My husband and I are on social security- can I receive financial help for being my husband's full time caregiver?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 18, 2016
Plaine asked...

My husband and I are on SS. I have to stay at home to take care my husband 24/7. He is on oxygen and he has COPD. Our savings are totally depleted due to high house payments. We are about to go into forcloser. Can I receive financial heip since I cannot work outside the home?

Expert Answers

It's possible that you could get some pay to care for your husband through a program run by your state's Medicaid program. If you and your husband combined have a low enough income to qualify, and you have few assets other than your home (which doesn't count), your husband might be eligible for Medicaid. He's particularly likely to be eligible if he has high medical bills. If he is eligible for Medicaid, a program Medicaid runs in your state might be able to pay him directly for care in the home, which he could then use to pay you to take care of him. In some states, this kind of cash assistance is possible even for people who have slightly too much income or assets to qualify for Medicaid. 

These payments work through a state program called Cash and Counseling, or a similar program. Normally, Medicaid would provide 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 husband 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.