Family members can get paid for caregiving in South Dakota if they care for seniors who qualify for state waivers or VA benefits. These programs offer financial relief for family members who are primary caregivers for their parents, grandparents or adult children with disabilities. Under some programs, seniors can direct their own care, which gives them the option to use benefits to pay for family caregivers. Eligibility requirements vary, and some families may not qualify.

In a recent study, AARP found that nearly eight in 10 U.S. family caregivers pay out-of-pocket to hire care for their aging loved ones. In many cases, family members spend 26% of their personal income to ensure their parents or grandparents can age in place. According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the average monthly cost of in-home care in South Dakota is $5,911. However, family caregivers can take advantage of state programs such as Medicare,  Medicaid and veteran benefits to relieve this financial burden. 

Medicare vs. Medicaid

Generally, Medicare doesn’t pay for long-term family caregivers, but it does offer some funding for short-term care. Family caregivers may qualify for training and case management support services under Medicare benefits. Medicare also provides limited funding for rehabilitation from illness or injury.

On the other hand, Medicaid does offer family caregivers some financial relief to care for seniors aging in place long-term. These benefits are provided through waivers such as Assisted Daily Living Services, Home and Community-Based Options and Person Centered Excellence programs. In South Dakota, seniors must be eligible for Medicaid benefits to receive funding for these limited in-home care services, which include access to specialized medical supplies and residential respite care.

Veterans Affairs Programs

Family caregivers who provide in-home care for loved ones who served in any branch of the U.S. military are eligible for financial assistance. In some cases, senior veterans’ monthly pension covers expenses related to daily living activities and other personal care services at home. Other available veteran benefits include Aid and Attendance (A&A) and Housebound programs. 

The A&A benefit provides qualified senior veterans with additional monthly pension funds for extra in-home care. This benefit covers bedridden seniors, those with limited vision or those otherwise medically qualified for in-home care. Through the Housebound benefit, senior veterans also may be eligible for financial assistance for living at home with a permanent disability.