How To Get Paid To Take Care of a Family Member With a Handicap

Discover numerous ways you might be compensated to take care of family members

Are you taking care of a family member with a handicap who’s struggling to handle their daily basic tasks on their own? This might be an excellent present that helps them to continue in their home. But, while caring for loved ones without income, many carers endure financial difficulty.

Caring for a loved one might demand out-of-pocket spending as well as decreased work hours, which can mean losing income, career possibilities, and benefits.

If you’d prefer to continue caring for a handicapped family member but need pay to fulfill your financial requirements, here are several organizations that may be able to assist. Discover how to become a caregiver who gets paid consistently.
Important Takeaways
Caring for a handicapped family member typically comes with out-of-pocket and employment-related fees.
Many federal and state programs are available that may assist carers get compensation.
You may also be able to recuperate expenses via long-term-care insurance and tax credits/deductions.

What Programs Pay Caretakers?

Here, you’ll discover numerous programs and other channels that might possibly help you be compensated as a caretaker.

Medicaid Self-Directed Care

Medicaid serves numerous categories of people, including those with intellectual, physical, and developmental impairments, and older citizens who require extra assistance to help them live independently. Beyond the regular coverage, it includes a Self-Directed Care program that enables handicapped persons to oversee their care.

In other words, the handicapped person (or their designated representative) may manage a budget, pick who will supply them with personal care services, and determine how the services will be supplied. If correctly recorded, the handicapped individual and their designated carer (you) may be reimbursed by the Medicaid program.

Although it’s a federal program, to be eligible, the insured person has to satisfy the conditions imposed by their state. For example, in Idaho, they must:
  • Live in Idaho.
  • Be at least 65 years old or have a disability diagnosis under the Social Security Act.
  • Satisfy the income criteria.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or a non-citizen who is qualified.
Moreover, states have numerous alternatives for offering self-directed Medicaid services. Your state may provide any one of the following programs:
  • The Home and Community-Based Services Waiver Program (1915 c): States may establish exemptions for persons who wish to access long-term care services in their home or community rather than in an institution.
  • Community First Choice Program (1915 k): Enables states to offer home and community attendant services and assistance to qualifying Medicaid participants.
  • The Home and Community-Based Services State Plan Option (1915 I): Allows states to specify needs-based criteria for persons to receive a mix of medical and long-term care in their home or community.
  • Self-Directed Personal Assistance Services State Plan Option (1915 j): Allows personal care services that are delivered under the Medicaid state plan or waivers that are in effect.
To find out what alternatives are available and which regulations apply to your circumstance, contact your local Medicaid office.

State Programs

Each state has its own initiatives that may help you be compensated.

For example, California provides Paid Family Leave (PFL) for up to eight weeks. PFL is applicable to carers of sick family members who have paid into State Disability Insurance for the preceding five to 18 months. If you qualify, you may get roughly 60% to 70% of your typical salary per week.

Although not a permanent answer, PFL might assist you start being rewarded while you figure out a long-term solution.

The programs will differ from state to state, so call your local Medicaid office and ask them about your unique caregiver payment programs and services. Additionally, check for other authorities that may be able to aid, such as Agencies on Aging, Aging and Disability Organizations, and Departments of Health and Social Services.

Veteran Directed Care

Veteran Directed Care (VDC) is a program that allows qualified veterans of all ages a budget for the personal care services they require. These services may involve support with chores such as preparing meals, bathing, and getting dressed.

With the guidance of a counselor, a veteran or their representative may design a spending plan and employ their own care providers, who can be family members. The objective is to assist more veterans live at home and engage in their communities.
To be eligible for Veteran Directed Care, veterans must be registered in the VA health care system, be eligible for community care, fulfill the clinical requirements for the treatments sought, and have Veteran Directed Care accessible at their local VA Medical Center.

Assistance and Attendance Benefits and Housebound Allowance (Veterans)

The Assistance and Attendance Benefits and Housebound Allowance program is intended for veterans who are housebound or require help with everyday chores. To be eligible, veterans need to earn a VA pension and fulfill one of the following conditions:
  • They have restricted vision.
  • They require assistance with everyday tasks such as bathing, eating, and getting dressed.
  • They have to remain in bed or spend most of their time in bed because of a sickness.
  • They are in a nursing home because of a handicap that led them to lose mental or physical capacities.
  • They spend much of their time at home because of a persistent impairment.
If a veteran qualifies, they’ll get monthly payments on top of their monthly VA pension, which may assist to cover the expenses of a family member providing care.

Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) (Veterans)

PCAFC allows veterans to designate one main family caregiver and up to two additional family carers. Those chosen persons may get a range of advantages, including a monthly stipend along with caregiver training, mental health counseling, access to health care coverage, and more.

To qualify, the veteran must have a VA disability rating of at least 70% (individual or combined) (individual or combined). Their disability must also have been caused or exacerbated while active service on or before May 7, 1975, or on or after Sept. 11, 2001. Also, the veteran must have been released from the U.S. military or have a date of medical discharge and must require at least six months of continuing, in-person personal care services.

Caregivers must be family members or persons who reside with the veteran full-time and who are at least 18 years old.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care (LTC) insurance helps cover the expenditures associated with long-term care that are commonly excluded from Medicare and health insurance programs. This may include personal care services for persons who require support with basic daily routines.

If your family member has this coverage, it may assist cover the expenses to pay you to be their caretaker.
Some long-term care insurance plans won’t cover caregivers who live with the person being cared for, so check with your family member’s insurance agent for specifics.

Private Caregiver Payment Contract

The going wage for a home health assistant was $29,260 per year, or more than $14 per hour, in 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics.

So if your family member can pay you, it’s appropriate to seek reimbursement for your job as a caretaker. To take this way, it’s important to develop a legal contract between you and the family member, prepared by an attorney who specializes in elder care. It should define your job and payment timeline.

Tax Credits and Deduction

Finally, another method to be compensated or repaid for the expenditures you spend while taking care of a family member is on your taxes, particularly if you file taxes jointly with the handicapped person.

The following credits and deductions may be available to you, depending on your situation:

  • Medical Costs Deduction: If the family person you care for is your spouse or dependent, you may deduct the qualified medical expenditures that exceed 7.5% of your income. This may include money spent to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent illnesses, and can assist to lower the taxes you owe.
  • Child and Dependent Care Credit: If you paid for the care of an eligible family member while you were working or seeking for employment, you may earn a credit equivalent to 50% of your costs (up to $4,000 credit, or 50% of $8,000 in expenses, for an individual in 2021).
  • Credit for the Elderly and Disabled: Qualified taxpayers who are at least 65 years old or retired on permanent and complete disability and who earned taxable disability income may get a tax credit from $3,750 to $7,500.

Although they aren’t sources of regular income, they may help you recoup some of your expenditures when you pay your taxes each year. 

How To Apply for Caregiver Pay

Now that you know several of the methods you might be paid, how can you apply?

Medicaid Self-Directed Care

To learn more about Medicaid Self-Directed Care and to apply, visit your local Medicaid office. The application procedure will differ per state.

State Programs

Call your state authorities to learn out about the various programs. You may start with your local Medicaid office as well as the agency that oversees health, aging, and/or social services in your state.

Veteran Directed Care

If the Veteran Directed Care (VDC) program seems ideal for your circumstance, you and the veteran you care for should contact out to their VA social worker to find out whether the program is offered in your region. If it is, they can aid with the following steps.

Assistance and Attendance Benefits and Housebound Allowance (Veterans)

Through the Aid and Attendance Benefits and Housebound Allowance program, the veteran may apply by completing VA Form 21-2680, which is the Examination for Housebound Status or Permanent Need for Regular Help and Attendance. Their doctor will need to fill out the examination section.

They should also include proof that proves they require the program’s services, such a doctor’s report, along with specifics about their daily activities, their handicap, and how it effects their lives.

All of the papers will need to be submitted to the Pension Management Center (PMC) in your state or brought to a VA regional office near you.

Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) (Veterans)

To apply for PCAFC, both you and the veteran will apply jointly to establish your eligibility. You’ll complete out VA Form 10-10CG, which is a joint Application for the Program of Comprehensive Support for Family Caregivers.

You may submit it, together with any supporting documentation, online, via mail, or in person at your local VA medical facility

Don’t submit any medical documents with an application for the Program of Comprehensive Support for Family Caregivers. The VA will follow up after receiving the application and will obtain medical data as appropriate.

 Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance is offered by private insurance firms that employ medical underwriting. It’s advisable to investigate numerous businesses, acquire multiple quotations, and compare them to discover the best bargain.

Private Caregiver Payment Contract

A private caregiver payment contract isn’t something for which you apply. Instead, it’s an option you should examine. In certain circumstances, such as when the family member receiving care has significant financial means, it may make sense. If a private caregiver payment contract sounds like a suitable option for you and your family member, consult with them, other family members involved, and an attorney.

Tax Credits and Deduction

If you’re interested in the prospect of earning tax credits and/or deductions, consult with a tax preparer or a tax attorney to find out whether you qualify.

What Happens Once You Become a Caregiver?

If you become a paid caregiver, you’ll get regular remuneration for the care you offer your family member. What occurs next depends on the method you are being paid.

For example, with the Medicare Self-Directed Programs and the Veteran Directed Care Program, the handicapped family member is in control of selecting who they want to give their care services. For as long as they want you to be the one providing care and continue to qualify for the program, they may continue to retain you in the role as their paid main caregiver.

Study the small print of any program you pick to find out about renewal requirements, expiry dates, and restrictions.

Commonly Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What do caregivers do?

When people can’t manage the fundamental functions of everyday living on their own, caregivers aid them on a continuous basis. The duties might include housework, transportation, bathing, getting dressed, using the restroom, preparing meals, and more.

How do you locate a live-in caregiver for an elderly family member?

If you can’t care for an older family member, and you don’t want to send them to a long-term care facility, you may seek for a live-in caregiver by calling a home-care service near you. Ask your doctor, their staff, friends, and family for referrals.

Pick a state-licensed agency that has licensed and insured trained staff. Obtain information packets from various organizations so you may compare the alternatives and cost to find the best match. You may also offer up the job directly to the market and can screen prospective caretakers yourself. 


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  1. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "Medicaid: State-Directed Care vs. Self-Directed Care."
  2. Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. "Medicaid for Elderly or People With Disability."
  3. "Self-Directed Services."
  4. Employment Development Agency, State of California. "Calculating Paid Family Leave Benefit Payment Amounts."
  5. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. "Veteran-Directed Care."
  6. VA Health Care. "Veteran-Directed Care."
  7. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. "VA Assistance and Attendance Benefits and Housebound Allowance."
  8. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. "The Program of Comprehensive Support for Family Caregivers."
  9. U.S. Department of Labor Statistics. "Table 1. Nationwide Employment and Wage Data From the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Survey by Occupation, May 2021."
  10. Internal Revenue Service. "Topic No. 502 Medical and Dental Costs."
  11. Internal Revenue Service. "Publication 503: Child and Dependent Care Costs, for Use in Preparing 2021 Returns," Pages 1-2.
  12. Internal Revenue Service. "Credit for the Aged or the Disabled at a Glance."
  13. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. "VA Caregiver Support Program."