Ron Yost sustained a spinal cord injury when he was 20 that resulted in quadriplegia. He was an active advocate for people with disabilities, and he fully understood how much difference having an attendant or personal assistant can make in the level of independence and quality of life for a person with a disability.
He helped develop the long-term attendant care program for people who work, which is administered by the West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services. He also was involved in the initial discussions to create a program to provide personal assistance for people who could not get services through any existing program.
Although Ron died before the program was established in 1999, it was named in his honor by the legislators who sponsored the bill. Ron had a great impact on the disability community of Huntington and throughout West Virginia.
In 1999, the West Virginia legislature passed the Ron Yost Personal Assistance Services (RYPAS) Act, creating a consumer-controlled program to enable people with severe disabilities to live in their own homes and communities. The RYPAS program provides resources for individuals with severe disabilities to hire a personal assistant to help them perform essential daily living tasks – including, but not limited to:
The RYPAS program is managed by a seven-member consumer-controlled board. Board members are people with disabilities, most of whom have their own personal assistants. The board makes all decisions about the program and the eligibility of applicants for services. Board members are not eligible for services while serving on the Board. You may apply to serve on the board or nominate someone else to serve here.
You may receive RYPAS services if you have a severe disability that affects one or more major life activity, and:
The RYPAS program provides money for you to hire a personal assistant. You may directly hire an assistant or purchase services through a health care provider or other agency. You will receive a reimbursement check every two weeks for the number of hours your assistant worked, not to exceed the number of hours approved by the RYPAS Board. The rate of reimbursement is calculated with a sliding scale based on your adjusted annual income. This income is calculated with deductions for dependents and all disability-related expenses. Reimbursement may range from 13% to 100% of the $8.75 per hour rate. You are responsible for paying your assistant and any applicable employment taxes as a Household Employer as defined by the IRS. Although you may choose to pay your assistant more than $8.75 per hour, your maximum reimbursement will be based on $8.75 per hour.
If you qualify for the RYPAS program, you will be able to hire a personal assistant of your choice. This will make you a Household Employer according to the IRS. As an employer, you will have various legal and financial responsibilities. If you cannot take care of these responsibilities, you may designate someone you trust to take care of them for you. If you think you can be an employer yourself, but don't know all the things you will have to do, you can receive training under the RYPAS program.
The West Virginia Independence Network can teach you how to:
You may request an application packet by calling our office or by downloading it below. The packet includes an application form, a financial survey and a short assessment form which provides an estimate of the number of hours of assistance you need. The completed application packet should be returned to our office. The RYPAS Board will review your application to determine if you are eligible. You will receive a letter from the Board explaining their decision.
As part of the application procedure, you will be required to apply for the Medicaid Aged and Disabled Waiver (ADW) and the Medicaid Personal Care Option (PCO) through the Department of Health and Human Resources. An eligibility determination letter from DHHR regarding your Medicaid application is necessary before RYPAS services can start. If you receive services through the Aged and Disabled Waiver or Personal Care Option, you will not be eligible for RYPAS services.
When RYPAS services begin, you will file a reimbursement request every two weeks, and you will receive a check based on the time sheet(s) filed and your approved reimbursement rate.
Thank you for your interest in the Ron Yost Personal Assistance Services (RYPAS) program. To begin the application process, download, complete and submit the forms* below to:
PO Box 625
Institute, WV 25112
*The short assessment tool is to be used to estimate the hours of service needed by individuals applying for services through the Ron Yost Personal Assistance Services Program (RYPAS). It is not the functional assessment required by the program and does not constitute a full and accurate assessment of need.
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