It is a worldwide accepted fact that we as a society have always been dependent on our immediate family members to provide emotional support and assist our older parents, grandparents, and other family members when they have lost the capability to function independently. Therefore, the role of a caregiver can vary to a great extent depending on multiple factors. It could be the diverse nature of the family, the time of the entry of a caregiver’s role, the duration of this particular role and lastly the transitions experienced throughout the care. Despite many common experiences, caregivers’ roles are highly variable across the course of caregiving. On the job training can almost feel like a rollercoaster ride with several ups and downs, more so if you as a caregiver have no prior experience of the responsibilities involved.
When someone at home decides to let go of their jobs so that they could devote their entire time caring for the loved one, be it a spouse (24% of all family caregivers) or an adult child (60%), they often overlook the financial sacrifices (pensions or (401)k’s, social security benefits and other perks). Precisely why caregivers need to explore means that they get compensated for their time, efforts and sacrifices.
Here are 5 ways that are readily available and worth trying:
Tax Credit Indirect Payment – The IRS Tax Credit provides eligible family caregivers with the benefit of receiving tax credit equivalent to 30% of expenditures as outlaid on behalf of their loved one in excess of $2000 to $3000 annually. Of course, there are certain eligibility criteria that need to be fulfilled like the caregiver being a direct relative of the one receiving care, well-documented expenditure and earnings of at least $7500 taxable income
Caregiver Contract – Also known as Elder Care Contract, it is a formal agreement usually among family members to compensate for those providing care. As the contract is drawn in the presence of a lawyer, all the terms, tasks and monetary matters are documented so that there is no ambiguity whatsoever.
Long-Term Care Insurance – A majority of long-term insurance policies have the provision of home care payment. The policy could mention licenced home care agency and if not, a caregiver contract can help but one has to check with the insurance carrier and the caregiver contract.
Medicaid funded programs like CDPAP – Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program and CDPAS -Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Services let care recipients hire almost any caregiver they prefer who in turn get compensated for their time.
Veterans Benefits – Referred to as the Veteran Directed Home and Community-Based Services (VD-HCBS), it specifically pays family members to act as caregivers for a home-based loved one. This program requires the care recipient to be a resident of their own home, caregiver’s home, or an independent living community that does not offer care support.
Ultimately, caregiving results from love and at times, getting paid to take care of family member it takes more than love to succeed in caregiving situations. There is absolutely no substitute for knowledge, for being prepared, and for having the confidence to know what to do in all care situations.