Does Medicare compensate a full time family caregiver?

1 answer | Last updated: Jun 29, 2010
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Does Medicare compensate a full time family caregiver?

Expert Answers

Medicare does not provide any payment for a family caregiver. However, if the family member you're caring for has low income and few assets (other than a home), he or she might qualify for a state-run program where you live, which can provide some payment directly for care in the home. The person being cared for can then use this money to pay you. 

These payments work through a state program called Cash and Counseling, or a similar program, often run through your state's Medicaid program. If your relative is in need of home care and qualifies for Medicaid, the program would normally provide the home care through a certified home care agency. But this special program directly pays the person in need of care the same amount Medicaid would pay an aide from a home care agency. The person needing care can spend these funds on anyone he chooses to take care of him. He can also use some of the money to make home improvements for safety or comfort, or to buy personal care items.

To learn more about these cash assistance programs -- not all 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 Medicaid -- and for Cash and Counseling or a similar state cash 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 online you can go to any search engine and type in the word Medicaid and the name of your state.