notice provides information about the PCA orientation program and when your PCA will be required to complete it.

    When must orientation be completed?

     

    PCA’s hired on or before January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020, who are still currently employed, must complete an orientation before May 8, 2021 as a condition of employment.

     

    All PCAs hired as of January 1, 2021 are required to complete an orientation within 90 days of the date of hire. A PCA who has not completed orientation within that timeframe cannot work as a PCA until the orientation is complete. 

     

     

    Resources for Additional Information

    Unemployment Insurance: https://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/

    State of CT COVID-19 Information: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus

    State of CT COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions: Includes information on assistance available during the COVID-19 for issues such as: rental and mortgage assistance, utility assistance; internet assistance and HUSKY Health.  https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Coronavirus/COVID-19-FAQs.pdf?la=en

    2-1-1 Resource Guide of Community-Based Programs: For help identifying and connecting with basic needs programs like food, utilities, healthcare, child care, diapers, and more, visit https://uwc.211ct.org/covid19resources or call 2-11

     

     

     

     

    The 4th Annual Employer Forum Is In The Books!

     Thank you to all of the consumer-employers who attended.

    You made the day a success!

     

    All of the Materials from the November 2, 2019 Forum Can Be Found Here

     

    Overview of the Day

    The PCA Workforce Council      

    Electronic Visit Verification - It's Here !

    I Have To Do What?  Your Responsibilities as An Employer or Employer of Record

    Sunset Shores Payroll Tips

    Allied Payroll Tips

              

     __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Contact Information
    Email: PCAcouncil@ct.gov
    Phone: 860-418-6370 (please leave a message)

     

    Members

    • David Guttchen (Chair)
    • Kathleen Flaherty
    • Dawn Lambert
    • Denise Paladino
    • Adam Prizio

     


     _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

     

     

     

     


    Information About PCA Orientation

     

     

    Employers Choosing to Provide the Orientation Him/Herself

    Employers that choose to provide the orientation him/herself must following these steps:         

    1. Complete the Opt-Out FormThe form must be completed and returned to your fiscal intermediary within 14 days.  You may mail or fax the form.  The contact information for your fiscal intermediary is below.
    2. Inform your PCA of their requirement to attend the Union-Only portion of an orientation group session.  Under the collective bargaining agreement between the Workforce Council and the union that represents your PCA, 30 minutes of the orientation covers workers’ rights and responsibilities presented by a Union representative.  The first 30 minutes of every group session will cover these topics.  Registration for group sessions is covered below.
    3. Provide the rest of the orientation to your PCA.  You must follow the standard curriculum.  Orientation must be provided during non-service hours.  Your PCA will be paid $45.00 for completing the full orientation you provide and union-only portion of the orientation group session, which will not be counted against your service budget.
    4. Once completed, return the Employer Orientation Certification form.  Completing and returning this form promptly will ensure your PCA receives credit for completing orientation and is paid the orientation stipend.  Orientation is not complete until you have returned the Employer Orientation Certification form AND your PCA has attended the union-only session.

     

    Fiscal Intermediary Contact Information

    Allied Community Resources
    860-627-5986 (fax)
    1-877-722-8833 (phone)

    Sunset Shores
    1-866-380-0149 (fax)
    1-800-887-0647 (option 1) (phone)

     

     

    Orientation Group Sessions

    Orientation group sessions are provided by the 1199 New England Health Care Employees Union and Training & Upgrading Fund under a contract with the Workforce Council.  For a list of orientation group sessions, click here.  Register now online by clicking here.

    For more information regarding PCA orientation and training please contact the 1199 Training & Upgrading Fund at 860-804-4869.

       


    Meetings

     

    Documents

     

     


    Recruitment/Retention/Referral Workgroup
     
    Members

      Mary Caruso
       

    Meetings 
    • June 4, 2014: Minutes
    • July 10, 2014: Agenda | Minutes
    • August 7, 2014: *CANCELED*
    • September 3, 2014: *CANCELED*
    • October 7, 2014: Agenda | Minutes
    • November 4, 2014: *CANCELED*
    • December 3, 2014: *CANCELED*
    • June 3, 2015: *CANCELED*
    • July 8, 2015:  Agenda |  Minutes
    • August 12, 2015:  Agenda | Minutes
    • September 2, 2015: *CANCELED*
    • October 7, 2015: *CANCELED*
    • November 4, 2015: *CANCELED*
    • December 2, 2015: *CANCELED*

     


    Training Workgroup
    Members
    • Greg McMahon
    • Sheila Mulvey
    Meetings
    • October 9, 2014: Minutes
    • November 5, 2014: Agenda | Minutes
    • January 7, 2015: Agenda | Minutes
    • February 4, 2015: *CANCELED*
    • February 19, 2015: Minutes
    • March 4, 2015:
    • April 1, 2015: Agenda | Minutes
    • April 22, 2015: Agenda | Minutes
    • May 6, 2015: *CANCELED*
    • June 3, 2015: *CANCELED*
    • July 8, 2015:  Agenda | Minutes
    • August 12, 2015:  Agenda | Minutes
    • September 2, 2015: *CANCELED*
    • October 7, 2015: *CANCELED*
    • November 4, 2015: *CANCELED*
    • December 2, 2015: *CANCELED*