Getting Paid as a Family Caregiver: 3 Government Benefits Programs

3 government programs pay family caregivers for taking care of seniors

Benefits programs pay families to care for seniors

Caring for an older adult is expensive.

There are out-of-pocket costs for medical supplies, prescription drug co-pays, home modifications, home care help, and more. 

In addition, many people have had to leave their jobs or cut back on hours in order to care for their older adult.

Any extra money could help ease the financial pressure, so family caregivers often ask “Can I get paid for caregiving?”

The good news is that getting paid as a family caregiver is possible – these government benefits programs do exist.

The not-so-good news is that these programs aren’t available everywhere and not everyone will qualify. But it’s still worthwhile to check in case you can get the benefits.

We found 3 government programs that pay family members (and sometimes spouses) for caring for an older adult.

We explain how they work and where to apply.

 

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3 ways of getting paid as a family caregiver

1. Medicaid programs

Most states have Medicaid programs that give money to seniors so they can hire an in-home caregiver.

That person could be a family member or friend instead of a professional caregiver. Some states also allow a spouse to be the paid caregiver.

Each state has its own eligibility requirements and name for its program.

If your older adult is accepted into the state’s program, the amount of money they receive will depend on a Medicaid assessment of need and the average state wage for in-home care aides.

To find the local Medicaid office and learn how to apply for the program, it’s best to start with the local Area Agency on Aging.

Ask them how to contact the local Medicaid office or how to apply for a program that would pay you for caring for your older adult.

 

2. Special state programs
Some states may have similar programs that pay family caregivers, but for people who are not eligible for Medicaid or who have specific conditions like traumatic brain injury.

To find out if there are any special programs that your older adult may qualify for, contact your local Medicaid office or the state department of health.

To find the correct government office, it might be easiest to start with the local Area Agency on Aging and ask them to direct you.

 

3. Veterans benefits programs
Veteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Services (VD-HCBS)
This home-based care program helps veterans of any age who are at risk of institutional placement to continue to live in their own homes.

A veteran can choose the services that best meet their needs and manage their own spending budgets for personal care services.

Hiring their own in-home care aides falls into that area – including family and friends.

Aid & Attendance or Housebound programs
Veterans who are eligible for a VA pension and need in-home care or are housebound may be able to get additional benefits payments on top of their monthly pension.

Note: Veterans cannot receive both of these benefits at the same time.

To find out how to apply for veterans benefits programs, contact the local VA regional benefits office.

 

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By DailyCaring Editorial Team

 

This article wasn’t sponsored and doesn’t contain affiliate links. For more information, see How We Make Money.


71 Comments

  • Reply July 24, 2021

    Tracy R Gaddy

    I’m wondering if my husband can get paid to be my care give after an auto accident left me paralyzed from waist down while he draws SSDI we’re both under 50.

  • Reply July 19, 2021

    Pamela Madeira

    In March 2021 my best friend of 45 yrs was placed under hospice care at home. so i walked away from a abusive relationship of 25 yrs and moved in with Debbie, i made sure every night before she fell asleep it was my face she saw and when she woke up it was my face.she didnt have any family i told her she wouldnt Die without me and she didnt. she passed on April 20, 2021. And i would do it again. Except that i was approached by a mutual friend who needed a live in care giver because he had a couple of heart attacks and lived alone in a 2 bd apartment. his offer was I pay $500.00 a mo rent. i could work during the day he really needed me at night. his insurance would cover and what wasnt covered his VA would pick up. so i took the offer and i moved in on may 1st. Ive pd rent until july 1st 2021 because he hasnt given me a penny. i havent been paid and have been taking care of him , hid huge dog and house keeping 24 hrs a day since. please help me

    • Reply July 19, 2021

      DailyCaring

      It’s wonderful that you cared for your best friend until her passing. We’re very sorry for your loss.

      It sounds like this is a private and informal agreement, so you would need to have a conversation with your friend about the lack of payment. If you can’t reach an agreement about the back pay and the future pay, you may want to consider making a change like moving out.

  • Reply March 18, 2021

    Melissa Cofer

    Hi, my husband has myotonic dystrophy (an adult form of muscular dystrophy) and I am his sole caregiver. In the state of Georgia spouses do not qualify to be caregivers so I have to work outside the home in order to make ends meet. I worry when I am away that he will fall and really injure himself severely.
    The state says they do not pay spouses because it is considered our responsibility to take care of our spouse already.
    Are there any monetary programs with the state of Georgia (or the Feds) that I can look into so that I might be able to stay with him full time?

    • Reply March 18, 2021

      DailyCaring

      So sorry to hear that spousal caregivers don’t qualify to be paid as caregivers from these programs.

      You may want to contact your local Area Agency on Aging to find out if they know of any other programs that might be helpful. More info here – Area Agency on Aging: Resources for Seniors https://dailycaring.com/local-community-resources-for-seniors-and-caregivers-area-agency-on-aging/

      You may also be eligible for government assistance programs that help pay for household and caregiving costs. More info here – Financial Help for Seniors: 2,500+ Federal, State, & Private Benefits Programs https://dailycaring.com/financial-help-caregiving-expenses/

      • Reply June 12, 2021

        Mason Martin

        I receive income for taking care of my uncle through his Medicaid and I am his payee. My nephew is about to be released from prison and will parole to my house. Will I still get paid if a felon is staying with me.

        • Reply July 1, 2021

          DailyCaring

          Every program has different rules, so it’s best to contact the program office to find out if your nephew living with you will affect your payments.

    • Reply May 3, 2021

      Denise

      Hi Melissa. My husband too have myotonic dystrophy. Thank you for sharing your story because your plight will have me to start looking into how I will take care of my husband as his condition worsens. I hope you do find a program that will help you. We live in Florida, so I will start to look for programs from now.
      Thank you and good luck. Best wishes to you and your husband.

  • Reply February 23, 2021

    Theresa

    I have been taking care of mom for 5years alone And now that they are paying Family angences that has her case says that lncant be hired and paid because l have a felony criminal background .Is there anyone who can tell me if l can be able to work this out

    • Reply February 23, 2021

      DailyCaring

      It’s wonderful that you’ve been able to care for your mom all this time. We’d suggest directly contacting the programs linked above to find out if you qualify.

      This article also shares benefits programs that may be helpful – Benefits Programs Help Pay for Caregiving Expenses https://dailycaring.com/financial-help-caregiving-expenses/

  • Reply December 22, 2020

    ANGELA CORBIN

    hi my name is angela corbin am the caretaker of my parents [redacted for privacy] and am trying to find out how can I get help to take care

  • Reply December 8, 2020

    Carolyn Hines

    How do I apply for government assisting program for caregiving for my 58 year old diabetic sister? I currently got laid off work this Dec. 2020 and need a bit of income. I’ve applied for unemployment just recently and waiting for the paper works. I have
    bills I need to pay soon and have no idea how I’ll survive with this pandemic on the rise. Please let me know what applications I need to file or apply for in order to move forward?

    • Reply December 10, 2020

      DailyCaring

      We hope the information and links in the above article can help you find programs in your area that pay family caregivers for their work.

      In addition to the links above, you might find additional benefits programs that could help with expenses – Find Financial Help for Seniors: 2,500+ Federal, State, and Private Benefits Programs https://dailycaring.com/find-financial-help-for-seniors-federal-state-and-private-benefits-programs/

      • Reply June 7, 2021

        Anita L Roland

        Do they help with nieces helping their aunts take care of them I am asking is for my cousin

        • Reply June 7, 2021

          DailyCaring

          Since every program’s rules are different, it’s necessary to check with the programs in your area to find out if nieces would qualify.

  • Reply August 31, 2020

    Dawn Baker

    My husband is only 46 years old and fell about 4-5 years ago, he is legally blind now. He has diabetes, arthritis, neuropathy, etc. He will never be able to drive, so I take him to all of his appointments….

    • Reply August 31, 2020

      DailyCaring

      We’re so sorry to hear about your husband’s accident and resulting health conditions. We hope that the links on this page help you find programs that will pay you for caring for him to offset some of the expenses.

  • Reply August 4, 2020

    Robert Gondalfo

    Can I file with the court or someone who would pay me for taking care of my 97 year old mother? She is the wife of a navy commander who is deceased. She has Empire BC plan from working in a school, and medicare.

    I have to spend too much time with her since the coronavirus came and her aide left.

    • Reply August 17, 2020

      DailyCaring

      It’s wonderful that you’re able to take care of your mother during this challenging time.

      Hopefully the information and links in the above article will help you get in touch with an organization that could pay you for taking care of your mother.

      • Reply February 23, 2021

        Laura Chandler

        I’m 61 year old widower, I have heart condition, back trouble,and I fall alot and have other issues. My son has been caring for me the passed few months. He cooks and cleans does my laundry. Is there anyway he could get paid for taking care of me?

      • Reply July 18, 2021

        Rana Cleary

        I’m from Pennsylvania. I am the full-time caregiver of my brother who is only 35 and has paranoid schizophrenia. It seems that the severely mentally ill are dropped through the cracks. Everything I read is for the elderly and veterans. So frustrating in this situation. I mean..I am so thankful there are things for the elderly and veterans. But what about these poor individuals that suffer from schizophrenia or some other severe mental illness that truly cannot function. If anyone has any information, please let me know ASAP.

  • Reply July 25, 2020

    Mr. Davis

    I’m 64 years old, suffering from prostate cancer and Parkinson’s disease, my fiance is my caregiver, I’m also a disabled veteran, how can I receive financial support to pay her for her assistance living in Washington DC.

    • Reply August 17, 2020

      DailyCaring

      Hopefully the information and links in the above article will help you get in touch with an organization that could pay your fiance for caregiving.

      Since you’re a veteran, there are two veterans benefits programs (listed in #3 above) that you may want to look into first.

      • Reply September 29, 2020

        Dwight Brandon

        I’m interested in caregiving for my elderly mother I’m looking for programs where I can get paid as a living caregiver

        • Reply September 29, 2020

          DailyCaring

          It’s wonderful that you’re planning to care for your mom.

          Family caregivers may be eligible to be paid for caregiving through government programs. To find information for your county and state, use the links in the article above to get more information about local programs.

  • Reply July 21, 2020

    carol v Leford

    Im taking care of my sister who is 77 year, she has parkinson, which keeps her from being mobile I would like to know if I can get paid for this. she has Sutter Health I’m not sure if she has any other insurance.

    • Reply July 21, 2020

      DailyCaring

      It’s wonderful that you’re able to care for your sister. We hope the information and links in the above article can help you find programs in your area that pay family caregivers for their work.

      In addition to the links above, you might find additional benefits programs that she could qualify for here – Find Financial Help for Seniors: 2,500+ Federal, State, and Private Benefits Programs https://dailycaring.com/find-financial-help-for-seniors-federal-state-and-private-benefits-programs/

    • Reply April 26, 2021

      Phyllis A kilgore

      I am interested in becoming care giver for
      those found alone with no place to go. I would like to operate a safe place integrating life skill, cleanliness, prepare meals and see that they have choices in
      this miss guided world. I would teach survival skills in order to exist durning these
      inpresedented times. If people were given more respect and care maybe all of these crimes wouldn’t be taking over. As, a RN I would like to improve those who feel that they don’t belong.

  • Reply May 28, 2020

    Mary Catherine McGee

    I am a caregiver for my mom she has dementia and and is incontinence and can hardly walk she gets a small Social Security check and a check from my dad for alimony they say she brings in a little bit more so she can’t get Medicaid so is there another way I can get paid for taking care of her.

  • Reply March 28, 2020

    Tabatha

    I have been taking of both my parents for almost 20 years and I was wanting to know I can get paid for this? They are 79 and 73 years old and have a lot of different things wrong with them. This has been very hard on me I do everything for them.

    • Reply March 28, 2020

      DailyCaring

      We hope the information and links in the above article can help you find programs in your area that pay family caregivers.

      • Reply April 14, 2020

        Catherine Inman

        Catherinei was in a bad car accident in 2015 was in the hospital for 64days had 4 brain surgery on a life support machine it messed me up pretty bad need help with bath light house cleaning I haven’t got no help doing laundry can barely been over I need help disability not enough of money to pull threwthe monthmoney thanks

      • Reply November 17, 2020

        Janie Clark

        I’m taking care ofy 75yr old Mother and she is starting to have major health problems.ove hot one doctor telling that she needs certain medical procedures and another doctor telling me no you can’t
        . I feel like I’m left to make a life or death decision for my Mother
        I really need some good advice, I’m completely lost and scared Help

  • Reply January 29, 2020

    Alberto Pena

    I was born in Chicago Illinois and I had to leave my job to come to take care of my mom since 2017 now I live in Puerto Rico it’s been very hard since I I’ve couldn’t work because my forget.

  • Reply October 29, 2019

    Kevin

    I’m tryna get some information how can I get paid for watching my 85 year old uncle.

    • Reply October 30, 2019

      DailyCaring

      We hope the information and links in the above article can help you find programs in your area that pay family caregivers.

  • Reply October 17, 2019

    Doris Cunningham

    I am a caregiver for my son 24/7. He is 44 and living with Myotonia M. D. He is barely ambulatory and dysarthric, also suffers from heart issues and incontinence etc.. He is truly a joy. I am honored to care for him. My husband is deceased. I can not leave home for work and am looking for financial help. Do you know of any programs we could apply for? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • Reply October 22, 2019

      DailyCaring

      We focus on seniors, so we’re not as familiar with resources for disabled adults, but here’s some information that might be helpful:
      https://www.usa.gov/disability-benefits-insurance
      https://www.ssa.gov/disability/

      You might also visit your local county’s website to find out what services are available for disabled adults. If you give that office a call, they may be able to offer more advice or connect you with helpful programs in your area.

      We do have an article that helps seniors find benefits programs that you could check, but it’s possible that some programs may be age-restricted — Find Financial Help for Seniors: 2,500+ Federal, State, and Private Benefits Programs https://dailycaring.com/find-financial-help-for-seniors-federal-state-and-private-benefits-programs/

    • Reply November 4, 2019

      teresa

      If you’re in CA check out the in home supportive services. Get an advocate first and speak with the doctor or go to a center for independent living.

  • Reply September 7, 2019

    anita ornelas

    i live with my aunt here in california and take of her she is 92 years of age how can i get paid for taking care of her so i dont have to look for a job can you help

    • Reply September 7, 2019

      DailyCaring

      Every program has different requirements, so it’s best to contact the programs listed in the above article to find out if you’re eligible to get paid for caring for your aunt.

      To help with money overall, your aunt may be eligible for government assistance programs that help pay for caregiving and household expenses. More info here — Benefits Programs Help Pay for Caregiving Expenses https://dailycaring.com/financial-help-caregiving-expenses/

      • Reply May 17, 2020

        Jerry Bell

        I am taking care of my mother in law and have been doing this for 5 years now how can I get paid for doing this she’s been living with us the whole time she is 99 years old and will soon be 100 years old she can’t do anything on her own how do I go about getting paid to take care of her?

        • Reply May 17, 2020

          DailyCaring

          It’s wonderful that you’ve been able to take care of your mother-in-law for so long. We hope the information and links in the above article can help you find programs in your area that pay family caregivers for their work.

          • November 8, 2020

            Lillian Boyles

            My daughter and I take care of my exhusband in our home, so he would not get placed in a nursing home. He is a stroke patient, and has other health issues. I am an LPN, my daughter is a CNA. She is considered his caregiver, but I do at least as much care for him if not more. He is on Medicare. We live in Mercer County PA. Is there any we can be paid?

          • November 10, 2020

            DailyCaring

            It’s wonderful that you and your daughter are able to care for your ex-husband and that you both have great training.

            We hope the information and links in the above article can help you find programs in your area that pay family caregivers for their work.

            In addition to the links above, you might find additional benefits programs that could help with expenses – Find Financial Help for Seniors: 2,500+ Federal, State, and Private Benefits Programs https://dailycaring.com/find-financial-help-for-seniors-federal-state-and-private-benefits-programs/

    • Reply March 24, 2021

      Kelli

      In CA the program that will pay you to take care of a disabled person is called in home supportive services also known as IHSS. Just google IHSS and the information is readily available on the state website.
      They will pay family members or if you don’t have a family member who is willing to care for you, you can hire anyone of your choosing to care for you. They will pay for services for anyone with a disability, regardless of age. So, for example, parents of young children who were born with birth defects can also get paid to care for their severely disabled child. Or, they will pay you to care for your aging parent or anyone in CA who is disabled. They pay a maximum of 283 hours per month and the pay scale is different throughout the state depending on which county you live in because the unions negotiate pay scales, benefits and wages in each county. Some counties have health insurance benefits for care providers included and other counties do not give health insurance benefits to the care provider. The state gives approx 16 hours of sick pay per year to the care provider. So, you might want to go on the specific county’s website that you live in and look at their IHSS program. You just have to call IHSS and ask for an intake evaluation. Then the intake worker will go to the disabled person’s home and evaluate how many hours of care they need. The intake assessment workers are notorious for trying to undercut the number o& hours needed so you really have to be prepared with the list of needs your person has and know what your family member needs and don’t back down. There is an appeal process if you don’t get enough hours. DO appeal if you feel they undercut your hours but try to get doctor prescriptions for the care they are denying so that they have to give the hours to you. A good portion of the 283 hours is for “protective supervision” so not everyone gets the full 283 hours. This would be for someone who requires 24/7 care. Maybe Alzheimer’s or severe intellectual disabilities,etc. Or, if you are applying for a child, your protective supervision hours might be lowered based on the child’s age. In assessing children, if the child’s non disabled peer would be able to perform a function but your child cannot, then those areas would qualify for assistance. For children they base it on their needs but also functioning levels compared to their non disabled peers. So, any age person is eligible in CA. Also, the IHSS program is based on Medicaid eligibility. However, if the disabled person obviously needs the care but just barely exceeds Medicaid eligibility, they can have services with a “share of cost”.

  • Reply February 4, 2019

    Joan Lancaster

    I have a friend whose son, age 44, is totally disabled. He has muscular dystrophy. She takes care of him 24/7.
    He gets a small Social Security check and Medicaid. Is there a government program that will pay her for taking care of him?

    • Reply February 9, 2019

      DailyCaring

      Every program has different requirements, so it’s best to contact the programs listed in the above article to find out more.

      She may also be eligible for government assistance programs that help pay for caregiving costs. More info here — Benefits Programs Help Pay for Caregiving Expenses https://dailycaring.com/financial-help-caregiving-expenses/

    • Reply August 14, 2019

      Shawn H

      Not sure if this helps anyone but I get paid to take care of my mom through a Medicaid funded program called cdpap (consumer directed personal assistance program) the company I work for is called freedomcare they are one of the bigger cdpap companies around so they may have a branch in your state if not just Google your state and the word cdpap and if theres a similar program it may pop up

      • Reply August 15, 2019

        DailyCaring

        Thanks for sharing! So glad you’re able to get paid to care for your mom.

        CDPAP is the name of the Medicaid program in New York state. Programs in other states will mostly likely have different names.

  • Reply January 7, 2019

    Jackie Collins

    I’m 50 yrs old & recently had cervical spine surgery that has left me temporarily/maybe permanently in a wheelchair. My 18 yr old daughter is my caregiver. Is there any way she can get paid to take care of me since we currently have no income?

    • Reply January 7, 2019

      DailyCaring

      I’m so sorry to hear about your health and financial situation and wish you all the best in your recovery. The best thing to do would be to use the resources in this article above to contact your state or county agencies to see if you’re eligible for their programs. Another thing to check is benefits programs to see if they can help with expenses — more info: Benefits Programs Help Pay for Caregiving Expenses at https://dailycaring.com/financial-help-caregiving-expenses/

  • Reply July 25, 2018

    Diana Distefano

    I live with my 87 year old mom and she needs to have doctors visits therapy and I take her but I work all day but I don’t make enough money to pay bills when I take her to her visits is there anyway I can get financial help to pay my bills while I care for her ? Thanks

  • Reply March 12, 2018

    Edward Villa

    Our shower floor is cracking in several places I’m 80 years old and need assistants we live on Social Security need financial assistants for repairs
    Thank you

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