How to Get Paid for Caring for Your Loved One at Home

by Leilani Haywood

More than 65 million people take care of a chronically ill, disabled or elderly loved one. The caregiver spends an average of 20 hours per week taking care of the loved one, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving. Taking care of a loved one can lead to lost wages and time. Fortunately, there are resources available for getting paid to take care of your loved one. This depends on the source of funding for care – Medicaid, personal funds or long-term care insurance. The payments won’t replace wages from a full-time job, but they can help alleviate stress.

Receiving Payment from Medicaid

Evaluate your loved one's financial resources for care.

Review your loved one’s finances. Take a realistic assessment of her financial situation. She may be eligible for Medicaid, which has a Cash & Counseling program.

Your loved one may be eligible for the Cash & Counseling program.

Check the Cash & Counseling program. Under the Cash & Counseling program, your loved one can hire a family member to provide personal care services. The program is available in Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey and New Mexico. Payments vary by state.

Check your state department of aging for other resources and programs.

Contact your state’s department of aging. There may be a Cash & Counseling program under another name associated with your state’s department of aging. Your state’s department of aging may have other resources and programs as well.

Receiving Payment from Personal Funds

A contract outlines expected services and terms of payment.

Create a contract. If your loved one is paying you from his funds, draft a contract. The contract should include expected services and terms of payment.

A family meeting will help create a contract that works for everyone.

Consult family members when developing the contract and plan of care. This eliminates disagreements regarding care and payment.

Review the contract as your loved one's financial situation changes.

Review the contract every six months with key family members to make sure the plan of care is adequate. You may want to adjust services and payment or include other family members in the care of your loved one. Your loved one's financial situation may change as well.

Receiving Payment from Long-Term Care Insurance

A long-term care insurance policy may provide for in-home care coverage.

Check your loved one's long-term care insurance policy to see if it includes in-home care coverage. If the policy includes this benefit, help your loved one file a claim. She can pay you for services from the benefit payment if the program allows her to select her own provider and doesn't require a state-certified provider. Rules vary by insurance company.

Becoming a certified provider may qualify you to receive payments for caring for your loved one.

Become a certified provider. If the policy directs payment to a state-certified in-home care aide, you would be qualified to receive the payment. You can become a provider by attending low-cost certification classes at an adult education program or community college.

Items you will need

  • Bank statements
  • Tax returns
  • Investment records

About the Author

An award-winning writer based in Kansas City, Leilani Haywood started writing in 1985 for publications such as the "Honolulu Star-Bulletin," "The Kansas City Star," "Christian Retailing," "Wireless Review," the "Mid-Missouri Business Journal" and many other publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from the University of Hawaii-Manoa.

Photo Credits

  • elderly couple image by Peter Baxter from