caregiver

How to Become a Paid Caregiver for Your Parents

Caring for aging parents can be an emotionally and physically draining task. It’s no wonder that many people are interested in getting paid to care for their parents. This is especially true if they have to give up time at their job in order to do so.

There are several programs available that pay for family caregiving. However, you need to qualify for these programs in order to get assistance. Here are some questions that can help you examine yourself to determine whether or not you will be able to qualify. 

  • How much care do my parents need? 
  • How old are my parents? 
  • Is one of my parents a veteran? 
  • What assets do my parents have? 
  • What state do  My parents and I live in? 

Depending on your answers to these questions, you may be qualified to become a paid caregiver for your parents using government funded programs. One such government funded program is Medicaid.  

Medicaid

This program offers several different plans that can be used to pay for a family caregiver. Eligibility for Medicaid depends on factors such as age and income.

If your parents are eligible for Medicaid, they may be able to receive financial aid from the Cash and Counseling program. This program is only available in 15 states in the United States. It provides seniors with disabilities the ability to manage how to use their money to pay for items and services that are directly related to their own personal health care needs. As a result, they can even choose to use some of the money from the Cash in Counseling program to hire and pay for a caregiver. To find out whether or not you are eligible to become your parents’ caregiver, contact your local Medicaid office. 

Home and Community Based Services Programs 

These type of programs deliver ongoing support to help caregivers while providing them with a daily pay to make the financial burden of being a caregiver easier. Your parents will typically qualify for these programs if they are enrolled in Medicaid and receive a whole in home care. These programs are not limited only to seniors. If your parents have intellectual, developmental or physical disabilities they may qualify to receive help from a home community based services program. The main goal of the HCBS programs are to provide family caregivers the ability to focus on providing quality care for their family members, instead of worrying about the financial burden of being a caregiver. 

Looking for these types of programs is easy. You can search for Home and Community Based Services programs on the Medicaid official website using the search box. 

Family Paying Family

One of the benefits for your parents of having a family caregiver is the level of familiarity that comes with family taking care of family. However, there are also financial benefits for your parents. You will be saving them a lot of money by being the primary caregiver. That being said, you have the ability to ask your parents or other family members to compensate you for your efforts. If they were to pay out of pocket for a professional caregiver, they might end up paying about $5000 a month. If you are willing to work for less than this amount monthly, they may be willing to compensate you directly. 

First, write out a draft of what you think would be fair compensation for caring for your parents. Then, present it to family members that are involved. Finally, when everyone comes to an agreement, consider speaking to an attorney.

When making this arrangement with your parents, it’s best to speak with an attorney to draft a contract. There you will state your work and payment schedule. While this might not seem like a pleasant thing to do there are benefits of having a legal document drawn up. For example, this may come in handy later if your parents need to apply for an assisted living facility. 

The Long Term Services and Supports Program

This program provides financial support to seniors who are in need of long-term care. It allows them to manage for themselves how they would like to receive that care. The details of this program vary depending which state you live in. Some states have restrictions on them that prevent hiring family caregivers. Some factors that would prevent you from becoming a caregiver in these states would be following:

  • Your relationship to the family member
  • Whether or not you live in the same household

Veterans Services 

If either one of your parents are a veteran, then you might be able to access additional resources. One such additional resource is the Veterans Aid and Attendance. This is for senior veterans in need of regular assistance for a number of activities of daily living. This program may provide up to $1,830 a month per person. This money  is put in the control of the person in need. As a result, they can put it towards the long term care program of their choice. This includes paying a family caregiver.  

Tax Deductions Available to Caregivers 

Finally, once you become a paid caregiver, take advantage of all the tax deductions available. Costs such as dental or medical bills, transportation costs and home modifications for handicap accessibility may be able to be written off. If you’re not sure what you qualify for, you can talk to your accountant. Your accountant may suggest that you begin keeping track of your mileage on your vehicle and saving receipts for any expenses that you can include as tax deductions. 

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