Caregivers often have to quit their jobs to provide full-time care to a loved one. As a result, they may struggle financially. While not everyone can get paid to care for a sick, disabled or elderly family member, if you are a family caregiver or need a caregiver, there are resources you can look into. Even though programs are available that offer family caregiver support, few provide financial assistance to family caregivers on an ongoing basis.
Government-Funded Financial Assistance Programs
Some states fund programs that help Medicaid recipients pay for caregivers. These programs go by different names depending on where you live. While program guidelines vary from state to state, in some cases, a family member can get paid as a caregiver. The person receiving care must meet the program's eligibility guidelines, which usually includes income limits. You can find out what financial assistance programs are available in your state by contacting your local Medicaid office or Area Agency on Aging office, if you are caring for a family member 60 years or older.
Long Term Care Insurance Benefits
Depending on what benefits a long term care insurance policy provides, you may be able to get paid as a family caregiver. However, some policies exclude family members who live in the same household. If you are an adult child caring for an elderly parent, find out if your parent's policy includes a benefit that will help pay for home care. If it does, the policy will pay out a specified amount for care each month.
Benefits for Veterans
Primary caregivers of veterans who were seriously injured in military conflict after 9/11 can receive a monthly stipend by qualifying for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers. Caregivers also have access to health insurance, and they are reimbursed for travel expenses when accompanying their veteran when he is undergoing medical treatment. They may also receive mental health and counseling services and may qualify for 30 days of respite care each year. Before applying for the program, a veteran must be enrolled in VA health services. If you are the caregiver of a veteran who was injured in a military conflict prior to 9/11, you may qualify for assistance under the Department of Veterans Affairs Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit.
Many national disease-specific organizations offer grants and other types of financial assistance to family caregivers of individuals diagnosed with a particular disease. Other community-based programs that may provide information about programs and services for family caregivers include county and state departments of health, local hospitals and home care agencies, county human service agencies and local chapters of Easter Seals and the American Red Cross.