Across the United States, more than 40 million family caregivers help older parents, spouses and other loved ones live independently at home – where they want to be. They take on huge responsibilities that can be physically, emotionally and financially challenging.
In 2016, the average family caregiver spent almost $7,000 on out of pocket costs – all to help their loved ones remain at home and in their communities – where they want to be. However, we know that out of pocket costs vary.
According to a 2016 AARP report:
- African American/Black family caregivers spent $6,600.
- Hispanic/Latino caregivers spent about $9,000.
- Asian American and Pacific Islander family caregivers spent almost $3,000.
- Long-distance caregivers spent almost $12,000.
- Those caring for adults with dementia spent over $10,000.
That’s why AARP is fighting to make life a little bit easier for unpaid family caregivers and ease their financial concerns. At the state level, AARP is advancing a model caregiver tax credit bill, which is one step to help alleviate some of the financial challenges that family caregivers face.
Our model bill proposes:
- A credit of 50% of eligible expenses up to $1,000;
- A broad definition of eligible expenses that includes improvements to the home, purchase of equipment to assist the care recipient, or other goods, services, and supports, like home care aides, respite care, and assistive technology;
- To benefit family caregivers who earn less than $75,000 for an individual/$150,000 for a couple and are related to the care recipient; and
- To help qualified care recipients 18 years or older who need assistance with at least one Activity of Daily Living (ADL).
Where Does Your State Stand
Currently, the Arizona, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Wisconsin state legislatures are considering new tax credit bills. In Maine, Ohio, and New York, AARP state offices continue to push the issue forward.
Family caregiving can be overwhelming, exhausting, and challenging even without the added stress of financial strain. At the state and federal levels, AARP will continue fighting to make family caregivers’ big responsibilities a little bit easier.