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Benefits, Support Programs & Financial Help for Family Caregivers

 

Many government agencies and organizations offer support programs, financial help, benefits and services to help family caregivers carry out their varied tasks.  These range from getting certification as a caregiver, which could allow you to get paid for your work, to counseling, tax breaks for qualifying circumstances, respite care, senior services and eligibility for some benefits.  Low-income persons may also qualify for additional benefits.  Do explore to see what suits your needs by clicking on the links below.


 

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US Department of Veterans Affairs: VA Caregiver Support

- New caregiver support for post-9/11 veterans who receive home care from a primary Family Caregiver.  This includes assessment by a VA clinician, "rudimentary" training for the caregiver, and a monthly living stipend and health care benefits if the veteran qualifies. 

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National Resource Directory

- Provides access to resources and services that support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration for those who do or have served in the military.  It has resources and information on education, employment, family & caregiver suppport, homelessness, housing, transportation and many other pertinent topics.

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Army Homefront Fund

- Provides emergency financial and other support to the families of soldiers, with a focus on wounded warrior care and transition assistance. Includes cash grants, not loans, paid directly to mortgage lenders, auto mechanics, utility companies, doctors and other providers. Assistance is usually provided within 24-72 hours after receiving pertinent information from the warrior or family member. All requests for assistance are made through Operation Homefront online application for assistance.

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Family Delta Force Program

- Visits the homes of severely wounded and disabled Veterans living with PTSD, TBI and other injuries who cannot travel to assess their needs and provide assistance.

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How to Get Paid for Being a Family Caregiver

- Two ways of possibly getting paid for your in-home caregiving are through Medicaid's Cash and Counseling Program for Seniors [see How Medicaid Works] and through long-term insurance benefits, if they include in-home care.  Because some plans allow the covered person to pay anyone providing the service, the care recipient can pay you for your caregiving services.  However, some programs require that the caregiver come from a long-term care facility or to be state-certified.  In the latter case, you as the caregiver could find out if some low-cost training is available in your area so you can get certified. 

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Reaching Out for Financial Help

Make the most of what you have - Get more of what you need

“The sooner you get control of your finances, the better chance you have to avoid financial pitfalls,” Gada said. “This webinar explains, in practical everyday terms, many of the legal and financial tools caregivers can use to make the most of what they have and get more of what they need.”

From  National Family Caregivers Association

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Caregiver Tax Breaks

- If you spend over 50% of a care recipient's yearly expenses; he/she is family or is non-family living with you for a year; a US citizen or legal resident of the US, Canada or Mexico; has an income of under $3650 without Social Security benefits; and the person has not filed taxes jointly, then you could claim that person as a dependent.  This would reduce your taxable income by $3650 for 2010. 

IRS FORMS 2120 & 2441 may apply if your situation fulfills the IRS requirements.  Best to consult a tax professional.

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National Family Caregiver Support Program

- The NFCSP provides grants to States and Tribal Organizations to implement programs offering a range of direct services and supports to caregivers of chronically ill, frail, or elderly relatives, or relatives with developmental disabilities. The program also extends services to grandparents caring for their grandchildren at home...NFCSP helps provide:

  • Information and referral to programs and services for caregivers
  • Eligibility screening
  • Counseling and caregiver training for new caregivers
  • Respite care for people who need a short break from the strain of caregiving

 

Services are provided through:

Eldercare Locator     1-800-677-1116

contact information for local organizations that provide programs & services in your area.

or  

Area Agency on Aging      - services by state or category

Services for elders; often free, although donations are welcome.  For example, the Care Coordination Program assists elders 60 and up to remain at home by helping with daily activities on a short-term basis.  The Caregiver Support Program aims to reduce caregiver stress by providing services such as chores, grooming, medical equipment for which Medicare does not pay, respite care for the caregiver [a break], education & training to caregivers whose care recipient is 60 or older.

For more information about the National Family Caregiver Support Program, please contact the U.S. Administration on Aging.

aoainfo(at)aoa.gov
(202) 619-0724

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Medicare - Caregiving

- Medicare provides information, resources and support for caregivers.  Ask Medicare answers questions about important issues like getting help paying for Medicare drug plans and finding medical services.

Forms, Help & Resources - find & compare doctors, hospitals, plans; publications; lost cards, etc.

Medicare Helpful Contacts -  directory of topics and specific organizations in your area.

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People with Medicare & Medicaid Center

- Links & information about both Medicare & Medicaid, including eligibility, TRICARE, and more.

 

Medicare Eligibility Tool  - find out if you qualify for Medicare after answering some questions.

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How Medicaid Works

- offers programs for low-income persons

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Locating Benefits

- Benefits available through several agencies.

From  National Family Caregivers Association

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Locating Free or Subsidized Health Care Services and Prescription Medications

- From  National Family Caregivers Association

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Benefits & Programs Available to Low-Income Persons

 

BENEFITS CHECKUP.ORG lists government and private programs that help pay for prescription drugs, meals, utility bills, health care and other expenses.

 

BENEFITS.GOV  is the official benefits site of the U.S. government.  Answer questions to find out for what you qualify.

 

EXTRA HELP from Social Security can help pay for some of Medicare prescription drug plan costs if you have limited income and resources.  You need to apply. 

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GovSpot.com: US & state government offices, Congress, government jobs & more

Links to federal and state offices, agencies, social services, etc.

 

 

 

 


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