Caregiver Reimbursement

How to Get Reimbursed for Family Caregiving

Many of us will gladly take Mom to her doctor's appointments, administer medications, and check in if the need arises without a second thought. But with millions of loyal children caring for aging parents out of their own pockets, a little financial relief is welcome. Few family caregivers are aware that you can get paid—however small the amount may be—to care for Mom and provide homecare services. Due to the long working hours, however, some adult children caregivers have been forced to leave their full-time jobs or even scale back their hours spent on the clock, leading to a significantly reduced cash flow. Fortunately, if being a caregiver is causing a noticeable financial strain, there are homecare reimbursement programs that can help alleviate some of the burden. Keep in mind, however, that you must practice patience when applying for these programs—make sure that your application is up-to-date and all the necessary attachments are included before you send it so that delays aren’t any longer than necessary.

Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI) Reimbursement

Long-term care insurance, which functions as an indemnity program, only pays the insured the amount that was contracted at the outset, and regardless of homecare services that are received, will only pay that specified amount.

LTCI, which covers nursing home, home health care, adult day care services, assisted living facilities, and hospice care, offers payments to in-home family caregivers, though the insurance must include in-home care and/or homecare services coverage. In certain instances, LTCI requires that family caregivers complete a basic training program on homecare services and/or caregiving for elderly patients. Though almost all LTCI contracts include skilled, intermediate, and custodial long-term homecare services, you shouldn’t rely on this type of insurance to be your only fallback when it comes to paying for in-home health care. Though, for clarification, you should contact your LTCI company directly for details on its family caregiver reimbursement policies as well as what is needed to qualify.

Medicaid Cash and Counseling Program

A state-administered program, Medicaid is only available to low-income individuals and families who meet certain federal and state law eligibility requirements. In other words, if you have limited income and resources, applying for Medicaid relief is advisable; however, you must be able to meet specific eligibility criteria. Persons over the age of 65 with limited income and resources immediately become eligible as well as those who are terminally ill or live in a nursing home.

Fortunately, if the person you're caring for is either eligible for or is currently enrolled in the Medicaid program, you may be able to receive direct payments from its Cash and Counseling program, though it is available only to family caregivers in select states, including but not necessarily limited to Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia. In some cases, the person you're caring for may have too high an income, excluding him or her from the Medicaid program; some states, such as Georgia, Maine, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Oregon, have accounted for this oversight and offer similar programs (the National Family Caregiver Support Program is one).1

SEE ALSO: Find In-Home Care Help Near You

Medicaid, aware that family caregivers are often the best care providers for Mom or Dad, will send a check directly to the recipient to reimburse for homecare services rendered, though this amount depends upon various assessments of overall needs and the average cost of in-home health care for that particular state. This money can also be used by family caregivers to purchase supplies, medical equipment, or even to pay for ADLs (activities of daily living). To find out if your loved one is eligible or for more information on the Cash and Counseling program, please call the National Program Office at 617-552-2809.

Making the Arrangement with Mom Official

Since money is involved, it's recommended that family caregivers draw up some sort of short, typed contract that outlines the terms of the caregiving situation in depth, including the pay rate and frequency, job description and homecare services that will be provided, and how various expenses will be reimbursed (if applicable). Hiring an attorney or other legal professional will help all family caregivers involved create a legal document that prevents sticky situations from arising.

It's also important to remember that this payment is viewed as income by the government, so all family caregivers must report their earnings each year as taxable income. Though the money received for providing homecare services is negligible, it will help to offset many of the costs associated with providing Mom (or Dad) with a loving, stable, and comfortable home.


1http://www.nga.org/Files/pdf/0406AgingCaregivers.pdf



about 1 year ago, said...

I am and have been caring for my husband who is status-post stroke for three years now. I also am caring for a sister who is Down's Syndrome. I am self-employed. My husband receives LTD. We lost our medical insurance through my husband's employer and I had to enroll in Obama Care. We are paying a high monthly premium and receive basically no coverage at all until a $6500 deductible is met. We are managing but it gets quite difficult at times to keep up with all the bills. I keep being told that I can receive some monetary assistance but to this date have not found anything. Can someone assist me with where to go besides Medicaid. We will not be eligible for Medicaid nor do I want this.


about 1 year ago, said...

I been caring for my Brother since 1997 and been trying to get some form of finical help with him and still today I haven't been successful. He has Progressive Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis. He is total care and wheelchair bound. In 2013 I retired to better take care of him. I know for a fact he would be in a Nursing Home if it was for me. I cook, clean, wash, lift, do his physical therapy, feed him the whole nine yards and to this date, I can't get some kind of financial compensation. I cared for Mom over 23 years who had ALS without any support or assistance with the exception of the MDA. I know there just got to be some assistance some where. Any suggestions?


over 1 year ago, said...

I am the only one to care for my sister who Has bone cancer and now breast cancer has came back in left breast. She had it since 06. Now mom has lung cancer very fast growing. My dad has prostate cancer did not find in time. It is just me to take them to doctor and treatment. Get their medicine and so on. Is their assistant to help buy gas to get them there. They have cut my hour at work we r hanging ourself with hair of our teeth.


over 2 years ago, said...

I had to quit my job so I can take care of my ailing husband...he is on hospice care, and I was told that I could get reimbursement for giving that care....we both get SSI and some retirement for myself from my former employee with the county government....we are not eligible for Medicaid...and wouldn't get it if we needed too... any input someone?


over 2 years ago, said...

I have been the caregiver for my 40 year old son who had a bone marrow transplant 2 years ago this coming July. He has been in the hospital numerous times and has many doctors and clinic appointments. I drive back and forth in one day 120 miles one way and then back home. I have a husband in a nursing home who fractured his spinal column in January. This is really taking a toll on our finances is there any help out there. If so where.


over 2 years ago, said...

I have a very brittle diabetic son. He is very often high or low and is very hard to control. I miss a lot of work because of it and I'm wondering if anyone knows a way to get reimbursed/ paid for his care. thanks, Mary


over 2 years ago, said...

I am the sole caregiver for my mother and no one has mentioned that I can be reimbursed for the money I use for assistance and her anxiety requires 24 hour care. It is better for her to be at home than an institution where I have found care not adequate, but my own needs are hard to meet. Her appointments come before mine and I can hire someone overnight sometimes, but it is expensive and the County programs say I must pay them for help. The article is interesting but I find it hard to believe.


about 3 years ago, said...

My husband is going blind and just qualified for permanent disability. we are moving back to california to be near family. I will need to stay home and care for my husband. What kind of financial help do we qualify for as I become caregiver for my husband?


almost 5 years ago, said...

Is the money we get for being caregivers to my brother-in-law who is disabled and lives with us taxable? He is on SSDI and medicaid. We live in Washington State. We just began the process. My husband (his brother) will be the caregiver as I am disabled also due to a MVA 4 yrs ago. I am still on LTD from work but that runs out in about a year.jl


about 5 years ago, said...

My husband has cancer. He was diagnosed with renal cell cancer 5 years ago. Up until 2 1/2 months ago he was working and so was I. His cancer has progressed and he can no longer work. I continued to work for another month. He has become very weak and requires someone to be with him. I had to quit my job also so that I can be at home with him. With both of us not working and he is not eligible for Disability Social Security till January we are barely making ends meet. I was told there is a program to compensate me since I had to quit work to be with him. Could you let me know if there is such a program.


almost 6 years ago, said...

Hi Mommalittlehelper, Thanks for your comment. If your mother is willing to compensate you, the best thing you can do is talk with her to decide what it fair considering all the variables (how often you help, how much of your own money do you spend, what can she afford, etc). There are also other ways to get paid to be a caregiver. Here are a few links to articles we have on the subject of being paid to be a caregiver: (http://www.caring.com/questions/how-to-become-a-paid-caregiver), (http://www.caring.com/questions/medicaid-caregiver-pay), (http://www.caring.com/questions/how-to-get-paid-to-be-a-caregiver-for-parents), I hope that helps. -- Emily


almost 6 years ago, said...

I am taking care of my mom. I take care of all her medications as well as taking her to and making all doctor appts, local as well as 40 miles away for tests, etc. I am unable to work due to the demands of my mom. She can afford to compensate me but I am not sure how to figure out what is fair. I am the only one she has. My sibblings are not willing to help. She has Parkinson's as well as dementia. Can you help with this?


over 6 years ago, said...

What programs are out there for me to apply for to help off set the income I had to give up to care for my mother?


over 6 years ago, said...

We are caring for my aging mother at home. She needs 24/7 care because of incontinence and dementia issues. My sister spends all day with her and then we take turns caring for her at night. Is there any compensation available to my sister who spends full time with her right now?