Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Human Services & Early Learning Committee

SSB 5839

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Creating a pilot project to provide personal care services for homeless seniors and persons with disabilities.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Human Services, Reentry & Rehabilitation (originally sponsored by Senators Darneille, Nguyen, Hasegawa, Palumbo and Wilson, C.).

Brief Summary of Substitute Bill

  • Establishes a pilot project to provide personal care services to homeless seniors and persons with disabilities in a homeless shelter.

Hearing Date: 3/15/19

Staff: Dawn Eychaner (786-7135).


Medicaid personal care (MPC) provides assistance with activities of daily living (ADL) to individuals who are assessed by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) as functionally and financially eligible. Functional eligibility requires the person to have an unmet need for assistance with certain ADL, but he or she does not require the level of care provided by a hospital, nursing facility, or other similar institution or care facility.

Eligibility for MPC begins on the date the DSHS authorizes services. The MPC services may be delivered in the individual's home, in DSHS-contracted adult family homes, and in licensed assisted living facilities contracted with the DSHS to provide residential care services.

The MPC services can include nursing care coordination and emergency skilled treatment, as well as personal care services. Personal care services mean physical or verbal assistance with ADL and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) due to a person's functional limitations.

The ADL include assistance with bathing, bed mobility, dressing, eating, locomotion, medication management, toilet use, transfer between surfaces such as from a bed to a wheelchair, and personal hygiene. The IADL include meal preparation, housework, essential shopping, and other routine activities.

Summary of Bill:

The DSHS must establish a pilot project to provide personal care services to homeless seniors and persons with disabilities from the time the person presents at a shelter to the time he or she becomes eligible for MPC.

The DSHS must contract with a nonprofit organization that:

The pilot project must fund two personal care aides at 30 hours per week. The personal care aides must be added to the staff of the homeless shelter operated by the nonprofit organization.

The DSHS must report on pilot project outcomes to the Governor and the Legislature by December 1, 2020. The report must address:

The pilot project expires December 31, 2020.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.