Understanding Compensation for Family Caregivers

Care for a family member is one of the hardest-working individuals out there. On top of managing their career and personal lives, they’re responsible for the well-being of older adults. It is no easy feat, and they deserve some caregiver compensation for their work. But what states pay family caregivers?

The good news is that a large portion of the United States offers programs that allow family caregivers to receive some sort of compensation. However, certain states offer different funding options. It’s important you reach out to your state’s aging agency to confirm which applies to your area.

What States Pay Family Caregivers?

Common state funding sources and services for family caregivers

No state offers the same option of financial assistance as the next. Even if two states utilize similar programs, they likely vary in benefits. While it’s useful to understand each state plan, make sure you find out which service your state offers first.

Medicaid state plans can cover both financial assistance for family caregivers, respite, or self-directed care. There are specific eligibility requirements per state, so you’ll want to contact your local eligibility office for more information. Once a caregiver is determined as eligible, they can begin the process of receiving compensation.

Home and community-based services

These programs give beneficiaries the ability to receive care in the comfort of their home instead of through an assisted living or nursing facility. Through this program, seniors receive assistance with non-medical activities of daily living. This could include bathing, preparing meals, or setting medication reminders.

A state’s specific program may determine levels of care. This could refer to the number of hours a caregiver can work or potential training standards.

Community First Choice

Community First Choice is a program created under the Affordable Care Act. While quite similar to the option above, this option offers both state home and community-based services for those already eligible for Medicaid. It covers both long-term care and self-directed services.

Self-directed personal assistance services

Self-directed personal assistance services are the most unique option on this list. While it falls under the Medicaid state plan or 1915(c) waivers like the Community First Choice program, this one specifically falls under the individual caregiver. They have the authority and responsibility for administering services.

Caregivers receive a certain budget and service plan using a “person-centered and directed process.”

Where can caregivers be paid in the US?

How to become a paid caregiver in Illinois

In 1979, the Illinois Department on Aging (or IDoA) established its Community Care Program. This Medicaid-based community program allows seniors to receive caregiver help in the comfort of their homes. It also allows unpaid caregivers to be paid for the work they already do.

The Community Care Program contracts home care agencies to train family caregivers in the current home care standards. Upon completing this program, caregivers can resume caring for their loved ones.

There are a few qualifications potential caregivers must cover to partake in this program. These include:

  • Being at least 18 years old
  • Having a high school diploma, GED, or one year of comparable experience
  • Authorization to work in the United States
  • Being an Illinois resident
  • Passing a background check
  • Completing orientation and training

Make sure your elderly loved one also applies to the Community Care Program. They must meet certain qualifications to be eligible for care and, in turn, be paired with you. These include:

  • Being 60 years of age or older
  • Holding both U.S. and Illinois citizenship
  • Having non-exempt assets of $17,500 or less
  • Being assessed for a need for long-term care services

Home Care Powered by AUAF can help you become a paid caregiver

It is our privilege to be one of the home care agencies that help family caregivers receive compensation for the challenging yet rewarding work they do daily. We ensure our caregivers receive the training and support they need to provide clients with the best care possible.

While at-home caregivers cannot provide medical care, they can assist with any activities of daily living seniors struggle with. This includes:

  • Personal care: caregivers provide dignified help with toileting, bathing, dressing, and grooming
  • Meal preparation: from grocery shopping, to cooking the meals, to cleaning up afterward, meal preparation is easier with a caregiver
  • Medication reminders: caregivers can help set a schedule or reminders so seniors know which medications to take when
  • Light housekeeping: maintaining one’s home can be exhausting, but caregivers can take over simple housekeeping tasks like dusting, mopping, vacuuming, etc.
  • Laundry: caregivers can sort, wash, fold, and iron clothes so seniors don’t have to worry about bending and lifting
  • Errands: when mobility is a problem or driving is out of the question, caregivers can run errands like picking up medication or mail from the post office
  • Brain games: caregivers keep their clients sharp with mentally stimulating and interesting activities
  • Companionship: caregivers help with feelings of isolation and loneliness through their compassionate company

If you’re ready to become a family caregiver with us, or perhaps to hire one, call us at 773-274-9262.

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