What kind of financial aid programs are available to full-time caregivers?

Davissa45 asked...

I have recently taken FMLA leave to care for my husband who has end stage COPD. I have heard there are programs available to full-time caregivers due to loss of income. Where are these programs and how do I get more information?

Expert Answer

You might find a little cash assistance if you and your husband have low income and assets. In that case, your husband might qualify for in-home care from Medicaid or similar state program. Until recently, he'd have to get that Medicaid in-home care through a certified home care agency. Now, it's possible – depending on what state you live in -- to bypass the home care agency and have the state pay your husband directly for his in-home care. He can then use the money to pay you for taking care of her. In some states, this kind of cash assistance is possible even if you and your husband have slightly too much income or assets to qualify for Medicaid.

This direct payment works through a state program called Cash and Counseling. The program pays your husband the same amount Medicaid would pay an aide from a home care agency. If you take care of him, you can keep these funds. You and your husband can also use some of the money to buy personal care items. All this depends on your state offering this Cash and Counseling or similar state program, and you and your husband having low enough income and assets to qualify for it. 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.

You 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 go online to any search engine and enter the word Medicaid and the name of your state.