Alzheimer's Foundation of America

Foundation of America

DID YOU KNOW? Family Members May Be Compensated for Caregiving

If you are a family member who feels the need to cut back on work or even quit to take care of a loved one, you may be able to get paid for your services. Matthew s Raphan, Esq. sat down with AFA to discuss ways family members may be compensated for caregiving. “It’s a very discreet issue,” says Matthew S. Raphan, Esq., a partner at Raphan Law Partners, LLP. “It’s not something that comes up regularly, but there are a few options when family members look to be paid.”

The most common way to do this is through a Power of Attorney document. In New York State the POA is a statutory form drafted by the state legislature. In other states people may draft their own. A person does not need a lawyer to complete the POA, he said, although most people prefer the expertise.

For those who qualify financially for Medicaid, the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) allows the recipient to hire a family member or friend rather than a stranger from an agency. The person must meet certain eligibility requirements, such as being an American citizen or have legal working status and be at least 18. They will be paid by Medicaid.

“Sometimes family members are in the best position to care for the person and culturally this is an advantage that really works well.

If a person is hiring a caregiver through an agency they don’t always get to pick and choose who it is. Many people are more comfortable with the flexibility and security that a family member can provide.” Raphan said another possibility is that the person needing care and their chosen caregiver could have a lawyer draft an agreement between them that would guarantee payment, although he thinks this is rare.

Raphan said compensating a family caregiver is not common because most people consider caring for a family member to be their personal responsibility to a loved one and not something for which they should ask for compensation. However, it is possible to be compensated for caregiving.

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