Family Caregivers

An Option for IDD Individuals: What You Need to Know

Many Individuals living with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) reside with and are cared for by a Host Home Provider that is associated with a residential program through agencies like Evergreen Service Providers. But sometimes, the needs and/or preferences of an Individual suggest that another situation may be more suitable, including living with a family member.

In 2008, Colorado established the Family Caregiver Act, which was fully implemented in 2010. This legislation provides broader choices for Individuals who are already receiving services funded by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF), in terms of where and from whom services are received. Eligible family members who meet state requirements can be paid for providing this care.

The Family Caregiver Act for IDD Individuals—Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Family Caregiver Act?
The Family Caregiver Act was passed by Colorado legislators in 2008 and fully implemented in November 2010. This legislation provides broader choices for Individuals who are already receiving services funded by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF), in terms of where and from whom services are received, and allows family members to be paid caregivers.

Can any family member qualify to be a caregiver?
Not all family members qualify to serve as a Family Caregiver. Those who are considered to be legally responsible for another family member – such as the parent of a minor child or an Individual’s spouse – are not eligible to be paid caregivers through this model.

What services can be provided?
Services may include help with meals, house cleaning, medication management, assistance with bathing/dressing/personal hygiene, tasks of daily living, transportation to appointments/classes/day programs, and other activities. The services provided must meet the Individual’s needs as specified in their annual Service Plan and identified by their Interdisciplinary Team (IDT).

Who makes up the Interdisciplinary Team (IDT)?
This support team will include the Individual, family members, friends, the Individual’s Case Manager, allies, advocates, providers, or anyone else the Individual chooses who can assist with decision-making on their behalf.

What requirements must caregivers meet to qualify for payment under the Family Caregiver Act?
Family members who are interested in acting as caregivers must receive the same training as other service providers, such as Host Home Providers that are associated with residential programs. They must also fulfill the same monitoring requirements and documentation of the Individual’s status and activities. With appropriate training and certification, Family Caregivers can be reimbursed for services they provide to their IDD family members.

How is the caregiver’s work monitored?
The caregiver will typically work through a Program Approved Service Agency (PASA) or Community Centered Board (CCB) and must meet the requirements to be an employee or independent contractor, depending on how the agency is structured.

How is the amount of funding paid to a family caregiver determined?
The amount of funding available for family-provided services is based on the level of need identified for each Individual, based on guidelines established by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF).

Will our Social Security benefits remain intact when we become a Caregiver for our family member?
Yes, all Social Security benefits remain intact.

Are there specific requirements for the residences of IDD Individuals?
Housing for IDD Individuals, whether it is the family home or another residence, must meet certain Housing and Urban Development (HUD) quality standards to maintain a healthy and safe environment, including having adequate emergency exits, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers.

What other residence requirements are there?
The residence must provide the freedom for IDD Individuals to go about their daily activities on their own to the extent they are able, and facilitate help with those activities when necessary. In addition, the Individual should have a key to the home (or some other way to come and go) and all residential environments must have bedroom and bathroom doors that can be locked by the Individual.

What else should I know?
As with all services to IDD Individuals, the model for this service option is person-centered, with consideration first for the wishes of the Individual, while providing expanded living options, choice of providers, and greater service flexibility. Using a Family Caregiver can provide creative and flexible solutions for those Individuals who prefer or need alternatives to typical residential programs.

How do I get more information about designating or becoming a Family Caregiver?
Learn more at https://ddrcco.com/accessing-services/family-caregiver or contact a Community Centered Board or Program Approved Service Agency such as Evergreen Service Providers. We’ll walk with you every step of the way.

You can rest assured that we’ll walk with you each step of your journey.

Have more questions? Download our flyer or contact us for more information today.