Reimbursement for family caregivers
Caring for a loved one at home can be a time-intensive and tiresome endeavor, so much so that the caregiver may be forced to reduce his/her hours at work or even quit altogether. In these situations, there are sometimes resources available to pay the family member who is providing care.
If the patient has long-term care insurance, it is possible that the policy will cover family care givers in certain situations. Of course, the terms of the policy itself will govern whether this is possible, so be sure to read it carefully, ask your insurance agent, or see a lawyer to determine if reimbursement is possible.
In Pennsylvania, reimbursement may also be possible through either the Family Caregiver Support Program or the Services My Wayprogram (part of Medicaid’s Cash and Counseling program), depending upon eligibility. More information on these programs can be viewed online at:
Family Caregiver Support Program: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=616680&mode=2
National Family Caregiver Support Program: http://www.aoa.gov/aoaroot/aoa_programs/hcltc/caregiver/index.aspx
In most situations where a family caregiver is seeking reimbursement, it is helpful to prepare a short contract outlining the terms of the arrangement, including an hourly rate and work schedule, a description of the care to be rendered, and, if possible, how payment will be made. As this could be a complicated situation between family members, having an attorney prepare the contract can help avoid hard feelings and ensure that the contract will be legal. The individuals receiving reimbursement need to be mindful that money earned under such an arrangement is income and is likely taxable.