Can my husband receive payments from medicare or medicaid to help care for myself and my son?

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

I am 54 yrs. old and on SSDI for health related problems and my 26 yr. old son is on SSI for psychological problems. My husband cares for us both, doing literally everything. Is is possible for him to receive payments from medicare or medicaid to care for us both?

Expert Answers

Not Medicare, but possibly Medicaid. If your and your husband's joint income and assets (not counting your house or car) are both low enough, you might qualify for Medicaid. And if your son is receiving SSI, he is probably eligible for Medicaid. If so, a program run by Medicaid in your state might be able to pay your son (and you, if you also qualify for Medicaid) directly for his (and perhaps your) care at home. Your son and you could then use the money to pay your husband. 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. Normally, Medicaid pays for regular home care and provides it 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.

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 get information about your state's Medicaid and Cash and Counseling program, or 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.