Caring for a relative or a loved one can be difficult at times. Many family members and friends do the care-giving for free because they think they cannot get paid to care for a family member. Getting paid to care for a family member can ease some of the stress involved in the care-giving activities. Seniors and others who require in-home care can qualify for financial assistance to pay for care whether it be through an in-home care agency or provided by a family member.
Verify that the person requiring care is on Medicaid. If he is not on Medicaid, help him apply for Medicaid through your local social services office. Your family member is seeking Medicaid's long term care for the elderly, which includes home care. Medicaid has many different names, based on your state. For example, in California, it is referred to as Medi-Cal and in Tennessee it's known as TennCare. Your elderly relative must qualify financially and medically for home-care benefits that will pay you for your assistance.
Contact Medicaid to see if the person you are caring for qualifies for an in-home care assistance program such as the Cash and Counseling program. This is a specific type of Medicaid program available in many states that provides funds for the elderly to receive care in their own home and choose their own care provider, such as a relative. It is also known as "consumer directed care."
Check to see if the person requiring care has long-term care insurance; if so, the money for in-home care that is typically provided by the insurance provider may be used to pay you as the personal caregiver.
Draw up a contract outlining an agreement between you and the person you are caring for to make your services official. Present the contract and your information to Medicaid or the long-term insurance provider in order to qualify for the funds that cover the in-home care services.
Gather all the necessary information such as taxes, medical history and other required documentation to apply for financial assistance through Medicaid or other state-funded programs. Your relative's income and assets must meet Medicaid's limits. Even if their finances exceed limits, they can still qualify with careful planning.
If your relative is a Veteran, they may qualify through the Department of Veteran Affairs for in-home care benefits. To apply, they must contact a local VA office. Some former federal and state employees may qualify for government assistance for long term care based on their occupation. For example, the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program offers postal workers such benefits.
- Make sure your caregiver contract outlines the salary you are collecting and how often you are to be paid. Keep a record of the payments you receive so that there are no questions from other family members or the assistance agency.
- Typically the money for in-home care services is calculated by averaging the in-home care cost in your state and the level of need for the individual (how many hours the person needs a caregiver).
- Many states realize that in-home care companies are not always the best option for certain individuals, so programs like Cash and Counseling pay individuals directly so that they have money to pay the caregivers of their choice.
- Family members may need to become a certified caregiver in order to get paid for their services; check with the National Caregivers Association or your local state office for requirements and conditions.
Milenna Russell has a Bachelor's degree in mass communications from the University of Utah. She has been a freelance writer since 2004 and writes for several web-content sites including Lifetips, Ehow and Associated Content.