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    chantelkreynold's Avatar
    chantelkreynold Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Dec 6, 2014, 05:56 PM
    Can my husband work and still receive PCA services?
    My husband was recently hired to do 2 hours of light cleaning a day at the church. He will be hired on as a paid staff member. But he is currently receiving PCA services due to him being labeled as disabled. He has scoliosis and fibromyalgia. He faces pain on a daily basis but he wants to try and work since he can't win his social security case that he has been battling for 8 years.

    Would he still be able to receive his PCA services even if he is working? He receives about 2 hours of help in the morning 5 days a week to help him get dressed, make his breakfast and lunch for the day, and in and out of the tub. I don't think he'll be able to do this position long but I support him wanting to try! Please let me know if you know.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #2

    Dec 6, 2014, 06:26 PM
    Each state (if this is the US) has their own PCA requirements and rules. He needs to ask the doctor who approved him for a PCA. Whether or not he can and should work doing light cleaning 2 hours a day needs to be discussed in detail (exactly what duties he will have) with his doctor. Plus, he will have an income adjustment, and that will affect his status too, unless he's paying for the PCA himself.
    Disability under Social Security allows for part time work, so that's not a problem, BUT only AFTER he has SSD! It's sort of a Catch 22, and difficult for people who are partially disabled, which is what he is, in some sense. To get SSD, you have to be TOTALLY disabled and totally unable to work, for the entire waiting process after applying. Working even 2 hours a day is going to ruin his 8 years of trying to get SSD. That's just the way it is. If he hasn't consulted a disability lawyer all these 8 years, he should now, even though they take several of the first checks for their fee.
    I know it doesn't sound right to say that you can work once you are totally disabled but not during the application and waiting process, but I assure you that that is the way it is.
    AFTER getting SSDI, all the work and pay has to be reported, and there is an income limit. There are several rules about the income over months and years but it would take too long to go into them here. He really needs someone, a social worker or advocate, who is well versed in all this, and knows how PCA rules in his state work too - a separate issue.

    (If he is nearing age 65, this is an entirely different discussion!)

    What I would do: tell the church all of this. See if they will let him work as a volunteer (maybe a stipend out of petty cash) for a few days to see if he can do it. You aren't sure he can, so why ruin his chances for SSDI?
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,272, Reputation: 7690
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    #3

    Dec 6, 2014, 09:11 PM
    No disrespect, and meaning this in a good way. How, if he can not dress his self, is he going to do cleaning work, at a church.

    If he is able to do physical cleaning work, how is he not able to do basic work at home?
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #4

    Dec 6, 2014, 10:32 PM
    I think I can understand how he feels. He wants to do something, and he's in limbo with SS denying his claim. His wife is supporting him (or she'd be making his breakfast and lunch). The help with clothes and so on isn't vital in the sense that he just lies in bed helpless on the 2 days when a helper isn't there, but it helps with each little task that causes pain when you add them all together. Church cleaning doesn't have to mean scrubbing floors and toilets and vacuuming, chores very hard on the spine. It can mean dusting and cleaning candlesticks and putting hymnals back in the holders behind each pew. Of course if the job really is all the cleaning, I would say nip this idea in the bud now, or do it for 3 days as I suggested. Or cut it to an hour, for a little petty cash. It is good to get out and to feel useful.

    To summarize the SSDI and the PCA: they are different in that SSDI is federal and PCAs are state. SSDI rules are the same in all states; PCA rules will vary.
    The little job is going to prevent getting SSDI.

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