Get Paid to Care for Your Loved Ones – A Short Guide
Caring for a disabled or aging family member is a huge responsibility. It can often pose a challenge and a conflict with your full-time job, which could, unfortunately lead to financial struggles. So, how can you balance both?
Many people wish to be there for their struggling family members. However, various factors prevent them from doing so.
Recent AARP data shows that around 48 million Americans provide unpaid care to family members. They spend roughly 26% of their annual income on caregiving-related expenses. These include medical supplies, transportation, and in-home aid.
However, there’s good news! If you’re looking to get paid to care for family members, there are many programs – although limited – that can help you get paid while caring for your loved ones.
If you want to explore these caregiver compensation programs, continue reading to learn more about your options.
State Medicaid Programs
You can get paid to care for your loved ones if a family member receives Medicaid due to a disability. States provide various self-directed choices. These include personal assistant services, enabling participants to choose, train, and set provider payments.
In 2020, federal and state governments spent over $343 billion on Medicare, Medicaid, and related programs.
Many states call this a consumer-directed personal assistance program. Each state has different requirements and rules.
- As per Medicaid’s long-term services and supports (LTSS) program, the recipient can spend the money however they want. Hence, they can also use it to pay a family member for the caregiving.
- There are also waivers, like the Community Health Choices (CHS) of the Pennsylvania Medicaid Waiver Programs for those who prefer home and community-based care, called Home & Community-Based Services (HCBS).
- Some states have Structured Family Caregiving programs in partnership with Caregiver Homes, which allows family caregivers to be paid if their loved one is a Medicaid recipient. However, these caregivers are not employed by the waiver holder; rather, by an SFC agency that ensures the caregiver is eligible and trained.
To learn more about this program, contact the Medicaid office in your state.
Personal Assistance Services Program
Getting paid to be a caregiver through the PAS program is a lifeline for family members. It offers home care services that put your disabled or aging family member in control. They can select your caregiver and manage their care. It’s their responsibility to interview, hire, schedule, and oversee their caregiver’s timesheets.
A Fiscal Agency processes payroll and taxes. While your dependent family member hires the caregiver, they can receive benefits like Health Insurance, 401k, Overtime Pay, and Vacation Pay through the agency.
PAS gives the family member flexibility in selecting relatives, neighbors, or friends. There are no costs to enroll for Medicaid-eligible individuals, and Medicaid covers the program.
Services include medication reminders, personal care, meal preparation, transportation assistance, and more.
To be eligible for this program, you need to:
- reside in PA
- be over 18
- qualify for Medicaid benefits through the Area Department on Aging
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Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance policies can offer financial relief for family caregivers. Certain policies allow family members to receive compensation for their caregiving services.
To explore this option, contact your insurance agent and request a written confirmation of the available benefits.
This confirmation will provide you with clear details on what expenses are covered. You will also learn how much you will get paid to care for family members.
However, before signing up for any coverage, it’s important that you go through the terms. You may find a few insurance policies that cover both – a professional caregiver and family members.
If you want resources to read about your options, visit the American Association of Long-Term Care Insurance. It has all the information you need about long-term care insurance.
Administration on Aging & Department of Aging Services
Government programs through the Administration on Aging & Department of Aging Services can help alleviate caregiving expenses.
Local agencies, part of the Administration on Aging (AAA), offer valuable resources such as:
Respite care allows you to hire a caregiver for essential breaks
Mobility assistance programs
You can find your local AAA agency’s contact information on Eldercare.gov. Additionally, consider contacting your state’s Department of Welfare or Health and Human Services.
They may have cash or medical assistance programs and support services to ease your family’s caregiving financial burden and responsibilities.
Veterans and their caregivers may benefit from several veteran programs. Here are a few programs you can have access to as a family member of a veteran:
- The Veteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Services program offers a flexible budget. Veterans can employ family members for everyday assistance with guidance from a counselor.
- The Aid and Attendance Benefits program offers additional monthly payments alongside the VA pension. This is for those needing treatment for bedridden conditions, living in nursing homes, having visual impairments, or requiring daily assistance. Qualified veterans and survivors can use these benefits to support caregiver expenses, including family members. To determine your eligibility, locate your area’s VA pension management center.
To apply, contact your state’s pension center. Submit VA Form 21-2680. Include disability documentation and daily care needs proof.
Family caregivers have a range of resources available to alleviate their financial burdens. The compensation for caregiving varies significantly, contingent on factors like the state, the care plan, and the level of care required.
Programs like Medicaid’s self-directed services and the Veteran Directed Care Program differ from state to state, with varying pay scales. You may also get financial assistance from the PAS program as a PA resident and policies like long-term care insurance.
These programs provide a way for anyone wondering, “Can I get paid to care for my parents, partner, or any family member?”
Research your options and pick the one that you’re eligible for. Start getting paid for the care you provide for your family members. Ease your financial, physical, and emotional burden.
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And get the peace of mind you need in knowing that your loved ones are being looked after by people who care just as much as you do
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