When you quit your job to take care of an ailing parent, you are actually transitioning to a new job as a caregiver. Government programs and some insurance plans provide cash grants or payments to those eligible for benefits. The benefit recipient is then able to pay their caregiver for services rendered.
Cash and Counseling
If your father already receives Medicaid benefits, the Cash for Caregivers benefit offered through Medicaid could help you receive payment for the care you give to your father. Cash and Counseling is not currently offered in every state, but similar cash assistance programs may exist in states that do not offer Cash and Counseling, both for Medicaid recipients and those who hug the Medicaid eligibility borderline. Cash and Counseling and similar programs would provide direct payments to your father who, in turn, pays you for your personal care services. Your local Medicaid office can help you and your father apply for these benefits if they are available in your state.
Certified Caregiver Exploration
If your father possessed long-term care insurance or an alternate benefit that provides for the payment of a caregiver, it is possible that you can receive payment through your father under his policy. However, many of these policies require that the benefit recipient employ a certified home care provider who meets both state and Medicaid provider requirements.Your local Medicaid office can provide you with details on becoming certified and with the names of local community colleges that offer certification classes at a low cost.
Aid and Attendance Allowance
If your father is a veteran, he may be eligible for additional aid through the Veteran's Administration. Aid and Attendance provides eligible veteran's with cash grants to pay for necessary care. Your father would receive the cash grant and use it to compensate you for caring for him during his illness. The Aid and Attendance benefit does not require a service-related injury for eligibility as it is a pension benefit. Your local VA office will be able to provide you with additional information about the benefit and help you and your father apply.
National Family Caregiver Support Program
The National Family Caregiver Support Program offers help to caregivers by providing respite services and supplemental assistance. Respite services include temporary relief, such as home day care or adult day care, while supplemental assistance is offered in the form of personal response systems, meals delivered to the home and medical supplies and equipment. While these services are not direct financial help, they provide support to you while caring for your ailing father and help ease the financial burden on you or your father's personal finances. Your state's department of aging administers the support program.
- AgingCare, LLC; Medicaid's "Cash and Counseling" Allows Pay for Family Caregivers; Marlo Sollitto
- "The Atlanta-Journal Constitution"; Aging & Caring: Paid Caregiving Options Worth a Look; Melanie Haiken; July 1, 2009
- VeteranAid.org: Introduction to the Veteran's Aid and Attendance Improved Pension
- Tennesse Commission on Aging and Disability: National Family Caregiver Support Program