Caring for a loved one can be meaningful and rewarding. However, it can also be taxing and stressful, especially without the necessary financial assistance needed. This can make it even more difficult to care for a loved one. There is no shame in asking for financial assistance and compensation for this role. Several resources are available to assist with the financial barriers and limitations of being a caregiver. The hospice social worker may be able to assist with your application.
Medicaid Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP):
If the person you are providing care for (care recipient) qualifies for Medicaid, they may be eligible for CDPAP. This program allows participants to choose a family member or friend to be compensated for providing care.
To be eligible, a care recipient must be 65 years of age or older, and require assistance with activities of daily living (e.g., bathing, toileting, etc.). Financial eligibility requirements are: under $884/month in income, and under $15,450 in countable assets (excluding home value with an equity below $878,000). You can apply through agencies such as Freedom Care (freedomcareny.com).
Community First Choice Option (CFC):
CFC (aka 1915k state plan) is another Medicaid program which provides caregiver compensation. This is a self-directed program for patients requiring the level of care provided in a nursing home. This program has the same eligibility requirements as CDPAP.
NY State Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program (EISEP):
EISEP provides many services for care recipients including adult day care, respite, emergency response services, and caregiver compensation. To be eligible for this program, care recipients must be 60 years of age or older, ineligible for Medicaid, and require assistance with activities of daily living. Support is income based, with the state and patient sharing costs; for example, single-person households with a monthly income between $1500 – $2600 can have the state pay 100% of the cost.
The Paid Family Leave Benefits Law (PFL):
PFL allows individuals who are employed to take up to 12 (consecutive or non-consecutive) weeks off work to provide care to a family member. This allows caregivers to receive about 55% of their normal income (up to a limit) in PFL benefits while they are not working.
The Dependent Tax Credit:
This tax credit is often used to claim an individual’s child, however an adult caregiving recipient who is “physically or mentally disabled” may qualify as a dependent under this tax credit as well. To qualify, the care recipient must require assistance with their daily activities and the caregiver must be employed. Please check with your accountant or tax preparer to confirm eligibility.
Aid and Attendance Pension (AAP): The AAP benefit is for war-time veterans who require assistance with their daily activities. This program provides supplemental income for recipients up to a specific cap. This number varies by application time and date. For example, if the cap is $20,000 and a recipient makes an income of $15,000, they would receive $5,000 in benefits. Additionally, if a recipient pays someone such as a family member or friend to provide care for them, that cost can be deducted from their income. This deduction would increase the amount of benefits a recipient qualifies for and can cover the cost of caregiver pay. To apply, contact your VA pension management center or apply in-person at a VA regional office.
Veteran Directed Care Program (VDC):
This program provides veterans with a budget to pay a caregiver to provide nursing home level care at home. To be eligible, veterans must go to a Veterans Association Medical Center Care System (VAMC) and set up an appointment with one of the health care providers there to establish care. Not all states have VAMCs, however, once an individual establishes care at any VAMC, they can receive VDC benefits in their home state.
Long-term Care Insurance (LTCI):
LTCI may provide pay for family or friends to care for the policy holder. LTCI will directly pay the policy holder unless the caregiver creates a home health care agency. Please review the plan’s policy for coverage details.
Another option is applying for grants through organizations and unions for financial assistance for caregivers and care recipients. This is a great option for care recipients with specific diagnoses, such as Alzheimer’s, that have organizations focused on assisting them. Search for grants like these in your area or call these organizations and explain your situation and they may have a grant available to assist you.
A list of resources is available in our guide.