Is there financial aid for caregivers?

A fellow caregiver asked...

I am caring for my parents but now I need to be home with them day to day. Is there any financial aid for caregivers that I can get since I will have lost my income?

Expert Answer

Steve Weisman hosts the nationally syndicated radio show A Touch of Grey, heard on more than 50 stations, including WABC in New York City and KRLA in Los Angeles. He is a practicing lawyer specializing in estate planning and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He's a public speaker and commentator who has appeared on many radio and television shows throughout the country, and he's the legal editor of Talkers magazine, the preeminent trade publication of talk radio. His latest book is The Truth About Avoiding Scams.

There are millions of people in America taking care of elderly parents without any pay. Unfortunately, there is no direct financial aid that can help compensate you for the lost income. However, some relief may be found in an unlikely place -- the income tax.

Turnabout is fair play: Just as you were once claimed as a dependent by your parents on their federal income tax return, now you may be in a position to claim your parents as a dependent on your federal income tax return. If you paid for more than half of your parents expenses for the year and their income is less than $3,400 for the year, you may be able to take them as a dependent on your income tax return. In addition, there's a little-used dependent care credit that you may be eligible for that allows you to deduct as much as $1,200 from your tax bill if you pay someone to care for your parents while you work. Talk to your tax or financial advisor to see if you qualify for these deductions.

SEE ALSO: Find In-Home Care Help Near You