Can I Get Paid to Be a Family Caregiver?

20 answers | Last updated: Apr 20, 2014
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Caring.com User - Joseph L.  Matthews
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A
Joseph L. Matthews is a Caring.com Expert, an attorney, and the author of Long-Term Care: How to Plan & Pay for It and...
84% helpful
answered...

It's possible to get regular payments for providing care for a housebound family member, depending on the family member's income and assets, need for care, and the state he or See also:
Are there programs that can help with the cost of in-home care?

See all 355 questions about Paying for Care
she lives in. Public assistance programs in many states can provide payment directly to a low-income person who is determined to need in-home care. The person who receives this payment may use it to pay a relative, or anyone else of that person's choosing, to provide care. The care can be provided in the home of either the caregiver or the person who needs care.

This type of direct payment for in-home care comes from a program often called Cash and Counseling (though it has different names in different states). It is usually run through the state's Medicaid program. If your housebound family member has low income and few assets other than a home, he or she might qualify for Medicaid coverage of in-home care.

Normally, Medicaid would provide that kind of care through a certified home care agency. But these special programs instead directly pay the person needing care -- the payment is same amount Medicaid would pay an aide from a home care agency. The person receiving this payment may turn around and use it to pay a family member, or anyone else, to provide the in-home care. In many programs, the money may also be used to make home improvements for safety or comfort, or to buy personal care items.

To learn more about these programs -- only some states have them -- go to the page on this site called How to Get Paid for Being Your Parent's Caregiver. You can help your family member apply for this assistance program, if your state has one, at a local Medicaid office. To find the local Medicaid office near you, contact the Eldercare Locator by phone toll-free at (800) 677-1116. Or go online to any search engine and type in Medicaid and the name of your state.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

GREAT QUESTION! IT WOULD MAKE SO MUCH SENSE TO HAVE A PROGRAM THAT THE GOVT PAID FOR, THAT LKEPT A LOVED ONE AT HOME INSTEAD OF IN A SNAKE PIT. iMAGINE, IF YOU HAD A PARENT WHO WAS TERMINALLY ILL; AND MY P.I.T.S. PROGRAM EXISTED, [ PITS= PIE-IN-THE-SKY-]:AND

1. ASSUME AMERICANS WERE FREE OF FRAUD AND DON'T LIE.

2. IF YOU JUST FILED A TAX RETURN FOR THE PRIOR YEAR [REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT THE TAX WAS PAID, .JUST FILED IS ENOUGH, AND U

3. YOU HAD A PARENT WHO WAS CERTIFIED BY A GOV'T MD AS BEING UNABLE TO CARE FOR HER/HIMSELF; AND U CERTIFIED THAT YOU COULD PROVIDE SHELTER, FOOD, MEDS ETC, THEN YOFOR THEW PITS!! AND ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED FOR ALL $$ ACTUALLY SPENT PLUS AN AMOUNT FOR RENT - ADJUSTED FOR WHERE YOU LIVE- AND A % FOR FOOD, PLUS $100.00 PER MONTH CASH FOR STUFF NOT ITEMIZED...

I WOULD BET MY LIFE THAT THE TOTAL COST TO THE FED GOVT WOULD BE BILLIONS LESS THAN THE COST OF BEING AT WAR IN IRAQ AND AFGANSTAN. AND WHILE WE WOULD BE PUTTING SOME PEOPLE OUT OF WORK, THEY WOULD BE RESORBED BY THE REALITY THAT THEY NEEDED TO RETRAIN AND TRANSFER THEIR SKILLS...ETC

SURE THIS IS FILLED WITH PROBLEMS BUT LET'S SEE IF WE CAN MAKE SOMETHBING POSITIVE FROM IT. INSTEAD OF SHOOTING IT DOWN INSTANTLY. INSTEAD OF DOING THAT, I WOULD LOVE TO SEE YOU READERS, TAKE IT APART AND BUILD IT UP, PART BY PART. AT LEAST JUST TRY TO DO THAT FOR AN HOUR...I;'D BET WEE WOULD BE AMAZED AT THE RESULT...

 

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BillF answered...

The above expert answer is pretty good. But there is another angle here that you might not have thought of. That is veterans benefits. If you are caring for a parent that is a veteran there are even more benefits available. Check out this story for more info.

Good Luck,

Bill

Senior Home Care

 

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AxsmithProbate answered...

There's more than one way to be paid. In the District of Columbia, Medicaid will not put a lien on a house where a family member is living there too and providing home health care, even if they are receiving Medicaid assistance with paying home health aides.

Another way is to deed the house to the caretaking child in exchange for lifetime care. This document would need to be drafted carefully, but definitely can be done. The key to this method of compensation is to alert all hopeful beneficiaries to the transaction so there is no fighting later.

Christine Axsmith, Esq.

www.Axsmith.net

 

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mamoros answered...

Another possibility exists, if either of your parents qualify. There is a program offered through the Veterans' Administration for veterans and their spouses (whether the eligible veteran is living or not) - IF the veteran qualifies. An eligible veteran may qualify for Pension if s/he served at least one day during a declared war (regardless of whether or not s/he served in combat). An additional "Aid and Attendance" benefit is available if the veteran is disabled or needs custodial care, and children can be compensated to provide bonafide care to the veteran. Consult your local VA office for more information. However, beware - many local offices do not provide much information for this benefit - be sure to dig for the facts.

 

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jaime912 answered...

My mom isn't a veteran nor was my deceased father. I really wish there was something out there that would help me help her without putting my own family's finances at risk. I can't work, due to looking out for her. She refuses in home health care from others. I would love feedback. The info listed above isn't much to go on if you aren't a veteran. Thanks.

 

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bluejedi answered...

Washington State has a program called Community Options Porgram Entry System (COPES) for info the application process and to see if you or your loved one qualifys call 18004223263. But this is only for washington state residents.

To be a paid caregiver, you can not be the spouse of the person needing care. Children and siblings of the one needing care that are over the age of 21 and in many cases, parents of children with disabilites can get paid under this program for doing what they normally do for the child/person needing care. I don't know if other states have this type of program, but Washington State does.

 

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Zosh answered...

Jamie, Does your mother get Social Security? Your mother can help pay your rent and for food and other misc. things like gas for taking her to the doctors. That is if she is living with you. You also can write up an agreement stating she is going to pay you X amount per week or month and in return you will list what services you are providing. Example: cooking, bathing, medication, driving her to doctor appointments, taking her to social events, writing out her bills and whatever else you both agree on. This is legal when you have given up your employment to care for her. You will have to claim this on your tax return. Also, I saw above someone told you about Cash and Counseling. In Florida it is call Home Instead Senior Care. If she lives on a low income she may qualify for this program and they will send her the money to pay whoever she chooses to help with her needed care. In this case that would be you. Some of that money can also be used to redo your home to make it safer for her. Example: hand rails in the tub or other needs for the home to help her. I am not an expert but going through this myself and have made numerous contacts. You can always pay a lawyer to write up the agreement so you are sure it is legal. Because, if she ends up in a nursing home they will go back up to 5 yrs. and will want you to account for the money that was paid out. The agreement is all you need. You don't have to account for what you did with the money you were paid. Just where large amounts of her money was spent.

If I'm not writing this so you can understand it go to search on the internet and type in "Getting paid to be the caregiver for a Parent." Good luck!

 

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jaime912 answered...

Thanks, Zosh. It's been 2 years now, she's still here with us and doing well, considering. I still haven't found a way to supplement my financial loss, but we are making it work. Yes, she does get social security, but it's not a lot. Mainly, it pays for her meds and a few bills she still has to pay from when she was living on her own. We do what we can and that's all we can do at this time. She is getting somewhat worse in her condition and I have a battle on my hands as family members want to have her put in a nursing home. I will NOT allow that unless I simply cannot physically take care of her anymore. I am 32, with a husband and 4 children ages 11 to 4. I know with her condition that this won't be a permanent arrangement, but for her I hope to make whatever time she has left as comfortable and familiar as I can.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

i am very interested in finding out how to get paid for caring for my girlfriend who has been bed riddeen for the last five years. i made a promise that i would not put her in a nursing home and that i would take care of her at home. i have experience as a cna and know most of the things to keep her safe and healthy. (range of motion, bed sores, walking with a gait belt, medicine promptness, healthy eating etc...) but that leaves me with no income at all and i've gone deeper in debt with no future of any certainty. i've been with my girl for sixteen years and at my age (61) i won't even have a place to live when time comes. so yes i need help with learning how to get some kind of cash flow.

 

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Lehigh Valley Nurses answered...

If you live in the state of Pennsylvania-there is a program under Medical Assistance for different ages from 18-59 and 60+ depending on medical necessity and financial assests. If your doctor determines that you are Nursing Home Eligible, but your loved one decides to remain in the home. The program in PA is called Personal Assistance Services or "PAS program. In this case, a family member, friend or neighbor that the consumer wishes to hire as their attendant, they can be paid through a Fiscal Employee Agent Company. At the required taxes and Worker's Compensation Insurance is taken out and paychecks are administered through the Fiscal Employee Agent company. The programs are administered throught either the Area Agency on Aging in the county that the patient resides for people 60 years or older or for patients 18-59 years old through contacting Pennsylvania's Independent Enrollment Broker Maximus at 877-550-4227. The only exception to caregivers being paid are the patient's spouse or Power of Attorney(POA). These numbers are also used if you want to make a referral for home care services for a loved one and you want to have a skilled home care provider assist you with home care needs

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

If you live in calif and get midi-cal, they have program called IHSS (in home supportive services) You can choose your own homecare worker or they will provide one for you if you don't have anyone. My grand-daughter is my homecare worker. Its usually around 40 hours they pay for a month at about $9 or $10 an hour. They are paid to clean house,shop, prepare meals, help with personal care among other things.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

My mother-in-law passed away last month. She had no money for in-home health care and she did not want to go to a nursing home. She only had social security income. Nothing else. Her care at home cost us $5,000.00 per month. We used our retirement to help pay her at home cost. My husband and I work full time, we both took on part-time jobs. She took an equity line on her home. Why should I pay for your relative when they can tap into their home? Why should I subsidize your inheritance? TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. I pay and pay and pay and pay taxes to pay for you to take care of a family member? I read a letter on this website from a woman who wanted to be paid to take care of her mother-in-law. Her mother-in-law was already paying her rent. Hey, people..........SACRIFICE. I sacrifice everyday when I pay over 50% of my income to taxes..........36% federal,10% state,8% Social Security,2% medicare, and state sales tax. People who can not get it together enough to work sure figure out how to game the system. 47% of taxpayers PAY NO FEDERAL TAXES. If you need the govt. to pay you for taking care of your mother, you probably don't pay any tax either. STEP UP, GROW UP AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELVES AND HELP PAY FOR your LOVED ONES HEALTH NEEDS. Collect cans. Do something. Stop being a burden. BE AN EXAMPLE TO THE YOUNGER GENERATION. THE GOVERNMENT CAN NOT SUSTAIN THIS ANY LONGER. I DON'T KNOW IF I CAN SUSTAIN THIS ANY LONGER. I PAY MORE IN TAX THAN I TAKE HOME IN PAY.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

This is to anonymous who thinks that the 47% of taxpayers pay no taxes...you need to do a little more research into that 47% and you also need to not be deceptive yourself.

Many of those people are seniors who are unable to work. Many of those seniors are people who got caught in between the transitions from pensions to 401k plans, who did not have enough in their pensions to build a 401k fast enough. They had no retirement left to them but Soc. Sec.

Maybe you can convince my father's son who is so tight of a conservative that he thought our permanently disabled dad who could barely walk at that time should just up and get a job and that will fix him. Now dad has terminal illness in addition to other disabilities. Yep, he's(the son) also one of those who have convinced themselves that the bad math(the 47% claim) that was on display during the election was accurate without fact checking.

Maybe you can convince all those "child of ill parent tightwads" out there that their ill parents are much more important than their kids college funds, their marriages, their vacations, after school activities, etc. You'd have thought that I asked my brother to sacrifice one of his children with all the excuses he came up with to not help me get to our dad to help him. I'm on disability too but before I get accused of being a leech, I worked so many hours for so long and paid in so much in Soc Sec taxes etc that I get more than my dad does and I worked half of what he did. Unfortunately I worked myself right into being disabled. Anyway, I carefully used that money to move 3000 miles to help my dad because it's not something my brother can do. However, when I asked for some financial help from my brother to get to dad/help him out he told me he'd have to think about it because he didn't want to enable me. >.<

I am curious how you could be paying more in taxes than you take home in pay when earlier in your post you claim less than that. You would also not be able to maintain a home, feed anyone or have money for utilities let alone take care of your ill family member. You can start by STEPPING UP AND NOT BEING SO DRAMATIC AND DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE BELIEVING THE CLAIMS OF POLITICIANS DURING AN ELECTION YEAR. BE AN EXAMPLE TO THE YOUNGER GENERATION BY NOT POSTING IN AN OVER DRAMATIC FASHION, POST FACTUAL INFORMATION AND NOT MAKE FALSE CLAIMS ABOUT YOURSELF. IGNORANCE AND DECEIT ARE BIGGER BURDENS TO SOCIETY.

I'm sorry to anyone I may offend by my post but I'm really getting tired of people who blindly believe the wild math that runs amuck during election years. These kinds people/sheep/sheeple are quick to finger point and spend/waste their time using these "facts" to blame/beat up others while casting themselves in an undeserved superior light. Phooey!

People who are live-in caregivers need to gain some income somehow. They are unable to work outside of the home because if they did that they would not be there for the person who needs them. Someone somewhere realized that it was less expensive to provide a stipend for live in care than to pay for a live in care facility. It was also cheaper than paying for shelters to house all the seniors that would have been put out on the street. Collecting cans will not give live in care givers enough of an income to take care of themselves let alone care for someone else. I get about $20 a month average for the cans I collect(aside from the fact that I have an income but this is about those that do not have one) so again I say...PHOOEY!

 

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Diana79 answered...

Hello. My mom has ALS, which has almost completely paralyzed her. My aunt volunteered to take her in because of how terrible my dad was treating her. He is abusive and an alcoholic. She expected her to live just a few months, but since my mom has lived longer than expected, she no longer wants to take care of her. Her excuse is that she doesn't want to lose her nursing license and she has to have a certain amount of hours of work in order to keep it. She lives in Idaho. I would think that taking care of my mom would count for those hours. But I believe she's just using that as an excuse because she thinks of my mom as a burden. I've talked it over with my husband and he said he's willing to quit his job to help take care of her, if we had the room. We hardly have room for our four kids at home. We have been planning on adding on a garage with a room above it, but have never had enough money to get it done. If we could do that, we would have enough room for my mom. If anyone knows of an organization or some way to get the funds to put the addition on our home, please let me know. My mom cried and cried when my aunt offered to put her in a nursing home. And I certainly do not want my mom going back to my dad. He's already started drinking heavily again when he found out she was coming back. I think we have until March before my aunt goes back to work. We live in Oregon.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

when it comes to family, the world is different! What you think on a professional level is different from a family or friend level.

 

phillycomp answered...

My husband had his second spinal fusion in 2 years 3 weeks ago, and has had every complication you could think of since, including an ongoing battle with a mrsa infection in the wound which as included an emergency surgery and week long hospital stay, an additional er trip today for a clotted and blocked picc line placed to receive antibiotics to fight the surgical wound infection, which I have to administer every 12 hours, as well as orthopedic doctors appointments, now hematology appointmetns since during the two surgeries he lost a combined 4-5 liters of blood and is now having hemoglobin issues. I have to keep calling out, leaving early and trying to reschedule work to accomodate taking care of him, and that is with the assistance of a home wound care nurse, infusion nurses, and home physical therapy. I am a home health aide, and quite literally i am working at work ,then I come home and I work until I am too exhausted to do a thing more. My work is suffering, my care for my husband is suffering, and we are finding ourselves wondering if it would be better for me to leave to care for him, since as long as he is the way he is, I am too unreliable to be comfortable as others' caregivers, especially 40 miles away from my home in case of emergency. I worry though, since the insurance paying for his injury (workmen's comp) has a massive tendency to never answer their phone to authorize things he needs, like wound care supplies, medications, etc, and often we have to pay out of our own pocket (with the promise that they will repay us with a receipt, 95% of which they have said they have paid, although not once in 5 years have we gotten a check). I don't know where to turn at this point.

 

 
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