How to Get Paid for Being a Caregiver
Being a caregiver is a labor of love, and also one that can monopolize your life. Many family caregivers have to quit their jobs while taking on expensive medical obligations. Fortunately, there are a few private and public options for financial support.
As America’s boomer population ages, there are many families finding themselves needing to care for their senior loved ones — and navigating this responsibility can be tough. Too often caregivers feel obligated to quit their jobs to become full-time caregivers, while taking on extra financial burdens at the same time. Luckily there are ways to supplement finances.
5 Ways to Get Paid for Being a Caregiver
As caregivers, one of our most important jobs is to advocate for loved ones; which is not always easy. Being a family caregiver is not only emotionally draining, but also financially taxing. The burden can be enormous, which is why supplemental income helps.
Fortunately, it can be possible to get small, but regular, payments for caregiving work. Each situation is different, and every person will feel differently about various obligations. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, but everyone could benefit from a little help.
Read to explore five ways to get paid as a family caregiver:
1. Caregiver Contracts
If the person you are caring for has some assets or savings, you may want to consider setting up a caregiver contract. Many parents do this to pay their daughter or son for the care he or she provides. Consult an elder law attorney for more information and to make sure the contract meets tax requirements, deals with inheritances and is approved by all interested parties, such as siblings.
2. Dependent Tax Exemptions
Diligent record keeping throughout the year, even for related expenses like mileage from doctor visits, can add up to a lot of write-offs come tax time. If you want to help ease the financial burden, you need to learn what you can and can’t deduct as well as keep excellent records and hold onto receipts. This diligent record-keeping you’ll be well prepared to qualify for write-offs. Learn more about dependent care tax deductions.
3. Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance often covers some home care. Policies differ, but insurance can provide payment to family caregivers, usually if the family member doesn’t reside in the same household. Contact your insurance provider, or a member of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, to explain this helpful benefit, its conditions and whether your family caregiver qualifies for payment.
Learn more about long-term care insurance benefits.
4. State Programs
Navigating state programs can be daunting, but some states have programs that help people pay for caregivers — so it’s worth it to do the research. Most of these programs have income and other requirements that the care recipient must meet, as well as strict rules as to who can be paid for the caregiving role; but you can find out what’s available in your state by contacting these services:
People with low income and few assets other than their home may be eligible for Medicaid, or Medi-Cal in California. This healthcare coverage includes help with in-home care to help with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as help with bathing, cleaning, cooking, dressing, eating and mobility. From meal delivery to in-home medical care, medicaid offers more services than ever before, so you might as well take advantage.
National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services
The National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services assists agencies, organizations and states in offering participant-directed services to people with disabilities, including the aging population. This organization offers caregiver education and training, in addition to personal-assistance services.
5. Veteran’s Benefits
Taking advantage of Veteran’s benefits can save caregivers a lot of money. Veterans needing home-based care may be eligible for Veteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Services (VD-HCBS). A law that passed in 2010 provides a monthly stipend to primary caregivers of veterans injured in military conflict after 9/11. Here are a few other benefits family caregivers can receive from Veteran’s benefits:
- Access to health care insurance
- Mental health services
- Respite care for 30 days a year
- Travel expenses
Caregivers of veterans may also be eligible for the VA’s Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit. Call 1-877-222-VETS (8387) for more information. Learn about other Veteran’s benefits you may not know about.
Do you have experience getting paid for being a caregiver? Share your stories and suggestions for other caregivers in the comments below.
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