Do you have a family member in need of ongoing care and are you able to provide this care yourself? If so, you may be wondering whether it would be possible to be paid as a family caregiver. After all, it could represent a loss of income for you if you have to leave other paid work, or it may cost your family money if you need to pay others for childcare in order to care for another relative. Different states have different answers as to whether you can be paid as a family caregiver, so whether this is an option for you depends on where you live.
Did you know that 12 out of 50 states allow family caregivers to be paid like any other caregivers through their respective “consumer-directed” caregiving options? This is part of these states’ home care programs. People who need care, known as consumers, can choose their own personal care assistant (PCA) through the program in their state. The 12 states that allow for family caregivers to be paid as any other caregiver would be paid from the programs with separate funding from Medicaid, which is a major source of funding for programs in other states that prohibit payment to family members. The 12 states in this group include Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Wisconsin. In these 12 states, the program will pay any relative including a patient’s spouse, the parent of a minor child patient, or another relative.
In other states, payment to family caregivers may be made in specific and limited circumstances. Their consumer-directed PCA programs do typically disallow payments to spouses or conservators who are too closely linked financially to the person in need of care. They may allow for payments to a family caregiver who is another relative, unless that person is already providing caregiving at no charge. Before you decide on any type of family caregiving arrangement, it may be best to consult an elder law attorney to find out what the best course of action may be in your family’s circumstances.
Our office is here to assist you with these questions and more relating to the cost of long-term care and other elder law issues. Please reach out to us to schedule an appointment.