Practical Tips for Caregivers: How to be paid for your efforts

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For many caregivers, money worries add to the already overwhelming list of new concerns. This is especially true for those who have had to reduce their hours or quit working altogether. Some states and government agencies are working to address this burden, resulting in three programs that we know of:

Cash and Counseling Program

In good news for some, 15 states have a Cash and Counseling Program that allows people who are eligible for publicly supported programs to manage their own budgets.

  • They can hire their own personal caregivers, including friends or family members. Of course they are also responsible for hiring, supervising and paying these individuals, as well as maintaining accurate employment records.
  • They can also use the money to pay for things like transportation services, assisted devices, necessary home modifications and appliances.
  • To see the complete list of states and learn how to apply, visit Cash & Counseling.

Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP).

In New York state, seniors who are Medicaid-eligible and in need of home care, can hire someone they know to become their personal assistant. However, the caregiver cannot be the mother, father, spouse, son, daughter, daughter-in-law or son-in-law of the care recipient. So whom does that leave? Well, it leaves cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews, and nieces and family friends. Still that means someone you may feel comfortable with, but who would not necessarily do the job for free. As with the Cash and Counseling Program, care recipients are responsible for good record-keeping. To find out more, visit New York State's Department of Heath website and type CDPAP in the search box.

Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers

Under the "Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010," the VA offers additional funding for caregivers, including a monthly stipend, travel expenses, counseling and respite care. You must be caring for a veterans who sustained a serious injury in the line of duty post 9/11 and who needs personal care services due to those injuries. Learn more at the the Department of Veteran Affair's Caregiver Support pages.