The following set of questions are frequently asked when inquiring about PAS. If you have additional questions, please contact us via email at email@example.com or phone at (301) 496-6301.
1. How does NIH provide PAS?
NIH has several options:
- Coordinate with the HHS’ Office of EEODI to provide PAS through a central contract.
- Use an existing employee who already performs similar services to PAS as part of their regular job to help an employee who needs PAS.
- Hire federal employees, independent contractors, or a combination of employees and contractors to perform the needed services.
- Use a PA the employee is already using in their personal, non-work environment.
2. Will NIH pay for PAS?
Yes, in the following instances:
- If the employee does not already have a PA, the NIH will assume the cost of services during that employee’s tour of duty.
- If traveling for work, the NIH will cover travel-related expenses for the PA including, but not limited to, flight tickets, rental cars, lodging, and per diems.
- If the employee already has a PA, the NIH will cover expenses associated with work-related travel.
- If the employee’s usual PA is unavailable during work hours, the NIH will cover associated costs for a different PA.
3. Can an employee’s spouse or children provide PAS?
Yes. Immediate family members often assume caregiving roles for their loved ones. If needed in the workplace, that individual must have, or likely could get, the appropriate security clearance. If they can not, another PA must be used.
4. How does an employee’s PAS provider access the NIH campus?
The PAS provider and employee must work with the appropriate offices for the proper screening and access. This can be coordinated through the employee’s supervisor.
5. Does PAS help employees commute to and from their worksite?
No. The NIH is only required to provide PAS when the individual is working.
6. Who manages or supervises the PAS provider while onsite?
The PAS provider does not require monitoring or supervision. However, the supervisor and/or employee can clarify the provider’s duties while onsite and identify appropriate areas in which the provider can wait or occupy throughout the day.
7. If the employee needs a wheelchair, walker, or other piece of equipment and PAS, will the agency purchase the equipment?
No. The NIH may only cover costs associated with securing a PA – not any associated equipment. In limited circumstances, the NIH may be able to borrow certain items for a brief timeframe. However, the NIH is not required to provide any equipment when providing PAS.
8. If an employee needs assistance with job-related tasks, what should they do?
Their needs may be met through a reasonable accommodation. The employee should contact the NIH RAP for more information.