Saturday, January 7, 2023

Government Funding For Family Caregivers

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A& A Benefits And Housebound Benefits

Government expands support for women as demand grows for caregivers

A& A is another way veterans can get money added to their VA pension to pay caregivers.

Who Qualifies?

This benefit is available for any veteran who qualifies for VA pensions and meets one of the following criteria:

  • Requiring help from another person to perform activities of daily living
  • Having extremely limited eyesight even with corrective lenses
  • Being bedbound because of disability
  • Being in a nursing home

Housebound benefits also provide additional payment to the veteran for care expenses. Veterans are eligible if they receive a VA pension and spend most of their time at home due to permanent disability.

How much can you get?

The amount of increase to the veterans pension for A& A and housebound benefits depends on the veterans family and dependents. For 2021 :

  • A veteran with no dependents who qualifies for A& A receives an additional $9,307 per year in pension
  • A veteran with no dependents who qualifies for Homebound Benefits receives an additional $3,093 per year in pension

You can view the VA pension tables for veterans with dependent and veterans married to other veterans here.

How to Enroll

Visit the VAs website to apply for A& A or housebound benefits. Note that veterans can only be enrolled in one of these programs at a time.

Homeownership Is One Path To Help

For most people, the biggest source of untapped funds is their home. The average homeowner between the ages of 55 and 64 had home equity of $133,000 in 2018, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data available. Those 65 and older had average home equity of $174,000.

If the only real option for a loved one who’s receiving care is an assisted living residence or nursing home, then selling the home is an ideal way to raise money. Someone who needs extra money to pay for home-based care could buy a smaller, less expensive house or condominium and use the profit to pay the extra medical expenses.

In many cases, profits from the sale of a primary residence a home you’ve owned and lived in for at least two years are tax-free. There is no capital gains tax on up to $250,000 of profit on a home sale for a single homeowner and up to $500,000 for a married couple.

Free hotlines

Nonprofit organizations such as AARP have toll-free support lines to provide answers to questions, make referrals and point to resources for caregivers.

AARP. 877-333-5885, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET weekdays Spanish language: 888-971-2013, also 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays.

Alzheimer’s Association. 800-272-3900, advice on Alzheimer’s and other dementias 24 hours a day every day.

SeniorLiving.org. 866-901-4858, advice on dementia, finances and senior housing, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET daily.

If the monthly payments aren’t made, the homeowner can lose the property.

Additional Programs & Funding

If the person in your care requires special equipment or assistive devices such as a wheelchair or walker, the following programs can help:

  • The Home & Vehicle Modification Program is funded by the Government of Ontario and administered by March of Dimes Canada to help Ontarians whose mobility and daily living activities are substantially restricted by an injury, birth defect, or long-term illness. If you live in British Columbia, PEI, Quebec, or Manitoba, to learn about similar programs available to you.
  • For more than 50 years, the Canadian Red Cross has been offering the Health Equipment Loan Program . This program is available to residents of British Columbia, Alberta, New Brunswick, PEI, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Yukon.
  • The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Assistive Devices Program provides financial assistance to purchase medical equipment and supplies for those who qualify.
  • Ceridian Cares provides grants for not only assistive devices, but also clothing and footwear, food and basic household needs, and personal development and recreation to those who qualify.

You dont need to be a customer of either banking institution to use these tools check with your own bank to see if they offer similar tools and services.

Government and charitable organization programs often change and evolve. It is a good idea to regularly check the above websites for the latest in financial assistance and support.

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Area Agencies On Aging

For in-person assistance with exploring programs and benefits that are available to you and your aging loved one, contact your local Area Agency on Aging . Each AAA serves seniors, individuals with disabilities and family caregivers in a designated areausually a city, county or multi-county district. These offices are staffed by elder care professionals who are knowledgeable about every assistance program and service that is available in their area.

Gather as much information as you can about you and your care recipients health and finances and make an appointment to meet with a counselor at your AAA. The staff there can advise you on prospective programs and eligibility requirements and even help prepare the necessary applications and documentation. Visit the Area Agency on Aging Directory to find your local AAAs contact information and schedule an appointment.

National Family Caregiver Support Program

8 Government Resources Every Caregiver Should Know About

The National FamilyCaregiver Support Program provides a periodic break for caregivers to regroupboth physically and emotionally. Funds are available for a variety of servicesto support family members and other unpaid caregivers caring for olderindividuals as well as grandparents and older relatives caring forgrandchildren, or parents caring for an adult child with a disability.

Program Services:

Services are arranged through Area Agency on Aging staff who assess each situation and helps determine eligibility and services that may be received through the NFCSP. Respite services and the purchase of items are prioritized based on several factors including social need and income of care recipient.

Services include

  • Information and assistance to help connect caregivers to services to ease the burden of caregiving.
  • Offers short-term respite services so that caregivers can get the time and the rest they deserve.
  • Training opportunities for caregivers to equip them with technical skills to provide needed care.
  • Connecting caregivers to area support groups.
  • Purchasing items and services not covered by other sources, as determined by the case manager.
Eligibility
Contact

Contact the Area Agency on Aging in your area either by calling 1-800-994-9422 or by visiting their website.

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Steps To Obtaining Financial Assistance For Caregivers By State

The programs that compensate family caregivers differ by state, and in some cases, from county to county.

Note that not all states make this option available, and some have restrictions on the family members that may be hired as caregivers. We included helpful resources to find your local Aging and Disability Resource Center or local Area Agency on Aging to get in touch with local experts for further guidance. Weve also provided information on the states that offer Veteran Directed Care well as links to the state Veterans Administration to make it easy for you to get in touch with the right representatives for the help you need. Click on a state below to go directly to the information for your state:

The Last Resort A Gofundme Campaign

Then theres the last resort method my friend Sharon used to find much-needed funds to care for Rose, her 95-year-old mother: GoFundMe.

Roses health had been deteriorating, and early this year, Sharon began taking care of her mom full-time instead of working. Sharon tried helping Rose apply for Medicaid, but her mother didnt qualify.

Desperate for financial assistance, Sharon decided to put up a GoFundMe crowdsourcing page. It included a photo of Rose with her beloved dog Sheba and explained Roses situation. To date, the effort has raised $1,300, which has let Sharon hire a respite caregiver for several hours a week.

A recent search on the GoFundMe site revealed several other similar COVID-related caregiving funding requests.

If youd like to find out whether you can get paid to be a family caregiver, Lisa Gurgone, executive director of Mass Home Care recommends contacting your local Area Agency on Aging/Aging Service Access Point. You can find your agency by entering your ZIP code into the federal governments online Eldercare Locator.

Once you find your local agency, Gurgone says, ask to speak with the Information and Referral Department about Medicaid and non-Medicaid programs letting family caregivers receive compensation or respite services.

If a family member needing care is a veteran or the spouse of one, contact your state Veteran Affairs Office and ask to speak with a Veteran Service Officer who can help you identify resources.

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Government Assistance For Caregivers

As a caregiver, you may be eligible for various forms of assistance from the Government of Canada. The attached link offers information to help.

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Family Caregiver Services And Supports

Comprehensive assistance for family caregivers of Veterans

Funding Family Caregiver Services and SupportsSection 3a of the RAISE Act State Policy Roadmap for Family Caregivers

This section of the RAISE Act State Policy Roadmap focuses on state opportunities to support services for families caring for older adults and adults with disabilities. Family caregivers are the major providers of long-term services and supports, with an estimated economic value of unpaid contributions totaling approximately $470 billion in 2017.

The COVID-19 pandemic heightened reliance on family caregivers. Although states can promote family caregiver services through licensure, regulation, and outreach, the most powerful policy lever that states have to increase access is funding key services and supports.

How States Assist Family Caregivers

How States Assist Family Caregivers

Under the Older Americans Act, states fund family caregivers services and supports, which include:

  • Information about available services
  • Assistance in gaining access to the services
  • Individual counseling, support groups, and caregiver training to assist caregivers in making decisions and solving problems
  • Respite care to temporarily relieve caregivers
  • Supplemental services, on a limited basis, to complement the care provided by family caregivers

These services can reduce caregiver depression and stress so caregivers are able to provide care longer, thereby avoiding or delaying the need for costly institutional care.

Source: U.S. Administration for Community Living.

State Challenges

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The Purpose Of The Program And How It Works

Established in 2000, the NFCSP provides grants to states and territories, based on their share of the population age 70 and over, to fund a range of supports that assist family and informal caregivers to care for their loved ones at home for as long as possible.

NFCSP grantees provide five types of services:

  • information to caregivers about available services

  • assistance to caregivers in gaining access to the services

  • individual counseling, organization of support groups, and caregiver training

  • respite care and

  • supplemental services, on a limited basis

These services work in conjunction with other state and community-based services to provide a coordinated set of supports. Studies have shown that these services can reduce caregiver depression, anxiety, and stress as well as enable caregivers to provide care longer, thereby avoiding or delaying the need for costly institutional care.

How Do Family Caregivers Get Paid By Medicaid

You love your parent. You want to give them a fulfilling and happy life, but they canât do it alone. Helping your loved one takes significant sacrifice from you. The emotional, physical, and financial toll can cause stress and anxiety. In many cases, caring for your loved one can become a full-time job. Government assistance for family caregivers provides you with the financial support you need to be there for your parent. How do you get Medicaid Caregiver Pay?

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Additional Options And Resources For Family Caregivers

If you dont qualify for government or veterans programs, there are still other resources available to help family caregivers. Long-term care insurance is usually the first and best option, and some of these policies may even pay for a family member to provide care. The American Association of Long-Term Care Insurance provides several helpful guides and information resources to help consumers learn more. You also can request a quote from association members, so use this to shop around for the best price and the most comprehensive benefits. Premiums for long-term care insurance also may be deductible, depending on your loved ones adjusted gross income.

Personal care agreements are another option to get paid for providing care to a loved one. Under these agreements, an elderly relative would enter into a contract with a family member to provide care. Though this arrangement may seem odd or uncomfortable, it can ease some of the financial costs that come with caregiving. Just be sure to consult an elder law attorney to advise on how to draw up the contract to protect both parties and to outline any tax obligations.

Check to see if your employer offers an elder care program or benefit. Companies like Bank of America, Deloitte, Microsoft and NBC Universal are a few examples of companies who offer these benefits.

Is More Help For Family Caregivers On The Horizon

Family Resource Home Care Arlington : CommunityMed Family Urgent Care ...

Caregivers need for financial assistance is not going unnoticed. Hawaii became the first U.S. state to provide this benefit through the Kupuna Caregivers Act, which can provide up to $70 per day to cover expenses such as healthcare and transportation.

The bipartisan RAISE Family Caregivers Act requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to outline a strategy to help caregivers through federal programs, workplace policy changes, and more.

As of May 2021, eleven U.S. states offer paid family leave for caregivers, providing full or partially paid leave for caregivers who need time off to care for a family member. Though its currently up to the states to decide whether or not to protect these benefits by law, many political figures continue to advocate for making paid family leave mandated at the federal level.

Even if additional resources come to pass, the benefits received wont amount to the average full-time salary. But caregivers know that every additional bit of financial support can help adjust to this life-altering situation.

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What Is The Family Caregiver Support Program

The program offers five direct services to Caregivers that best meet the range of their needs, including:

  • Information about available services.
  • Assistance in gaining access to supportive services.
  • Individual counseling, organization of support groups, and training to assist caregivers in making decisions and solving problems relating to their roles.
  • Respite care to enable caregivers to be temporarily relieved from their caregiving responsibilities.
  • Supplemental services, on a limited basis, to complement the care provided by caregivers.

Arizona Caregiver Resource Line:

888-737-7494Speak with a trained volunteer who can provide a compassionate ear, information, assistance, local resources and support Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. 4 p.m.

Caregiver Action Network Resource Line:

855-227-3640

How To Become A Paid Caregiver For A Family Member: 6 Steps To Uncovering Financial Assistance Options For Family Caregivers

Serving as a caregiver for a family member is an extremely rewarding experience. Not only do you get to spend time with your loved one, you also have the opportunity to ensure they receive the best quality care possible. As primary caregiver, you dont have to worry about outside help that may not be sympathetic or attentive in caring for your loved one.

Unfortunately, being a caregiver for a family member comes at a cost. Caregivers often have to significantly reduce their number of hours working outside the home or leave their jobs entirely in order to provide quality care for their loved one. This means that caregivers are spending hours assisting loved ones with daily tasks, cooking meals, taking them to appointments, ensuring their safety and well-being, and providing companionship, but are not being compensated for their time.

The Caregiving in the U.S. 2020 AARP Research Report highlighted that 1 in 5 caregivers report high financial strain as a result of caregiving. 3 in 10 have stopped saving, and 1 in 4 have taken on more debt.

Caregivers can lose a great deal of income as they care for their loved ones, yet they often have to pay for caregiving expenses out of their own pockets. According to the AARP report, family caregivers spend about 20% of their income on costs associated with caregiving.

  • Determine your eligibility for Medicaids Self-Directed Services
  • Opt into a home and community-based services program
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