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How to Get Paid by the State for Taking Care of Someone: 3 Benefits Programs

3 government programs pay family caregivers for taking care of seniors

By Connie Chow, Founder at DailyCaring

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.


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 Aid & Attendance and Housebound 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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Author: Connie Chow, founder at DailyCaring, was a hands-on caregiver for her grandmother for 20 years – until grandma was 101 years old! Connie has an MBA from the University of Southern California and has been featured on major news outlets, including WJCL22 Savannah (ABC), KRON4 San Francisco, NBC10 Philadelphia, 23ABC Bakersfield, KAGS Texas (NBC), and KVAL13 Oregon (CBS). She has spoken at Institute on Aging, written for Sixty and Me, and been quoted in top publications, including U.S. News & World Report, HuffPost, and Society of Senior Advisors.

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


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