As the number of family members provide care for aging parents increase, the solutions to find help with loss of income because of time off from employment for caregiving has become a major concern. The demands on both the time and energy needed to provide the needed care can make it impossible to maintain both a full-time job with full-time caregiving. However, there are a number of programs available to help that you can explore to complement the care provided by a family member.
Medicaid Cash & Counseling Program
A Medicaid approved assistance program called Cash & Counseling may be used to provide funds to hire personal care aides as well as purchase items or services, including home modifications that help them live independently. This program is executed by each individual state Area on Aging Services division.
Veteran Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit
A totally overlooked source of money to pay family caregivers to provide care at home is the Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit. This money is available to veterans who served during a period of war. Pension money is also available to the widows of these veterans. This benefit can provide up to $2,085 a month in additional income to pay family member to provide care at home.
Getting the aid and attendance benefit to pay for family caregivers is not an easy task. This is because there must be a caregiver contract in place, a physician medical evaluation done, income and asset qualifications met and proof of medical expenses provided. Submitting the correct forms and documentation can be completed with the help of a VA Accredited person who understands the process.
Long-term Care Insurance Benefit
If you have a long-term care insurance policy that cover home care, payment to the care giver from this source can be arranged. Some policies require the care provider to be a licensed home care agency, but other will pay for individual aides certified as such. This would require some training by the family member to become certified. There are policies that pay a daily benefit amount to the insured to use as they want to pay for their care.
If the senior parent has the funds to pay for care and if a family member is giving care, it is very important that a caregiver contract be in place. A signed and dated agreement will outline the services provided as well as the amount of pay for these services. Having a contract will eliminate questions about what is expected from both parent and caregiver as well as providing a legitimate contract and payment record of services to qualify for Medicaid. Taking the time to create the caregiver contract, research the government and state services that are available to caregivers and using community resources will make the family caregiving experience less stressful.