Being a caregiver for your family member is a gratifying experience. Caregivers need to know their options for financial assistance while taking care of their loved ones. 

Taking care of a family member is indeed an advantageous experience. You have the chance to spend time with your loved ones; you also have the opportunity to ensure they receive excellent quality care. Primary caregiver does not have to worry about outside help that may not be attentive or sympathetic in caring for your loved one.

However, serving as a caregiver for a family member comes at a cost. Caregivers often have to leave their jobs entirely or significantly reduce their number of hours working outside the home to provide quality care for their loved ones. Also, this Post-Pandemic Caregiving means that caregivers are spending hours assisting loved ones with everyday tasks. Family caregivers are not compensated for taking loved ones to appointments, cooking meals, ensuring their safety and well-being, and providing companionship.

Can a family member get compensated to be a caregiver? As per a 2020 study from the National Alliance for Caregiving and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), one in five Americans currently serves as a caretaker for a family member. Most are unpaid for their job, and receiving pay for their daily responsibilities could benefit millions. This joint and demanding responsibility can affect everything from finances to health, as caregivers often report higher stress, difficulties balancing personal relationships, and greater economic insecurity than their peers. The financial toll can prove incredibly draining. Family caregivers need to know their alternatives for financial assistance while caring for their loved ones. If you need to become a compensated caregiver, look into the following options for caregiver compensation. Continue reading below for some steps you can take to be paid for caregiving:

6 Steps To Become A Compensated Family Caregiver

Step 1: Learn if you are eligible for Medicaid’s Self-Directed Services Programs. According to Medicaid.gov, states have options for providing Medicaid enrollees with the opportunity to self-directed Medicaid services under the state waiver and plan programs. If your family member is eligible for Medicaid, you may be able to get financial aid from the Self-Directed Medicaid Services programs. This option is made available in some form in most states. Note that the names of self-directed services programs change from state to state. Self-directed services programs give people with disabilities (including older adult citizens) the possibility to manage a budget and decide how to use their money to pay for services and goods directly relating to their care needs. Contact your local Medicaid office to determine your family member’s eligibility for self-directed services available in your state.

Step 2: Consider a Home and Community-Based Services Program. Many older adults are eligible to choose a home and community-based services program (HCBS). HCBS programs deliver care oversight and ongoing support to assist caregivers while giving them a tax-free daily remuneration to make the financial burden of caregiving easier to endure. These programs are made available to Medicaid beneficiaries who receive in-home care. They are often open to people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, mental illnesses, and older adults. 

Step 3: Consider If Your Family Member Is Eligible for Veterans Aid. Some veterans can sign up for a Veteran Directed Care Program. This program empowers veterans to manage their care, including employing and compensating in-home caregivers. Also, Aid and Attendance benefit is another option for veterans who require in-home care. The Aid and Attendance benefit covers assisted living, nursing home, and in-home care costs, including paying family caregivers. Further, in many cases, your loved one must need assistance with activities of daily living and fall in line with asset and income guidelines. Contact your local veterans’ service organization or your local Veterans Affairs office if you need more help determining your family member’s eligibility for these veterans’ benefits.

Step 4: Know If Your Family Member Has a Long-Term Care Insurance Policy That Offers Caregiver Compensation. Some long-term care insurance policies include paying a family member who provides care. This is according to the Family Caregiver Alliance. If you can determine whether your family member has such a policy, you need to determine if caregiver compensation is among the benefits. Contact the insurance company or the agent and ask for further details and clarification about the caregiver payment benefit.

Step 5: Review Your Company Policies Related to Caregivers’ Paid Leave.   As more families require at least one member to serve as caregivers for aging parents, companies realize the need to assist employees with paid leave. If you are providing care to a family member while employed, your company may provide an elder care benefit as part of the family medical leave program (FMLA). 

Step 6: Consider If Your Family is Willing to Pay You for Your Caregiving Time. Family members may be willing to compensate you for caring for elderly loved ones. Consult with an attorney who will draft a contract that specifies work and remuneration. This document can be utilized when and if your loved one needs to enter a nursing home or an assisted living facility or apply for Medicaid.  

Gentle Reminders

Caregivers must educate themselves by knowing their loved one’s eligibility for various government programs, insurance policy benefits, employee benefits, and family payment options if they hope to become a paid caregiver for a family member. You can also check out some assistance from disease-related entities such as CancerCare or National Resource Center. Navigate the options available to you now.  

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