Q:

How do you obtain financial benefits as a family caregiver?

A:

Quick Answer

Obtaining financial benefits as a family caretaker requires arranging payment terms with the person being cared for or meeting government requirements for benefits. Government benefits, primarily available through state programs or the Department of Veterans Affairs, require completing an application, providing appropriate documentation and approval from the relevant agency. Some long-term insurance policies also provide benefits for caregivers.

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Full Answer

State financial benefits for caretakers vary significantly by state, with some states providing no benefits. In many states, such as Washington, financial assistance for family caregivers requires meeting standard in-home caregiver requirements, such as passing a background check, providing identification that establishes a right to work in the United States, and signing a contract with the state. Spouses generally cannot qualify as paid in-home caregivers. Additionally, the cared-for person must qualify for Medicaid, which pays part or all of the financial benefits. State programs change from year to year, depending on Medicaid and general state budgets.

Caregivers of veterans injured in military conflict after September 2001 qualify for a monthly care stipend. Caregivers of other veterans may qualify for the VA's Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit. Some states also provide additional programs for caregivers of veterans.

In addition to financial assistance, the VA and most states provide other services to help in-home caregivers, such in-home visits from medical professionals, care services hotlines and training programs.

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