People are living longer these days, so inevitably there are more caregivers who are forced to quit their jobs or need to provide for their aging loved ones — and this can be very expensive. Both Hillary Clinton and President-elect Donald Trump have proposed a new tax break for those caring for elderly or disabled family members to help with these expenses.
Trump’s plan for caregivers would give a tax deduction of up to $5,000 for home care and adult day care, increasing each year at the rate of inflation. It reaches most Americans as it will be extended to single individuals making less than $250,000 or couples making $500,000 or less. The subsidy would be extended to people who itemize their deductions, as well as those taking standard deductions. Low-income households would have additional benefits by an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit.
The plan will cover initiatives to help family caregivers, including those of the sandwich generation, which, today, accounts for nearly half of all Americans in their 40s and 50s with both an aging parent as well as children who still need financial support.
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For those caregivers who need to stay at home to care for elderly dependents, he proposes:
It is hard to argue over the fact that caregivers need help. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are roughly 44 million family members in the U.S. caring for 12 million or more relatives with disabilities or chronic conditions.
With a growing aging population whose working family members are expected to care for them, support for caregivers is certain to be a key political topic for this and future presidential candidates.
What are some of the struggles you’ve faced as a caregiver? How much relief would these proposals provide for you? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below.