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Paying a Family Member to Provide Care at Home

While a number of families often desire the services of a professional caregiver to help ease the burden of caring for an elderly loved one, there are still those who wish to keep the care in the family, and that’s okay. You can, in fact, be paid to provide care at home if you are a family member.

Let’s look at how it works:

  • Step 1: First, you’ll need to set aside any awkwardness you may have about discussing things like needs, wages to be earned, when you’ll be paid, any health risks, the schedule you’ll be expected to keep and how respite care or sick days for caregivers will work.
  • Step 2: Next, the creation of the actual contract. Be sure to include things like the hourly wage and any services to be provided.
  • Step 3: Contact an elder care professional, like those at Scott Counsel, to ensure that the contract complies with any tax requirements, covers inheritances, and has been approved by all other potentially interested parties (such as siblings).
  • Step 4: Be aware of the potential need for a session with a family therapist (one whose specialty is elder care). There is a lot of potential for discomfort among family members or disagreement when it comes to the plan you want to enact.
  • Step 5: Both the caregiver and the care recipient must sign the contract.
  • Step 6: Keep professional records of the following:
    • Specify any service(s) performed, the dates they were performed, and the amount paid. Such paperwork is vital should the family member wish to apply for Medicaid later on. A caseworker will examine records for the past five years during the qualification process, so it’s important to keep track.
    • Report any income! It is a caregiver’s responsibility to report any earned wages as taxable income. THIS IS LEGALLY REQUIRED. If taxes have not been paid, this will hurt your loved one’s chances of applying for Medicaid later on, as Medicaid will consider it a gift, not an expense.

If you or someone you love needs assistance with Elder Care law issues, call 856-281-3131. Let us help ease your stress and give you a plan.

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