Financial Assistance for Family Caregivers

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Often, when an elderly individual can no longer care for themselves, a family member will step in as caregiver. For the caregiver this could mean having to quit their job or working less. Since they are not professional caregivers, they aren’t paid for their services, which can cause a major financial burden.
If you are acting as a caregiver to a family member, you probably know this struggle. The expenses of taking care of both your loved one and yourself is often difficult. There are a few ways you may be able to get compensated for your caregiving though.
Tax Breaks
Although this solution isn’t an immediate solution, the chances of receiving this type of aid is the highest. Under certain circumstances, you can claim your family member as a dependent as well as report the expenses of care. Just make sure to save bills and receipts to refer to during tax season.
Area Agencies on Aging
The Area Agencies on Aging provide a host of services to family caregivers. In some cases, they will be able to help you find compensation. You will also be able to find caregiver respite, which allows a professional caregiver to step in when you need a break, and information on how to provide the best care. Visit them at for more information. You can also find your nearest agency at
Medicaid Cash & Counseling
Although only available in 15 states, this program allows elderly patients to “hire” a family member as a caregiver and Medicaid pays them directly. Your family member must live in a participating state (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia), qualify for Medicaid and be 65 years of age or older.
There may also be other state and/or county programs in your area. To inquire, contact your local human services office. If your loved one has long-term care insurance, you may also be able to receive payment through this.
Being a family caregiver is hard work. Although you do it out of love, seeking compensation is well within your rights.

By: Alecia Stanton

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