What financial help is available for caregiver who had to...
What financial help is available for a caregiver who had to quit her job to care for her 95-year-old mother and the mother's savings and investments are almost gone?
Because your mother's assets are almost gone, and assuming she doesn't have much income, she may be eligible for a program that pays her for home care, which she can use to pay you. Here's how it works.
With low income and assets, your mother might qualify for Medicaid, which provides regular home care. Until recently, that Medicaid home care would have to come from a Medicaid-certified home care agency. Now it may be possible, depending on the state you live in, to bypass the home care agency and have the state pay your mother directly for her home care. She can use that money to pay you for taking care of her. In some states, this kind of program is available even your mother has slightly too much income or assets to qualify for Medicaid.
If your state has such a program, it may be called "Cash and Counseling" or somethting similar. It directly pays your mother the same amount Medicaid would pay an aide from a home care agency. Your mother can spend these funds, at any hourly rate (over minimum wage) she chooses, on anyone she wants to take care of her. Also, your mother can use some of the money to make home improvements for safety or comfort, or to buy personal care items. To find out more about these cash assistance programs, go to the page on this site called How to Get Paid for Being Your Parent's Caregiver.
Your mother can apply for Medicaid and Cash and Counseling, or for a similar state cash assistance program, at your 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.
This is a program that I would be very much interested in, but to my knowledge it has not been approved in the state of Virginia. But it is good to know that programs like this do exist.
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