Informal caregivers are very necessary in order to assist elders in the community in maintaining their health and well-being. But, taking care of members of one’s family at home is not a simple task. As people become more aware of and recognize the significance of this position, more and more initiatives to assist the elderly in the United States and the family members who care for them are being developed and made available.

According to a survey that was compiled in 2019 by the AARP Public Policy Institute, nearly 41 million family carers were responsible for providing unpaid care for a combined total of 34 billion hours in 2017. The report estimates that this care was worth a total of $470 billion. It is normal practice for carers to offer this care while incurring enormous personal costs, including missed pay and benefits. Many people spend thousands of dollars out of their own pockets each year on the people for whom they provide care, which often comes at the expense of their own financial stability and savings for retirement. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the No. 1 question posed on the Caregiver Forum is, “How can I become a paid caregiver for my parents?”

Is it possible for me to receive compensation for taking care of my mother or father?

The majority of family members who provide care for their elderly parents do not receive compensation for their work. But, there are a few different possibilities that can make it possible for a family member to get remuneration in return for the elder care services that they give.

The opportunities and resources that are outlined in the following sections may assist family members in obtaining payment for their work as caregivers or, at the very least, in mitigating the financial burden of providing care for a sick or elderly loved one. While the emphasis of this article is on providing financial assistance to carers who are taking care of their own parents, some of the programs mentioned here may also be accessible to caregivers who are taking care of their spouses or other relatives. It is important to keep in mind that the availability of governmental programs and aid varies considerably from state to state and from person to person.

Personal care agreements

It’s feasible for elderly people to use their own money to pay a member of their own family to provide elder care; however, the people receiving care may not always be open to this arrangement (usually an adult child). Before beginning this arrangement, it is critical to engage with an attorney specializing in elder law to prepare a legal personal care agreement or caregiving contract that outlines the specifics of this arrangement.

In a personal care agreement, both the services that are going to be performed and the money that is going to be collected should be outlined. Documenting and paying for in-home care services is a viable way of spending down assets or income in order to qualify for need-based programs like Medicaid and certain VA benefits, which is one of the primary advantages of entering into a formal care agreement.

Veterans perks

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is responsible for providing veterans and their families with a comprehensive range of benefits. The home and community-based care services offered by the VA, such as care provided by homemakers or home health aides and respite care, are of great assistance to senior veterans as well as the informal caregivers who look after them. But, there are three distinct VA programs that provide financial assistance, either directly or indirectly, to family members who provide care for veterans.

VA pension benefits

Pension benefits were designed to assist veterans with low incomes and little assets in meeting their day-to-day expenses, including those associated with health care and housing. There are three different levels of financial aid, and each one has its own set of qualifying conditions that pertain to finances, functionality, and the services provided:

The basic pension for veterans is reserved for individuals with the least amount of money and assets.

Aid and Attendance (A&A) pension: For those with low income and limited assets who require the assistance of another person to perform activities of daily living Housebound pension: For disabled individuals with low income and limited assets who are unable to leave their home without great difficulty or at all Aid and Attendance (A&A) pension: For those with low income and limited assets who are unable to leave their home at all Aid and Attendance (A&A) pension: For those (ADLs)

Housebound and Aid and Attendance benefits are sometimes referred to as “improved” pensions because they provide higher monthly pension payments to eligible veterans in order to offset the higher costs of care that eligible veterans incur. Consequently, the term “improved” pension is sometimes used interchangeably with the term “improved” pension. These monetary benefits are exempt from taxes, so the veteran is free to spend them in any way he or she thinks appropriate, which may include compensating family members for providing elder care.

It is possible for a veteran’s qualifying unreimbursed medical expenditures to be removed from their yearly income if those charges surpass a specified threshold amount. This may assist the veteran in meeting the financial eligibility criteria for a VA pension. In-home care services that are provided by a health care professional who is licensed and/or certified may count against an individual’s deductible medical costs. Payments made to an informal caregiver may also contribute toward one’s deductible medical expenses if certain circumstances are satisfied. While pension levels are determined by the VA based on an eligible veteran’s countable income, reducing this figure by utilizing care expenditures might result in an increase in the monthly payment that the veteran receives (up to a certain limit set by Congress).

The surviving spouses of veterans who are qualified for this financial benefit are also able to apply for a variant of it referred to as the Survivor’s Pension.

Program of Patient-Directed Care for Veterans (VDC)

Veterans who need help with day-to-day activities are afforded more discretion under the Veteran-Directed Care Program on the kinds of services they receive and the providers of those services. Veterans who participate in this program will collaborate with a social worker from the VA and other staff members to determine whether or not they are eligible for the program, determine their needs, design a personalized care plan, determine a monthly budget, hire workers, and manage their own care. Not only does this program make it possible for veterans of any age to avoid or postpone placement in long-term care institutions, but it also makes it possible for them to use VA money to compensate family members and friends for the support they provide.

This program is expanding, but the availability of benefits and services for veterans might vary greatly depending on where in the country they live. Get in touch with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in your area to find out whether the VDC program is offered in your region and to learn about the exact qualifying criteria.

Comprehensive Support Program for Those Caring for Members of Their Own Families (PCAFC)

During the last three years, the VA has significantly increased access to the PCAFC. The following are some of the benefits that may be made available to qualifying family caregivers of veterans under this program:

  • Education and preparation for those providing care
  • Counselling for mental health issues
  • Assistance with the expenses of going to a VA Medical Facility, including financial support
  • 30 days of temporary relief treatment each year
  • The Civilian Health and Medical Program provides access to medical services for its beneficiaries (CHAMPVA)
  • A sum paid on a regular basis


Low-income People are eligible to receive medical and long-term care coverage via Medicaid, which is jointly financed by the federal government and the governments of the states. Under the confines of federal standards, each state is responsible for the administration of its own program and has the authority to choose its own eligibility conditions, services, delivery models, and payment mechanisms. As a consequence of this, the Medicaid programs offered by the various states have quite different make-ups, albeit sharing many similarities.

Medicaid long-term care services are accessible to people with disabilities and seniors via a variety of different pathways. The majority of people have the misconception that Medicaid exclusively pays for services provided in nursing homes when it comes to long-term care. Nevertheless, choices for home and community-based services (HCBS), such as adult day care, respite care, assistance with ADLs, and home adaptations, have been added to the mix throughout the course of the years. Home health care, personal care services, and help with ADLs are all examples of HCBS. Medicaid recipients may maintain the highest level of autonomy possible in the comfort of their own homes and communities thanks to home and community-based services (HCBS) programs.

In addition, a number of states have begun implementing methods of self-directed service delivery for HCBS. One other name for these programs is consumer-directed programs, as well as cash and counselling programs. Individuals who choose self-direction are given the freedom to select both the covered products and services as well as the suppliers of those services. In certain areas, family members of Medicaid recipients may even get paid for providing caregiving services. Beneficiaries of Medicaid engage with counsellors who provide assistance with needs assessments, care planning, budgeting, training, payroll, and other responsibilities connected with self-direction. This program is very similar to the veteran-directed care program.

Due to the fact that involvement in the care of a significant other is often anticipated, in many states traditionally spouses were not eligible to receive payment from Medicaid for the caregiving services they provided. The majority of beneficiaries decide to compensate their adult children, exes, or other relatives for providing personal care services rather than receiving payment themselves. Nevertheless, due to a rising interest in ageing in place, providing assistance for elders and family caregivers, and reducing the costs of health and long-term care, several states are reevaluating who is qualified for self-directed payment. As an example, “providers may include a consumer’s neighbour, friend, spouse, or cousin,” according to the Consumer-Directed Care Plus Program in the state of Florida.

In order to guarantee the health and safety of people who take part in these self-directed programs, family caregivers may be required to fulfil certain criteria, which might vary from state to state and include the following examples:

Having successfully passed a background check

Having successfully completed caregiver training and having officially registered as a care provider

It is important to note, however, that the financial support provided by Medicaid to family caregivers is often not very much. The hourly rate that Medicaid has authorized for home care services in each state is used to determine the pay rate for each state.

Applied Self-Direction is an advocacy organization that has compiled a directory of self-directed programs (both Medicaid and non-Medicaid) that are available in each state and that may be used to compensate family caregivers. These programs can be found in each state’s section on Applied Self-website. Direction Get in touch with the Medicaid office in your state for more specific information about the services and programs that are offered, the conditions for eligibility, and the application process.

Policies for long-term care insurance and life insurance are also available

In-home care services are often covered to some extent by long-term care insurance plans, although this coverage is typically limited to situations in which the services are provided by a formal provider who is appropriately qualified and accredited. A home health aide or a nursing assistant recruited via a staffing agency are two examples of this kind of position. Nonetheless, there are plans available that could pay for the care given by unpaid carers, such as a spouse or an adult child.

There is also the possibility of using life insurance plans as a source of funding to pay for caretakers. To pay for a paid care arrangement, an elderly parent may be able to get the cash worth of their policy by selling it or turning it in for a cash surrender. There is also hybrid insurance that comes with long-term care benefits already incorporated into them.

The terms of coverage might differ from one insurance policy to another. In the event that your loved one has obtained life insurance or long-term care insurance, it is imperative that you get in touch with the insurer in order to get further information on the particulars of their policy.

Family and medical leave that is compensated

Family members who provide care for elderly relatives often face the difficult choice of whether or not to continue working. The majority of people are familiar with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which mandates that some businesses offer employees up to 12 weeks of job protection while they are on unpaid leave to allow them to care for themselves or members of their family. Taking time off without pay may be helpful for working caregivers who are already stretched thin, but it won’t help them pay their rent or mortgage.

Workers in a number of states now have access to paid family and medical leave thanks to recent legislative changes in a number of states. According to information provided by the Bipartisan Policy Center, the following states have passed legislation to establish paid family leave programs:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • United States: District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • The state of New Jersey
  • The Big Apple
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia
  • Washington

It is important to keep in mind that the terms, coverage, and eligibility criteria of each state’s paid family and medical leave program will differ. If you live and work in one of these states, you may be allowed to keep your job and continue getting a salary while providing short-term care for a family member or other loved one. Have a conversation with the human resources person at your place of employment about the employee benefits and federal and state programs for which you could be eligible because you provide care for a family member.

Deductions and credits on taxes for carers and family caregivers

While tax deductions and credits won’t compensate you directly for the care you give, they may help alleviate some of the financial stress that comes along with providing care for another person. For instance, if you have an elderly parent, you may be able to reduce the amount of taxes you owe by declaring them as dependent. You may be eligible to deduct unreimbursed medical expenditures that you paid on behalf of a loved one even if you are unable to designate them as a dependent on your tax return. For further information, please speak with your tax preparer or accountant.

Other avenues of financial support available to older citizens and carers

If none of the aforementioned choices is a suitable match for you and the person you care for, it could be helpful to look into additional perks and services that are available. It may be useful to implement even just one program with the goal of reducing the amount of financial pressure placed on your family.

Income Supplementary to Social Security (SSI)

Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a program administered by the Social Security Administration that provides financial assistance to low-income elderly, blind, and handicapped persons. Unlike the retirement payments provided by Social Security, SSI payouts are not contingent on the number of years worked by the recipient. The eligibility requirements for SSI serve as the foundation for a wide variety of other programs, including Medicaid and food stamps, making it very beneficial to both apply for and get benefits under this program.

Visit the website of the Social Security Administration to get further knowledge on SSI and to submit an application for benefits.


BenefitsCheckUp is the database that has the most information of any other similar resource in the United States. BenefitsCheckUp is a program that is offered at no cost by the National Council on Aging (NCOA). By responding to a few questions on this website, seniors will be able to determine whether or not they are eligible for approximately 2,000 different benefit programs offered by the federal government, various states, and private organizations.

The following categories of materials are available to you:

  • Cost-effectiveness of prescribed medications
  • Help with nutrition (including food stamps and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance) is available.
  • Help with energy and other necessary expenses
  • Income assistance
  • Services of legal assistance
  • Services related to housing
  • in-home or on-site services
  • The provision of transportation services
  • Local Helping Organizations for the Elderly

Get in touch with your neighbourhood Area Agency on Aging to get one-on-one help in investigating the many programs and benefits that are available to you and the person you care for (AAA). Every AAA operates within a specific geographic region, often consisting of a city, county, or multi-county district, and provides assistance to people of retirement age, people with disabilities, and family carers. These offices are manned by elder care specialists who are well-versed in the many support programs and services that are offered in their respective regions.

Collect as much information as you can about your own health and the health of the person you are caring for, as well as their financial situation, and schedule an appointment to speak with a counsellor at your AAA. The employees there can provide you with advice on potential programs and eligibility criteria, and they can even assist you in preparing the required applications and documents. You may discover the contact information for your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and arrange an appointment by going to the Area Agency on Aging Directory.

Lawyers specializing in elder law

Elder law lawyers are there to assist older citizens in engaging in estate planning and getting themselves legally and financially ready for the demands of long-term care. It is highly recommended that families that need to apply for Medicaid (or anticipate having to do so in the future) engage with a competent attorney in order to build a specific Medicaid planning strategy prior to applying for Medicaid benefits. Medicaid is a tremendously complicated program, and errors may have significant financial repercussions.

When searching for an attorney to assist you and a loved one in drawing up legal paperwork and applying for benefits, you should make sure the attorney you pick has knowledge of elder law that is unique to the state in which your loved one life.

groups that focus on a certain disease

Organizations and charities that focus on a particular disease may be able to put you and a loved one in touch with resources and services that are relevant to their respective health issues. For instance, the American Parkinson’s Disease Society provides persons with Parkinson’s disease access to a financial support program, while the Home Care Assistance Program (HCAP) of HFC provides home care grants to carers of dementia patients.

Seniors and family members who care for them benefit from in-home care.

In-home care could be an option for you if you’re struggling to decide between providing care and working so you can bring money into the house. Home care services may be helpful for everyone concerned, even if the majority of people would rather maintain this job within the family. Your loved one may get extra help and care in the comfort of their own home from a qualified caregiver, which will free you up to go back to work or just give you some time off. A good many of the aforementioned avenues may also be used to provide financial support for professional in-home caregiving services.

Making choices about care like these might be difficult, but we are here to assist you. If you believe that a member of your family may benefit from companionship, support with domestic tasks, or personal care services, one of our Care Advisers would be happy to assist you in locating a local home care provider that can satisfy not just your loved one’s requirements, but also your own.


Call now for a free consultation

Are you looking for compassionate and reliable home care services in Orange, Osceola, Brevard, or Seminole counties? Look no further than our professional team at Embracing Home Care! Our highly trained caregivers provide personalized care for seniors and individuals with disabilities, ensuring that they can continue to live independently in the comfort of their own homes. With a variety of services including personal care, transportation, meal preparation, and companionship, we strive to improve the quality of life for our clients and provide peace of mind for their families. Contact us today at 321-758-2036 to learn more about our affordable and flexible home care options and to schedule a consultation with one of our care coordinators. Let us help you or your loved one live life to the fullest!  We serve Central Florida cities like Orlando, Apopka, Ocoee, Winter Garden, Sanford, Altamonte Springs, Casselberry, Palm Bay, Melbourne, Titusville, Kissimmee, St.  Cloud, Celebration, Lake Mary, Oviedo, Longwood, Winter Springs, Cocoa Beach and more.

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