Yes, you should read this if you live in Washington state, and you want to apply to get personal care in your home paid for by the state. In this guide, we explain the assessment the state agency (Department of Social and Health Services, or DSHS) uses to see if you can get help with personal care. Read Questions and Answers about COPES to learn more about the financial requirements to get personal care and how much you would pay for personal care.
During your assessment, a case manager asks you about help you have gotten. DSHS or your Area Agency on Aging uses the info they get from your answers to decide what services you can get, such as personal care hours and nursing services.
After your assessment, DSHS sends you a letter. It explains the services DSHS believes you need. It should have information about how much help you need with each task, and if you already get any free help.
This guide can help you get ready for your assessment. It is important for you to understand what the assessor means and how your answers will affect how much or what care you can get.
This guide can also help you after your assessment to understand the document DSHS sent you and decide if they made any mistakes.
Much of the information DSHS gathers for the assessment does not affect your services. Here we explain only the information affecting your personal care hours. We do not, for example, talk about an extra assessment done by the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) called the "Support Intensity Scale" (SIS).
DSHS must follow the rules in the Washington Administrative Code (WAC). You can read the WAC at any public library, or online at apps.leg.wa.gov/wac. Most of the rules about personal care hours are in WAC 388-106.