had to quit my job to take care of my mother,living off of...

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 18, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I had to quit my job to take care of my mother, living off of her income. How can I receive financial support while providing care for her?

Expert Answers


If your mother has low income and few assets other than her home, she might qualify for Medicaid. Normally, Medicaid pays for regular home care and provides it through a certified home care agency. But it's also possible -- depending on what state you live in -- to bypass the home care agency and have the state pay her directly for her in-home care. She can then use the money to pay you for taking care of her. 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.

This arrangement works through a state program called Cash and Counseling, or a similar program. The program directly pays the senior the same amount Medicaid would pay an aide from a home care agency. The senior can spend these funds on anyone she chooses to take care of her. She also decides how much to pay. Also, she can use some of the money to make home improvements for safety or comfort, or to buy personal care items. The catch is that your state has to be offering this Cash and Counseling or similar state program. 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 help your mother apply for Medicaid and Cash and Counseling, or for a similar state cash assistance program, 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.