H. B. 2438
(By Delegates Douglas, Leach and Hubbard)
(Originating in the Committee on Finance)
[February 23, 1999]
A BILL to amend chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia,
one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article ten-l, relating to
the creation of the "Ron Yost Personal Assistance Services
Act"; requiring a program to provide personal assistance to
certain impaired individuals; outlining legislative policy;
designating the West Virginia statewide independent living
council as the organization responsible for the
establishment of the program; requiring proposal of rules;
requiring annual reports; and providing for continuation of
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by
adding thereto a new article, designated article ten-l, to read
ARTICLE 10L. RON YOST PERSONAL ASSISTANCE SERVICES ACT.
§18-10L-1. Short title.
This article may be known and cited as the "Ron Yost
Personal Assistance Services Act."
§18-10L-2. Policy; principles; projects.
(a) It is hereby declared to be the public policy of this
(1) Availability of personal assistance services for persons
with disabilities should be increased to enable them to live in
their own homes and communities;
(2) Recipients of personal assistance will be those with
severe disabilities, including mental, sensory or physical
impairments, or any combination of impairments, who are in need
of assistance to live in a living arrangement of their choice in
lieu of a more restrictive setting; and
(3) Recipients of personal assistance have the right to make
decisions regarding and to control the provision of their
personal assistance services. This includes, but is not limited
to, hiring, training, managing, paying and terminating an
(b) Implementation of the program established in this
article shall be based on the following five basic principles:
(1) Services may be received where they are needed, either
at home or in the community, subject to available funding;
(2) Services may be scheduled when they are needed, twenty- four hours a day, seven days a week, as scheduled or needed on an
emergency basis, subject to available funding;
(3) Recipients contribute to the cost of services based on
their ability to pay;
(4) Recipients are granted control over the services
provided to the fullest extent possible including how, when and
by whom services are provided; and
(5) Eligibility shall be based on functional needs rather
than on a medical diagnosis.
(c) Subject to available funds, other personal assistance
projects shall be developed to increase the availability of
services throughout the state to serve eligible individuals.
The following words and phrases, when used in this article,
have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates
(1) "Personal assistance services" means:
(A) Those basic and ancillary services that enable eligible
individuals to live in their homes and communities rather than in
institutions and to carry out functions of daily living, self- care and mobility;
(B) Basic services include, but are not limited to, getting
in and out of a bed, wheelchair or motor vehicle; assistance with
routine bodily functions, such as health maintenance activities;
bathing and personal hygiene; dressing and grooming; and feeding,
including preparation and cleanup.
(2) "Personal assistant" means an individual of the
consumer's choice who provides personal assistance services for the eligible individual.
(3) "Recipient" or "consumer" means any individual with a
physical, mental, or sensory impairment that affects one or more
major life activity who meets all of the following requirements:
(A) Experiences any physical, mental or sensory impairment,
or combination of impairments, which can be expected to recur or
last for a period of not less than twelve months as determined by
the evaluation conducted by functional assessment;
(B) With support from the West Virginia statewide
independent living council when necessary, assumes the employer
responsibilities of selecting, supervising and, if needed,
terminating the employment of a personal assistant, or designates
an individual to assume those responsibilities;
(C) With support from the West Virginia statewide
independent living council when necessary, manages his or her own
financial and legal affairs or designates an individual to manage
(D) Requires assistance to complete functions of daily
living, self-care and mobility, including, but not limited to,
those functions included in the definition of personal assistance
(E) Is not currently receiving personal assistance services
through any other program: Provided, That the division of
rehabilitation services may, in the event that an option for
consumer directed personal assistance services is developed
through the state's medicaid program, develop a program coordinated with requirements of any medicaid option and
available to medicaid-eligible persons.
(a) The personal assistance services program shall be
administered by the division of rehabilitation services through
the state plan for independent living and managed by the West
Virginia statewide independent living council, established
pursuant to the provisions of 29 U.S.C. § 796d.
(b) The West Virginia statewide independent living council
shall establish a standing committee to function as the consumer
board to direct the implementation of the program. The board
shall be composed of individuals with severe disabilities:
Provided, That one member shall be a representative of the West
Virginia statewide independent living council with a disability.
No member of the board is eligible to receive personal assistance
services through the program provided for in this article.
(c) Determination of eligibility and the need for and amount
of personal assistance services shall be decided by the consumer
board based on functional assessments conducted using a tool
developed by the West Virginia statewide independent living
council. Each consumer assessment shall include a written report
which shall be filed with the division of rehabilitation
(d) The division of rehabilitation services shall develop a
waiting list for those eligible individuals who cannot be served
(e) Any program developed shall contain provisions designed
to assure that the employment of any personal assistant providing
services under this article is in compliance with applicable
state and federal law, including, but not limited to, provision
for state and federal withholding, payment of premium taxes and
child support obligations, and all other lawful obligations.
(f) Funds or services provided to eligible individuals by
the personal assistance services program under this article shall
not be considered as income to those individuals for any purpose
under this code or under the rules of any agency of state
(a) There is hereby created in the state treasury a special
fund designated the "Ron Yost Personal Assistance Services Fund".
The fund shall be an appropriated account within the division of
rehabilitation services and the moneys shall be expended
exclusively for the purposes of this article.
(b) Funds made available for programs under this article may
be used only for the planning, designing, delivering and
administering of personal assistance services and training. The
division of rehabilitation services may use not more than seven
percent of the total allocation for administrative costs.
(c) The programs created pursuant to this article may use
funds from a number of sources, including state and federal
funds, program fees and other allotted moneys. The division of
rehabilitation services shall apply for and use all available funding sources to carry out this program.
(d) Funds shall be disbursed in a manner that ensures
maximum consumer control of the services provided under the
(e) Personal assistance services shall be available only to
the extent funding is available through annual appropriations of
state, federal and other allotted funds.
The division of rehabilitation services, as directed by the
consumer board, shall propose rules for legislative approval
in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter
twenty-nine-a of this code, necessary for the effective
administration of this article including a sliding scale for
funding based on the recipient's, as the employer, ability to
contribute to the cost of services.
An annual report shall be filed with the Legislature on or
before the first day of January of each year, which is to include
a summary of the personal assistance services provided under this
article and recommendations regarding the program for upcoming
§18-10L-8. Continuation of program.
The personal assistance services program shall continue to
exist until the first day of July, two thousand two, pursuant to
the provisions of article ten, chapter four of this code, to
allow for the completion of a preliminary performance review by the joint committee on government operations.