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Caregiver Assistance

Summary: Each state offers its own form of caregiver assistance, but benefits and programs will vary. Medicaid compensation is available, but there are also programs available for those who do not qualify. Some compensation may be direct while others are indirect, such as waivers or paying for training. Estimated Read Time: 27 mins

Table of Contents:

  1. Government Assistance for Family Caregivers by State
  2. Medicare Caregiver Assistance
  3. VA Caregiver Assistance
  4. How to Apply for Caregiver Assistance

Hiring a caregiver can be expensive for many households, especially when hiring for the entirety of a loved one’s healthcare needs. But if you are taking care of a loved one, there are options for caregiver assistance that can provide you with resources and possibly compensation.

Remember, there are several expenses that can arise even with financial planning and with a patient’s health coverage. Taking into consideration things like medical expenses, legal fees, food, travel costs, and purchasing household items, family caregivers spend an average of $7,000. This amount may not even include the caregiver’s own healthcare costs, as reports have shown that a family caregiver may risk developing chronic conditions that might incur additional healthcare costs.

As a result, those who develop mental and physical ailments stemming from their duties will also spend an average of $6,000 per year to manage these conditions. Caregiver assistance can help prevent or alleviate financial burdens for both parties.

You may be wondering if Medicare can help cover some of these costs. While there are promising developments from Medicare, the Medicare program doesn’t directly pay caregivers just yet.

Fortunately, there are developments that will allow caregivers to become compensated by Medicare and Medicaid, if you qualify. But in the meantime, it’s important to recognize all the current resources that can help caregivers and their patients alike.

Some states will pay you for your role as a caregiver, others may only pay for training, and others still provide a variety of resources that can help support you as a caregiver. How you can receive assistance and what it looks like will vary from state to state as programs are different among them. We’re breaking down resources to help you find the right caregiver assistance program in your area.

Government Assistance for Family Caregivers by State

Families taking care of seniors continue to face multiple challenges that change and grow over time. However, states have taken notice and continue to work towards making resources more accessible to those who need them most.

A study by Merrill Lynch called The Journey of Caregiving: Honor, Responsibility and Financial Complexity highlights the common financial involvement family caregivers face when tending to loved ones:

  • 52% of caregivers aren’t sure of how much they’re spending on their loved ones.
  • Discussing the financial burden has proven to be difficult, as 75% of caregivers have never told their patient.
  • While your specific role may vary, 92% of family caregivers are involved in their loved one’s finances. This includes the 88% who are handling the finances of their patient or the 68% who are either directly contributing financial support without coordinating the other’s money or doing both.
  • Despite this level of financial involvement, things remain complicated in executing these duties. This is because nearly half (49%) of family caregivers aren’t legally authorized to handle their loved one’s finances.
  • Even though 50% of family caregivers are willing to sacrifice their own financial futures for the betterment of their loved one’s care, 71% admit the stress that comes from supporting their patient financially.

Remember that state programs vary from state to state, but government assistance for the caregivers of elderly parents may be available in your state.

You may be able to receive compensation through Medicaid. The amount varies on many factors, including how much care is needed as well as your state’s programs. Nevertheless, there are several programs and resources available beyond Medicaid.

Here’s how the various caregiver assistance programs break down state by state:

Alabama

Alabama CARES is operated by the Alabama Department of Senior Services. It’s available to families to assist in finding unique solutions for their individual situations. Some of the resources available include respite care, support groups, training, information, counseling, and more. While income is not a factor in qualification, those with greater economic needs are helped first.

Alaska

The Alaska Department of Health, Division of Senior and Disabilities Services operates Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) throughout the Final Frontier. At ADRCs, you can find resources to help caregivers and patients connect with specific resources for their needs. Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are also available to help disabled persons maintain independence.

Additionally, Alaska’s Family Caregiver Support Program also offers its own resources for caregivers. Here, you’ll have access to everything from respite care to training and more. Support groups are also available. You can find your local AK contact here.

Arizona

The Arizona Family Caregiver Reimbursement Program (AzFCRP) is available through the Arizona Department of Economic Security. Here, you’ll find reimbursement for those who qualify covering 50% of the costs for home modifications and assistive care technology up to $1,000 per qualifying member in your family. This is a lifetime limit.

Additionally, the Family Caregiver Support Program is available along with other programs aimed at caregiver assistance for those in need. Resources, respite care, supplemental services, and counseling are all available. You can access these resources by dialing the Arizona Caregiver Resource Line at 888-737-7494 or Caregiver Action Network Resource Line at 855-227-3640.

The DES Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) is also available through local Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) for services based on community and non-medical needs. While valuable, this resource does not provide family caregivers with compensation.

Arkansas

The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) provides caregiver assistance in a few different forms with a dedicated focus on helping connect families with respite care:

  • Through the Arkansas Lifespan Respite Voucher Program, funding is provided to help with respite care for family caregivers in need.
  • The Arkansas Lifespan Respite Provider Registry/Locator makes it easier for families to not only find respite care but to do so with qualified individuals prepared for the task.
  • Both in-person and online resources are available for training family caregivers and respite care workers to adequately prepare them for their roles.

Additional resources and information are available, including resources in Spanish. To learn more, you can contact the Arkansas DHS at 501-682-1001.

California

You’ll find the AAA throughout the Golden State oversaw by the California Department of Aging. Assistance is available to help families find both respite care and training. In collaboration with the FCSP, California residents can learn more about their options by calling 1-800-510-2020.

Colorado

Multiple entities within the state government aid with caregivers in the Centennial State. The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing offers the following options for families:

  • Behavioral health services are available for members of Health First Colorado (Medicaid). These services help with mental health and substance abuse. Members can also have access to dental benefits, emergency services, coverage for working disabled persons, buy-in programs, resources for children, and services for transitioning out of nursing homes/long-care facilities.
  • Colorado’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP) is a resource for women that either don’t have insurance, not enough insurance, and are suffering from breast or cervical cancer. You can also be a part of BCCP if you are facing conditions that could lead to such cancers.
  • The Colorado Indigent Care Program (CICP) isn’t healthcare coverage, but it can help you get discounted services at hospitals and clinics.PACE is also available.
  • Those earning too much for Medicaid can apply to the Old Age Pension Health and Medical Care Program (OAP).
  • An Elderly, Blind, and Disabled Waiver (EBD) is available as an alternative to nursing homes.
  • Many different Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) are also available.

While not comprehensive, these programs help caregivers and their families throughout the Centennial State. You can contact the department at (303) 866-2993. Additionally, the Colorado Department of Human Services collaborates with the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) to provide support to families in need of resources and can be reached at (303) 866-5700.

Connecticut

Families can receive help from the Connecticut State Department of Aging and Disability Services in collaboration with the NFCSP. Additional programs are also available in the Constitution State from the Department of Social Services. You can find out more by reaching out to your local AAA or your local social services office. Here’s a snapshot of potential resources:

  • The Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE) helps seniors remain at home rather than move into a nursing home if they would otherwise be at risk of doing so.
  • The Connecticut Statewide Respite Program can assist caregivers through support and information.
  • A collaboration with federal efforts, the Money Follows the Person Program helps provide more choices for long-term, high-quality care solutions for residents.
  • Support for Family Caregivers aims to provide support and respite for caregivers dealing with stress.

Delaware

Compensation is available through the Personal Attendant Services program by Delaware Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC). Contact them at 1-800-223-9074. The ADRC is just one example of the many resources available through the Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD), which also includes:

  • Caregiver Resource Centers
  • Respite care and vouchers
  • Support groups
  • Various resources such as meal delivery, emergency services, case management, adult day services, personal care, and more.

District of Columbia

D.C.’s Department of Aging and Community Living (DACL) provides many different resources for families that can assist a wide variety of problems ranging from respite care to support group resources and more. Training and education is also available. Contact DACL at (202) 724-5626 for more information. Additionally, the District of Columbia Caregivers’ Institute (DCCI) is also available to help train you and provide assistance through real-life skill development.

Florida

Florida’s Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) offers the following programs focusing on caregiver assistance:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative
  • Community Care For the Elderly (CCE)
  • Home Care for the Elderly (HCE)
  • NFCSP
  • Respite for Elders Living in Everyday Families (RELIEF)
  • Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care Program

For more info, contact them at 1-800-963-5337.

Georgia

The Division of Aging Services inside Georgia’s Department of Health Services offers a variety of programs and resources. Some are collaborative with familiar resources, such as AAA or NFCSP. To learn more about what you qualify for, contact 1-866-552-4464 to learn more.

Hawaii

Many options exist from the Hawaii Executive Office on Aging. Here are the programs offered by the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC):

  • The Kupuna Caregivers Program, which provides $210 per week worth of caregiving/homemaking services
  • Eldercare locator
  • Resources for those with patients who have issues with memory loss
  • NFCSP
  • Additional resources have been implemented from the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act of 2017

Contact Hawaii’s ADRC at 808-643-2372.

Idaho

The Idaho Family Caregiver Support Program is a collaboration between local government and the AAA. You’ll find a wide baseline of caregiver assistance here. You can find the local AAA nearest you in the Gem State here to contact them for more information.

Illinois

From children to seniors to disabled and more, the Illinois Family Caregiver Support Program is a well encompassing caregiver resource with something for everyone. Operated by the Illinois Department on Aging and Aging Network, you can learn more about the specific assistance that best suits your needs by calling 1-800-252-8966.

Indiana

Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration works with AAA to create the INconnect Alliance. Here, you’ll find a wealth of resources that features basic caregiving and homemaking needs as well as more advanced features such as legal assistance and vehicle modification resources. To learn more, you can reach a member at 800-713-9023.

These resources are made possible by the Older Americans Act, which also offers a Family Caregiver Program for respite care, information, support, training opportunities, and more.

Iowa

You’ll find caregiver assistance through the Iowa Department on Aging. This is where you can get connected to important, specific resources for your needs, support groups, counseling, and respite care. To find out more, dial 866-468-7887.

Kansas

There is a heavy focus on respite care at the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS). Not only does KDADS help connect you with respite care services but there are also Medicaid waivers available for those who qualify for reimbursement through the program. Assistance is available for both in-home and out-of-home respite care. Call 855-200-2372 for more info.

Kentucky

Kentucky Department for Aging and Independent Living offers assistance from national resource efforts, such as the NFCSP with support from AAA. You can learn more about what the Bluegrass State is offering by dialing (502) 564-6930, ext. 3505.

Louisiana

Both community and Medicaid-based services are available through the Louisiana Department of Health Office of Aging and Adult Services. Here’s how these services breakdown:

  • Community-based services include the Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) program, Louisiana’s Traumatic Head and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund Program (THSCI), and the State Personal Assistance Services Program (SPAS).
  • Medicaid-based assistance is available through the Community Choices Waiver (CCW), Adult Day Health Care Waiver (ADHC), PACE, and various long-term personal care services.

Some of the programs are for specific needs. For example, THSCI is for those specifically suffering from head and spine injuries. Others are more wide encompassing such as general caregiving services. To learn more about each program, visit their website linked above to find the appropriate contact numbers.

Maine

The Office of Aging and Disability Services of Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services connects caregivers with assistance and services available. Here are the options for residents of the Pine Tree State:

  • Respite for ME Grants up to $2,000 for respite care and other services are available.
  • The Caregiver Respite Program is also available for those with dementia.
  • The National Family Caregiver Program and various local caregiving, personal care, and homemaking services are also available.

There are various Aging & Disability Resource Centers throughout ME that can help you learn more by calling 1-877-353-3771.

Maryland

The Department of Aging provides caregiver assistance through the Maryland Family Caregiver Support Program. Here you’ll find everything from educational tools to respite care. You can even find help locating specific services you and your patient might need.

You can also utilize the Department of Human Services which provides the following forms of assistance:

  • The Maryland Commission on Caregiving helps connect families with a variety of resources, including the NFCSP. There is also the Maryland Access Point (MAP) helping the elderly remain in their homes.
  • Some may find value in the Maryland Department of Disabilities, which provides financial assistance for non-senior adults with disabilities.
  • Ramps, adapted phones, and other technology is available through the Maryland Technology Assistance Program.
  • Those who qualify can get a bit of relief through the Respite Care Program.

These services are in addition to the various national resources also available. To learn more, you can reach the Maryland DHS at 1-800-332-6347.

Massachusetts

The Family Caregiver Support Program connects caregivers with specialists who can guide, create care plans, and offer support. Operated by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA), you can learn more by calling (617) 727-7750.

Michigan

Michigan Department of Health & Human Services is providing a variety of essential caregiving services, but what is somewhat unique is its focus on communication. You’ll find resources and information for caregivers and patients, but thanks to its focus on the Affordable Connectivity Program and statewide Wi-Fi Hotspot Map, communication just got a lot easier and affordable. Contact MDHHS for more info at 517-241-3740.

Minnesota

The Senior LinkAge Line from the Minnesota Board of Aging is available at 800-333-2433. This resource provides grants, respite care, consulting, training, referrals, and more to caregivers. Additional resources are also available for those with patients dealing with dementia.

Mississippi

In the Magnolia State, the Mississippi Family Caregiver Support Program has a wide range of assistance caregivers and patients can tap into. The contact point is the Mississippi Access to Care Center at 844-822-4622 where you can find out more information. Here are just a few of the many programs and services available:

  • Adult daycare
  • Bridge to Independence (B2I) Demonstration Grant
  • Waivers for assisted living, brain/spinal cord injuries, disabilities, and more
  • Companion program for seniors
  • Home and community programs

Missouri

While direct compensation may not be available for everyone, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services have an extensive list of resources for caregivers. You can learn more at (573) 751-6400. Here is some of the caregiver assistance offered:

  • Resources for caregiver stress and self-care
  • Help for elder abuse
  • Assistance for those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia
  • Various caregiving services including AAA, community and home services, elder care locators, and much more
  • National resources and organizations for caregivers

Montana

There are several resources available through the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS). Here are some of the many forms of assistance that elderly caregivers may find of use:

  • Resources and information for navigating COVID-19.
  • Families support from experienced Montana families helping others.
  • Technology for those with adaptive needs is available through the MonTECH program.
  • The Disaster Distress Helpline (1-800-985-5990, TTY 1-800-846-8517, or text TalkWithUs to 66746) and the Montana Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-TALK (8255) or text “MT” to 741741) are available.
  • You’ll also find vouchers for respite, dementia, and other healthcare-related services available.

The Montana DPHHS can be contacted at (406) 444-5622 for more information on the full offering of programs and services available.

Nebraska

A collaboration between the AAA and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services makes up the Family Caregiver Support Program. You can reach the Department of Health and Human Services at (402) 471-2307 for more information or click the link to find your local AAA’s phone number.

Nevada

In Nevada, the Department of Health & Human Services Aging and Disability Services Division provides services and resources to assist private caregivers for elderly people. There are Purchase of Service Vouchers for things like food, healthcare, and utilities. Respite care is also available.

However, to qualify for such assistance, you’ll need to meet the 300% of Federal Poverty Guidelines among other parameters. For more information, contact the Aging and Disability Services Division Administrative Office at (775) 687-4210.

New Hampshire

The NH Family Caregiver Support Program is a wide-ranging resource similar to those in other states. However, additional caregiver assistance is available through ServiceLink. Here are some of the core services and programs you’ll find:

  • Assistive Technology in New Hampshire (ATinNH) helps educate the use of adaptive technology for caregivers and users. You can even loan equipment from the program.
  • State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) helps you better understand your Medicare coverage options whereas the Senior Medicare Patrol Program (SMP) helps you report fraud related to Medicare.
  • NHCarePath partners to help connect caregivers and their loved ones with mental and physical healthcare resources.

To learn more about your options in the Granite State, contact the NHDHHS at 1-800-735-2964.

New Jersey

Jersey Assistance for Community Caregiving (JACC) is the hub of caregiver assistance in NJ. Operated with collaborations from local AAA and ADRCs, the Department of Human Services is able to provide respite care, homemaking, caregiving, and additional services to families. You can also find additional resources, such as the Alzheimer’s Adult Day Services Program (AADSP). Contact 1-877-222-3737 to learn more about the resources near you.

New Mexico

At the New Mexico Aging & Long-Term Services Department, you’ll find a wide range of caregiver programs and resources. Collaborating with the ADRC, you can find specific resources for your needs accordingly. Contact them at 1-800-432-2080.

New York

The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) operates the NFCSP through its 59 AAA locations. This helps New Yorkers find national resources at a local level. You can find information, caregiver assistance, support groups, and even respite care and supplemental services in a limited capacity. You can learn more by calling 1-844-697-6321.

North Carolina

Resources are available for elderly caregivers through the NC DHHS. You can breakdown the core of the services provided into two major categories: the Family Caregiver Support Program and the NC Lifespan Respite Program. However, a closer look Into the programs available in your area will show that these categories offer a wide range of options. Contact a NC Division of Aging and Adult Services Family Caregiver Support Program Consultant at 919-855-3400 for more info.

North Dakota

Assistance, information, respite care, training, and more are all available through the Family Caregiver Support Program in North Dakota. The ND Aging & Disability Resource-LINK can help you find resources in your area. You can reach them at 1-855-462-5465.

Ohio

Ohio’s Department of Aging provides the national resources you’d expect from the NFCSP, but there are also many local points of assistance as well. Medicaid waivers, caregiver support, resources for reporting abuse, senior benefits for farmers’ markets, and more are available. Contact them for more information by calling 1-800-266-4346.

Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Departments of Human Services and Rehabilitation Services offer programs and assistance for families and caregivers. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Local AAAs are available for a variety of caregiver services.
  • The NFCSP is also an option.
  • Medicaid recipients can also access help through the State Plan Personal Care (SPPC).

To discover more, contact your local AAA or the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services at 800-487-4042.

Oregon

Free training, national resources, and a variety of local partners make support in the Beaver State readily available. To find specific resources near your home, you’ll need to contact the Oregon Department of Human Services office closest to you. You can find offices online.

Pennsylvania

The Caregiver Support Program provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging offers training, management, counseling, and more. However, there are also many different types of reimbursement for a variety of healthcare costs that includes respite care, medical supplies, home modifications, assistive devices, and much more. Contact them at (717) 783-1550.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Office of Healthy Aging (OHA) has created a guide for caregiving to provide more and more resources as the need grows throughout the population. The Family Caregiver Alliance of Rhode Island (FCARI) has a wide range of resources that focus on supporting the many needs caregivers and patients might need. You can click the link to download the plan complete with a breakdown and contact information.

South Carolina

Support from the South Carolina Department of Aging is available for elderly caregivers. Families can receive help and information for available resources, support groups, respite care, supplemental services, and even specific resources for things such as dementia. You can reach the SCDOA for more information at 1-800-868-9095.

South Dakota

Those that are a part of Home and Community-Based Options and Person-Centered Excellence (HOPE) waiver or qualifies for the HOPE waiver and meet additional qualifications can also receive benefits from Structured Family Caregiving. This is a program to pay family caregivers. Contact Dakota at Home to learn more about the options offered by the South Dakota Department of Human Services (DHS).

Tennessee

Local AAA and NFCSP are available throughout the Volunteer State under the direction of the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability. You can also find programs for respite care and managing caregiver stress. You can reach your local AAA by calling 866-836-6678. The Tennessee Respite Coalition (TRC) is available to learn more about vouchers for respite care and the Senior Companion program at 888-579-3754.

Texas

Texas Health & Human Services provides a great range of support, services, and resources for families that include collaborations from national entities such as ADRCs and AAA. Here’s an overview of what the Lone Star State has to offer:

  • Benefits are available, including Medicaid, for those who qualify. You’ll find long-term care, general healthcare, caregiver support, substance abuse resources, food resources, and much more available.
  • In-home care services are also an option, which includes housekeeping adjacent services.
  • Transportation for meals, medication, and in some cases, disabled persons can be provided.
  • Texas and the National Institute on Aging provide online resources to assist with medication management.
  • A variety of patient specific resources for people with cancer, dementia, epilepsy, are Veterans, and much more is also available.

It’s almost impossible not to find some form of caregiver assistance no matter what you and your loved one is in need of. You can also find ample resources available in Spanish. To learn more, contact the Texas Health & Human Services Commission at 1-877-541-7905.

Utah

The Utah Department of Health & Human Services provides compensation for family caregivers. This initiative was initially temporarily to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic but after seeing success, became available in 2023. Here’s how it works:

In addition to caregiver compensation, there are several other resources and programs available such as the Home and Community Based Alternatives Program for low-income elderly adults needing in-home care, AAA, SHIP, food programs, legal resources, and more. Contact the Utah DHHS at 801-538-3910 to learn more.

Vermont

There are many programs within Vermont’s Disabilities Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) that aim to help assist caregivers and patients alike:

  • Respite care is available for those suffering from dementia.
  • DAIL and AAA collaborate to ensure seniors maintain their independence through Older American’s Act (OAA) Services. These services include support for caregivers, legal resources, information, case management, etc.

To find out more about the assistance in your area, contact DAIL at (802) 241-2401.

Virginia

Several entities collaborate with the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), such as the Virginia Caregiver Coalition (VCC), NFCSP, and AAA. Together, these groups offer support and resources that range from basic caregiving needs to running errands to training and more. You can contact DARS at 804-662-9333 to learn more about the options near you.

Washington

You’ll find plenty of resources within the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Aging and Long-Term Support Administration (ALTSA). Here are some important resources you can access:

  • NFCSPMAC and TSOA provides free training for family caregivers
  • CareLearn Washington offers free training to unpaid caregivers
  • Specific resources on caring for parents, those with dementia, hearing lost, etc., are also available
  • Trualta Family Caregiver Training is a 24/7 training platform that can help with a variety of topics and even has a community to communicate with fellow caregivers
  • Support groups and respite care are also availableYou’ll also find many different resources for self-care and managing stress.

To learn more about the resources available in your area, check out the Washington DSHS contact list online.

West Virginia

The West Virginia Medicaid Personal Care Services Program comes from the West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources Bureau for Medical Services. It focuses on ensuring that seniors can maintain their activities of daily living (ADLs). However, not everyone qualifies for Medicaid.

Additional resources are available through the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services Lighthouse Program for those that don’t qualify for Medicaid. Through the program, as much as 60 hours of services for things such as personal care are available, depending on your evaluation.

Wisconsin

ADRCs, the NFCSP, dementia care resources, and the Alzheimer’s Family and Caregiver Support Program are all available through the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. To learn more, contact them at 608-266-1865.

Wyoming

Living in the Equity State can be a dream, but it’s important to recognize that caregiver assistance works a bit differently in Wyoming. While the NFCSP is available through the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH), there are some areas that do not have access to these programs. These include the following counties:

  • Albany
  • Niobrara
  • Park
  • Platte
  • Sublette
  • Washakie
  • Weston

Discover the programs and help available near you. Contact the WDH at 307-777-8566 or wyaging@wyo.gov.

As you can see above, there are many state programs and resources available. Each state operates differently, but State Unites on Aging (SUAs) are available not only throughout every state but also D.C. and in every U.S. territory. In total, you’ll find 56 SUAs providing programs that fulfill the specific needs of the elderly populations.

Medicare Caregiver Assistance

There are changes that are coming for caregivers to receive compensation from the federal Medicare program. However, the details of how much and when this will be implemented have yet to be announced. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is working to decide the fee schedule which will determine the amount of reimbursement for caregiving services for those who qualify.

Those who qualify as a caregiver under Medicare rules may receive compensation, though strict rules apply, even as changes are in place to open this up to more families. Nevertheless, here are some of the ways that Medicare coverage can help you save on healthcare costs for your loved one:

  • Original Medicare can cover both inpatient and outpatient expenses. Though some costs may still be required out of pocket, there are many vital healthcare services covered by the federal government’s program.
  • If you wish to take care of the leftover costs when using Original Medicare, there are Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, that can cover your patient’s healthcare costs through supplemental coverage.
  • Alternatively, some may find that Medicare Advantage plans are a better fit for their needs, and family caregivers benefit by having healthcare costs covered all the same.
  • The price of prescription drugs is a common stress point for patients and their family caregivers. Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans are available to help cover these costs.
  • Some may be dually eligible and can enroll in Medicaid-Medicare Dual Eligible plans. In this case, Medicaid would supplement the costs left over by Original Medicare benefits. This coverage is only available to those who qualify as income limitations are in play.
  • Patients may also qualify for a Medicare Savings Program. These programs vary from state to state and are available to help you cover out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare won’t.

An important caveat here is remembering that Medicare will only pay for caregiver services to participating facilities for now. There are additional options from CMS for those qualifying for Medicaid as well through the Program for All-inclusive Care (PACE). However, even with PACE, there are some important considerations:

  • PACE becomes the sole provider of Medicare and Medicaid services for those enrolled.
  • You have to meet age and health requirements as PACE is aimed at helping the elderly and frail.
  • Not everyone has access to PACE as the program is not available in all states.
  • Those qualifying must be able to live safely in their community.

VA Caregiver Assistance

Those who have served in the U.S. military can access additional benefits through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). Veterans often have specific care needs that are different than those who are not a part of the military community. This presents unique challenges, but resources are available:

  • The VA Caregiver Support Program offers a wealth of resources and assistance specifically geared for caregivers to qualifying veterans. There are also benefits that come from the VA to assist with the cost of healthcare.
  • One of the ways the VA provides extra assistance for family caregivers is through Aid and Attendance (A&A), which is a special pension increase for qualifying parties. Furthermore, if you have a qualifying permanent disability, you can receive the Homebound increase in your pension to cover the costs of a caregiver as well.
  • The VA Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) is providing qualifying caregivers and secondary caregivers as designated by the program benefits. Not only do you receive monetary caregiver assistance, but there are also mental health resources, healthcare options, respite care benefits, and travel benefits.

How to Apply for Caregiver Assistance

Applying to financial assistance for caregivers is going to look slightly different depending on healthcare needs and where you live, but the basics are still the same. Throughout the process, be prepared to provide evidence of the need of whichever resources you require. Here’s how to get paid as a family caregiver for your efforts:

Learn Your State’s Requirements

As listed above, each state operates differently in compensating caregivers. There are different guidelines and resources available depending on where you live. It’s important to understand your options before applying so that you can find exactly what you need and qualify for.

Make Sure That You Qualify for a Program

Each program is going to have different guidelines and criteria. Furthermore, there are caregiving assistant programs that are only available for someone if they are disabled, have dementia, are under a certain age, over a certain age, etc. Your best bet is to find the programs you and your loved one qualify for before exhausting energy on assistance that could never be in the first place.

Contact the Program or Medicaid to Sign Up

Once you’ve identified the program that is right for your needs, you’ll need to contact them to verify you’re eligible and begin the process. For many, this means ensuring certain criteria are met for whichever program is used, including Medicaid. Though not available for everyone, there are many states in which patients receiving Medicaid benefits can have their family caregiver receive compensation from the program. Amounts will vary from state to state.

From respite care to compensation and more, there are plenty of ways to receive caregiver assistance. In fact, there are even more helpful ways for family caregivers to receive help yet to come. Keep reading our guide to learn more about the many caregiver resources there are available.

Sources

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  1. Financial interventions for family caregivers of individuals with chronic illness: a scoping review protocol, BMJ Open. Accessed December 2023.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9379508/
  2. THE JOURNEY OF CAREGIVING: HONOR, RESPONSIBILITY AND FINANCIAL COMPLEXITY, Age Wave. Accessed December 2023.
    https://agewave.com/what-we-do/landmark-research-and-consulting/research-studies/the-journey-of-caregiving/
  3. How to Receive Financial Compensation via Medicaid to Provide Care for a Loved One, American Council on Aging. Accessed December 2023.
    https://www.medicaidplanningassistance.org/getting-paid-as-caregiver/
  4. All About Utah Caregiver Compensation, Giv.care. Accessed December 2023.
    https://blog.giv.care/utah-caregiver-compensation/
  5. S.B. 106 Caregiver Compensation Amendments, Utah State Legislature. Accessed December 2023.
    https://le.utah.gov/~2023/bills/static/SB0106.html
  6. States Units on Aging, ACL. Accessed December 2023.
    https://eldercare.acl.gov/Public/About/Aging_Network/SUA.aspx
  7. Does Medicare Pay for a Caregiver?, Oak St. Health. Accessed December 2023.
    https://www.oakstreethealth.com/does-medicare-pay-for-a-caregiver-727397
  8. VA Caregiver Support Program, VA. Accessed December 2023.
    https://www.caregiver.va.gov/
  9. VA Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC), U.S. Army. Accessed December 2023.
    https://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil/Benefit-Library/Federal-Benefits/VA-Program-of-Comprehensive-Assistance-for-Family-Caregivers-(PCAFC)?serv=126
Kayla Hopkins

Kayla Hopkins

Content Editor
Kayla Hopkins is an accomplished writer and Medicare guru serving as the Editor of MedicareFAQ.com. Upon completing her Communications degree from Ohio University, Kayla dedicated her time to understanding the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare. With her extensive background as a Licensed Medicare Insurance Agent, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her writing.
Ashlee Zareczny

Ashlee Zareczny

Compliance Manager
Ashlee Zareczny is the Compliance Manager for MedicareFAQ. As a licensed Medicare agent in all 50 states, she is dedicated to educating those eligible for Medicare by providing the necessary resources and tools. Additionally, Ashlee trains new and tenured Medicare agents on CMS compliance guidelines. Ashlee is a Medicare expert who specializes in Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Part D education.

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