5 Ways To Get Paid As a Caregiver
Caregiving for your loved one is a serious commitment. Tending to your senior’s needs as well as maintaining that they’re in the best health possible can be an arduous task. Now try balancing that with spending time with family, friends, and most importantly, a paying job. One of the biggest struggles that many family members face is staying financially stable while taking care of their loved one.
Luckily, there are a few ways that you can get paid as a caregiver to make life a little easier on yourself. Make sure to look into these programs so you cannot only get assistance for your loved one but for yourself as well. However, we do reccomend that you consult a financial professional before making any major decisions.
5 Ways To Get Paid As a Caregiver
Unfortunately, the current Medicare program does not pay spouses or family members to provide care for there loved ones. However, in a handful of states, Medicaid will cover some of the costs of taking care of your senior.
Each of the programs which follow allow for consumer direction of services, which means the “consumer” or beneficiary has the option to direct from whom they receive their care services. To clarify, they are allowed to choose whomever they would like, provided that individual meets the program’s requirements (physical ability, background check, etc.). Therefore, they can elect to hire their spouses as personal care providers. Their spouses, if approved, are paid by the state program or through an intermediary agency. Compensation rates vary by program. Typically, caregiver spouses are paid between $10 and $15 per hour. This will allow you to get paid for your service while still ensuring that you’re following proper tax regulations and guidelines.
2. Veterans Options
There are also veterans options that can help you get paid as a caregiver. Luckily, our veterans program strives to ensure that both seniors, as well as caregivers, are financially able to live a comfortable life.
Veterans-directed care, which is also referred to as Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services, gives participating veterans the opportunity to choose their own care, providers. Family members, including spouses, can be hired as personal care providers and will be paid an hourly rate between $12 and $18 depending on the geographic area of the country. Unfortunately, not all veterans are eligible. Veterans must be enrolled in the VHA Standard Medical Benefits package, have a medical need, and must live in certain geographic areas of the country in which the program is offered.
3. Long Term Care Insurance
In many cases, long-term care insurance can be used as a way to get paid as a caregiver. Some policies will help caregivers financially but it will depend on the specifics of the program. For example, the policy must cover non-medical, personal care provided at home. If a policy pays out cash benefits directly to the policyholder, there would be no need to pay a spouse, since the spouse is already sharing in the benefits. However, if the policy’s rules state that they will only pay out to licensed care providers, then a couple might want to pursue this option.
Essentially, the caregiver will become his or her own business. They will have to become certified as a licensed in-home caregiver. The hours will be invoiced and sent to the long-term care insurance company. The caregiver can then be paid to take care of his or her loved one.
4. Life Insurance Policies
This option should be mutually agreed upon with you and your senior. Many aren’t aware that life insurance policies can be cashed in prior to death. Many caregivers might opt to cash in their loved one’s life insurance policy so they are more financially secure. While it can be a great way to get some financial assistance, it should be known that once a policy is cashed in, it can’t be cashed in again. Often it is cashed in for a significantly smaller amount if redeemed before the policyholder’s death.
5. Tax Breaks
If you’re supporting your loved one, you might be qualified for some tax breaks. This is a great way to get paid as a caregiver when tax season rolls around. As a caregiver, you might be able to claim your elderly parent as a dependent on your taxes. You might also be able to deduct your medical expenses.
IRS Publication 501 gives details on dependency requirements, including caregiver income phase-out levels. In addition, you must be providing over half of their financial support for food, housing, medical, transportation, etc. This is another great way to get paid as a caregiver and to lighten the financial strain of taking care of a loved one.