The state of Illinois has several programs that allow family members to get paid to provide in-home care for an elderly loved one. The Illinois Department on Aging’s Community Care Program is designed to help older adults live independently while aging in place in the comfort of their own homes. Family members may be compensated for caring for a loved one through Medicaid if they qualify. Veterans may also be eligible to receive home care through VA benefits to pay for family caregivers.

Illinois’ Medicaid program, managed by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, provides home care and other in-home support services for those who qualify financially. Furthermore, three waivers are available that enable Medicaid recipients to direct financing to their family members instead of an authorized agency under the Medicaid system. This health care plan is a joint effort between the federal and state government to provide medical coverage for people with low incomes.

Medicaid Payments for Family Caregivers

For seniors who meet the criteria based on their physical and financial needs, both the Illinois Department on Aging and the Illinois Department of Human Services offer Medicaid waiver programs. It’s not permissible to use parental or spousal income to get services for an individual consumer. To authorize this service, a suitable assessment must be done. To get more details regarding these services, please call the Illinois Department on Aging at 800-252-8966 or talk with the Illinois Department of Human Services at 800-843-6154.

Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers provide eligible seniors with the option of obtaining in-home care instead of care at a senior living facility. These waivers allow Medicaid funds to be redirected to cover the cost of home services, including those given by relatives. With self-directed personal assistant services (PAS), seniors can employ their own chosen caregivers, typically family members or close friends. Through PAS, the caregiver is accountable for creating a personalized care plan with the senior’s preferences and abilities in mind, as well as establishing an individual backup plan that outlines what steps must be taken if they can no longer carry out their duties.

VA Benefits for Paid Family Caregivers

For family members providing in-home care for a veteran, VA benefits can be a valuable asset. VA Aid and Attendance offers eligible veterans and surviving spouses a significant monthly payment in addition to their standard VA pensions. This allowance can be used by senior veterans or spouses who are unable to look after themselves to pay for extra help, such as assistance from another family member. Although the program does not allow spouses to get paid for caregiving duties, other relatives may be eligible for Aid and Attendance if the eligible veteran or spouse meets certain income, age and disability criteria, and served on active duty with an honorable discharge.