News & Information > News Releases

July 26, 2011
Melanie Mowry Etters
Communications Director
(850) 488-4257

APD Adjusts Companion Service

TALLAHASSEE - The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) will eliminate the varying rates it pays providers of companion service beginning August 1.  The rates have been collapsed into one solo provider rate of $1.68 per quarter hour, for each individual served up to three individuals. Providers may now serve up to three individuals at that rate. There will also be an agency and geographic differential rate. To review the new rates, visit

Here is an example of a solo rate:

  • 1.68 x 4 = $   6.72    per hour for one individual served
  • 6.72 x 2 =  $13.44    per hour for two individuals served
  • 6.72 x 3 =   $20.16   per hour for three individuals served

Although many providers serve more than one person, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Section 213 (A)(15), does allow providers of companion services to be paid less than minimum wage.

Companion services involve non-medical care, supervision, and socialization activities.  This service provides access to community activities when there are no other unpaid sources of support available. The activities that are provided should result in an individual’s increased ability to access services without using paid support.  A companion provider may assist individuals in learning to use the library, helping with organizing volunteer opportunities for people, and providing assistance with specific tasks such as help with light housekeeping.

The Florida Legislature has mandated that APD bring its Medicaid waiver expenditures within its appropriation. The Legislature approved $810 million for the Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) waiver for the 2011-12 state fiscal year that began on July 1.  APD customers received $930 million worth of services during the 2010-11 fiscal year.

The Home and Community-based Services waiver provides supports to about 30,000 Floridians with developmental disabilities so they may participate in their local community.

APD annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with developmental disabilities of autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, spina bifida, and Prader-Willi syndrome.

For more information on the agency, call 1-866-APD-CARES or visit