Can I Get Paid to Care for a Senior Family Member?

October 24, 2011 § 2 Comments

As the number of family members providing care for aging parents increases, the solutions to find help with loss of income because of time off from employment for caregiving has become a major concern for many.

The demands on caregivers’ time and energy can make it impossible to maintain a full time job and take care of their loved one full time. There are several programs available to help caregivers either financially or through other methods of support.

A few examples of available programs and/or benefits are:

  • National Family Caregiver Support Program
  • Medicaid Cash & Counseling Program
  • Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit
  • Long Term Care Insurance Benefit

Below we have listed a brief description of each of these programs and how you can find out more about each topic.

National Family Caregiver Support Program
The federal government’s Agency on Aging created the National Family Caregiver Support Program in order to give support to family caregivers. The program offers support on a state and community level and provides a variety of services, which are listed below. To find an area Agency on Aging in your area and learn more about the program click here.

Services provided by the National Family Caregiver Support Program include:

  • General information about available services
  • Assistance to help caregivers gain access to supportive services
  • Individual counseling and organization of support groups
  • Training to assist caregivers in making decisions and solving problems
  • Respite care to enable caregivers to be temporarily relieved from their responsibilities Supplemental services, on a limited basis, to complement the care provided by family caregivers

Medicaid Cash & Counseling Program
A Medicaid approved assistance program called Cash & Counseling may be used to provide funds to hire personal care aides as well as purchase items or services, including home modifications that help people live independently.

The PayingForSeniorCare.com website gives the following information about the program:

“For Medicaid eligible seniors, the process begins with an assessment in the home to determine the senior’s home care needs; this includes interviews with caregivers and possibly the senior’s physicians. A determination of how many monthly care hours are required is made. The benefit amount is calculated using that determination and cost of care for that geographic area. This amount can be increased or decreased as the senior’s needs change. A family care giver may need to qualify as a home health aid by the state to receive these funds.”

This program is executed by each individual state Area on Aging Services division. The program is relatively new and is not yet available in all states. Check with your state Area on Aging Services department for more information. To find an area Agency on Aging in your area click here.

Using the Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit
A totally overlooked source of money to pay family caregivers is the Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit. This money is available to veterans who served during a period of war. Pension money is also available to the widows of these veterans. This benefit, under the right circumstances, can provide up to $1,949 a month in additional income to pay family members to provide care at home.

Receiving the benefit can be difficult because there must be a caregiver contract in place, a medical evaluation must be performed by a physician, income and asset qualifications must be met and proof of medical expenses provided. Submitting the correct forms and documentation can easily be accomplished with the help of a VA Accredited Consultant who understands the process.

Long-Term Care Insurance Benefit
If the senior being cared for has a long-term care insurance policy that covers home care, payment to the caregiver from this source could be arranged. Some policies require the care provider to be from a licensed home care agency. Other policies will pay for certified individual aides, which require the family caregiver to take some training courses. There are also policies that will pay a daily amount to the insured to use for their care. Check with a long-term care insurance professional about the differences in policies.

For questions concerning any of the above programs, contact the Law Office of Dawn M. Weekly, PC. The law firm located in Sandwich, Illinois and focuses on elder law and Life Care Planning for clients. Their office may be reached by calling 815-570-2334.

Every day of every week, Weekly Law is here for you.

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