For those who work as a caregiver for parents, making ends meet is one of the most difficult issues they face. Fortunately for those experiencing hardship, they can turn to government programs and other methods that offer family caregivers financial support.
Providing caregiving for parents and other family members is one of the most rewarding things a person can do, but it also can lead to difficulties, especially when it comes to money. That’s because most people must take time away from work or even leave their job completely to provide care for their loved one. And for all the work they do, caregivers do not get paid.
However, programs exist that can help. They include the following.
Medicaid’s Cash and Counseling Program
One of the first places to look for help is the Medicaid Cash and Counseling Program that provides financial aid to qualified caregivers. The program gives caregivers a budget to support their efforts. Part of the budget may go to paying a family caregiver. However, this program is only available in 15 states, so check on the Medicaid site to see if it’s available in your area.
Medical Long Term Services and Support
Medicaid also offers support for caregivers through this program, but the specifics can vary from state to state. In some places, restrictions might apply, including requirements on living with the care recipient. The best first step for any Medicaid is to visit the site and contact a local office to find out if you are eligible.
Aid For Veterans
If your loved one is a veteran, they may be eligible for support from the Veterans Administration. The Veteran Directed Home Community Based Services Program empowers veterans to manage their own healthcare. That includes money to pay caregivers. Caregivers can find out if they are eligible for the program by contacting their local veteran’s office.
Some insurance provides payments for long-term care, including covering the costs of in-home care. However, every policy is different, so it’s important to make sure the policy includes payments to caregivers, even if it does provide coverage for long-term care (some will only cover the cost of care facilities).
Caregivers may also find themselves able to take some tax deductions. While not the same as getting paid, it can help reduce taxes and result in getting money back from the government. Costs that might be eligible for deduction include dental costs, medical costs, any changes to the home needed to provide caregiving and any transportation costs to and from a doctor’s office. The key here is to keep all the necessary receipts for expenses and to consult with a tax advisor.
Check With Family
No one knows your situation better than your own family. One option is to turn to family members and find out if they are willing to pay you for our caregiving duties, or reimburse you for some of your costs.
Many local resources are available, from organizations that focus on how to help others by offering help in handling household chores to those that may provide financial assistance. A good place to start in finding out what is available in your area is the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. Most local organizations will have registered with the association. Providing caregiving for parents and other family members is a selfish act of kindness and love. Money may not have been much of a consideration when you decided to become a caregiver. But it’s a wise move to find financial support. It will benefit both you and your loved one.