Getting Paid as a Family Caregiver

Some states and insurance plans have programs that allow family caregivers to get paid for providing care to a loved one.

Helpful Highlights

  • There are a few ways to get paid as a family caregiver.

  • Programs that offer paid family caregiving vary widely, often with complicated criteria for eligibility, and have many administrative requirements (assessment, paperwork, reporting, renewals, working with a fiscal intermediary).

  • Many people still work outside the home while getting paid as a caregiver. Replacing a job with paid family caregiving is an individual choice, not a requirement.

  • The pay rate for family caregivers varies based on many factors, so it is difficult to publish a specific rate. Available online sources suggest an hourly rate between $14.00-$20.00.

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Some government and insurance programs pay family or friends to help with daily activities, including personal care, administering medications, cooking, cleaning, and more.

Medicaid self-directed programs

If your loved one already receives Medicaid (including dually eligible), your state may allow you to become a paid caregiver.

Many states call this a consumer-directed personal assistance program (CDPAP). Each state has different requirements and rules, which are too numerous to cover here. Contact your state’s Medicaid office for more information (click on the HOW TO contact your state link and scroll to find your state).

For more information on the process and requirements of personal assistant services (PAS), visit Medicaid Self-Directed Personal Assistant Services.

Long-term care insurance

Some, but not all, long-term care insurance policies allow family members to get paid as caregivers. You must contact your loved one's long-term insurance company directly and ask for a written confirmation of benefits and guidance on this process.

Veterans programs

There are two programs available for veterans to potentially pay family caregivers.

For more information on program qualifications, and requirements for becoming a paid caregiver, contact the VA Pension Management Center for your state (scroll to locate your state under one of the Pension Management Centers listed).

Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans

Unfortunately, neither provides paid family caregiver benefits.

In many cases, Medicare Advantage plans will offer some level of coverage for professional caregiving services.

Employer-paid leave programs, other state programs

Currently, very few of these programs exist, though check with your employer (and even your state Department of Labor) on what may be available. For example, California is a beacon for family caregiving with its Paid Family Leave Act and Family Caregiver Services program, though other states also offer some form of compensation, benefits, or support to family caregivers.

Freedom Care

FreedomCare has gained a lot of attention as a new method of in-home care. FreedomCare is funded by Medicaid and is currently available in seven states.

  • New York

  • Nevada

  • Missouri

  • Pennsylvania

  • Arizona

  • Indiana

  • Georgia

FeeedomCare specializes in helping family caregivers get set up and get paid for the care they provide. Because this service is funded by Medicaid, Medicaid rules and regulations apply, but FreedomCare helps you navigate them, ideally making the process easier for you from eligibility to a check in hand.

Another resource

Family Caregiver Alliance offers a useful Service by State tool for starting to research whether your state offers paid family caregiver programs, as well as a State-by-State Caregiver Data Report for insight into data points like the cost of care in each state, as well as the presence or absence of caregiver friendly policies.

RESOURCES

ARCH

Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA)

Freedom Care

Medicaid.gov

USA.gov

VA.gov

Clark, A. (2023, May 10). Which states pay family caregivers in 2023? The Senior List. Link

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