Can I get paid to be a family caregiver?

It depends. Some states have programs that help people pay caregivers, including family members. Most have eligibility requirements based on income. For information, contact a Medicaid or aging services department office or go to the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services. Other possibilities:

1) Veterans’ benefits. If the care recipient is a veteran of a military conflict after Sept. 11, 2001, call 877-VETS (8387), toll-free, to learn about benefits for primary caregivers.

2) Long-term care insurance. Some long-term insurance policies allow family members to be paid, although they may exclude people who live in the same household. Check with the policyholder’s insurance agent about coverage.

3) Caregiver contracts. People who use their own assets to pay for caregiving can draw up a contract to pay a son or daughter for the care provided. Discuss the possibility with other siblings involved and consult an elder care lawyer.

4) Financial hardship. If money is tight, your family member may be eligible for programs that send an outside caregiver into the home. Start with Eldercare Locator or BenefitsCheckUp.org.

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