Key Takeaways

  • What a PCA does
  • How to sign up for PCA services
  • How to get MassHealth insurance to pay for PCA services
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Finding the right care at home can be crucial to ALS symptom management. Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) assist people with long-term disabilities who live at home and can provide support to people living with ALS.

What is a PCA?
Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) assist people with long-term disabilities who live at home.

MassHealth funds a PCA program. This program is participant-directed which means that you are the employer and are provided with funds to hire your own PCA. This differs from traditional home health care programs where agencies provide you with a worker. The PCA program is designed to give you control over your own personal care needs.

What does a PCA do?

PCAs provide help that enables you to live more independently. The duties of the PCA vary depending on the nature of your disability and your daily schedule. PCAs can help with Activities of Daily Living (ADL) such as:

  • Mobility/transfers
  • Taking medications
  • Bathing and grooming
  • Dressing and undressing
  • Range of motion exercises
  • Eating
  • Toileting

If you live alone or if your caregiver is unable to assist, MassHealth may approve time for assistance in the following Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs):

  • Shopping
  • Laundry
  • Meal preparation and clean up
  • Light housekeeping
  • Traveling to medical appointments
  • Special needs such as care and maintenance of wheelchairs and adaptive devices, completing the paperwork required for personal care services

Resources from MassHealth

For more detailed information on PCAs, please visit the guide on requesting PCAs, or download the PCA Consumer Handbook (PDF).

Providers requesting insurance authorization for services should consult the documents and instructions at

To contact the Personal Care Attendant Program:

30 Taunton Green, Unit 8
Taunton, MA 02780

Telephone: 800-924-7570
Fax: 508-880-3218

To contact the Fiscal Intermediary Program:

43 Old Colony Avenue
Quincy, MA 02170

Telephone: 877-479-7577
Fax: 800-359-2884

To find out more about Commonwealth Care health insurance:

Better Health Connector

The PCA program should reflect your current needs, so you should contact Options at 800-924-7570 or 508-880-7577 if your personal care needs change at any time.