When a parent becomes too sick or cannot take care of themselves anymore, it is sometimes up to the adult children to take care of them. Although you have your parents’ best interest in mind and it is a rewarding job, you will be dealing with being physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted which can make matters more difficult for you and your loved one. Caring for a loved one can be a lot of work for anyone and if you are caring for them on top of working a regular job then you will begin feeling overwhelmed as a result of it all. Not only will you feel strained by becoming a caregiver for a loved one, but you might also be dealing with financial issues as a result. However, caring for a loved one does not mean that you won’t be able to survive financially, especially if you are no longer able to work due to the amount of time you spend as a caregiver for them. On the contrary, there are several programs that can help family caregivers get paid for their work if they fit the eligibility criteria for them.
Medicaid Cash Counseling
If your loved one is currently covered by Medicaid or eligible for it then you may qualify to be hired as a paid caregiver. Although Medicaid is notorious for paying for nursing home care, these days they have changed the program to allow people to receive care in the comfort of their home by their loved ones. However, even if your loved one is covered by Medicaid, it does not mean that you will automatically get paid to be their caregiver. To become a paid caregiver, you will have to meet the requirements set by Medicaid and your state.
One program where you can receive financial aid and care assistance is the Medicaid Cash Counseling program. This program can help the beneficiary with cash assistance along with having the ability to choose to spend the cash on a specific care provider or you can choose to be paid to care for your loved one as their caregiver. However, it is important to know that the program name does vary from state to state.
The Veteran Directed Care is also an option where a family member can be paid for caring for their loved one. However, only former service members qualify for this assistance and are enrolled in the Veterans Health Administration health care system. In this program, the veteran can choose a spouse, sibling, adult child or grandchild to care for them and assist them with activities such as bathing, cooking, using the bathroom, eating, putting clothes on, grocery shopping, bathing and so on. Although the program offers a flexible budget for the veteran, the program still must determine whether the veteran is eligible for the program.
Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP)
The CDPAP is also a Medicaid program that allows the patients to choose the caregiver right for them and that includes family members. However, the program only allows for the patient to choose a child, relative or a friend to care for them and does not allow a legal spouse, designated representative and a parent caring for a child under 21 to be chosen as their caregiver.
Long-term care insurance
Normally long-term care insurance can cover the costs of a caregiver if your loved one’s insurance policy covers it. However, you both will have to contact your loved one’s insurance agent or the insurance company to find out what the insurance does cover and for how long along with requesting a letter detailing what it covers.
Paid by Family Member
If the person you are caring for has the money to pay you and is legally mentally sound then asking for compensation is the best route to go to, especially if there are no other ways to get compensated. Although asking to be paid to care for a family member might be an awkward conversation, it is something that needs to be handled so you are taking care of yourself and your finances too. Be sure to go over the pay, paydays, sick days and how they will be handled and so on. Lastly, be sure to keep it professional by documenting your pay too since it can help if your loved one ever applies for Medicaid in the future.
Working as a caregiver is already tough, but if you are not being paid for your work and you must use your own personal money to help your loved one during this time then that can leave you feeling helpless. However, you can still check to see if you are eligible for the tax credit under the Caring Act until your family member is covered under Medicaid.