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How do I get Caregiver benefits

Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2010

I live in Indiana and had to move out of my house to take care of my dad. I rented out my house so I still own it. I moved in with my dad when he was diagonosed with colon cancer. I have missed work to take care of him when he is not feeling well. So how do you go about getting caregiver benefits.



geotina's picture
Posts: 2116
Joined: Oct 2009

I have never heard of caregiver benefits while caring for a cancer patient. Where/who would you collect these benefits from?

I have heard of caregiver benefits, as an example, when someone needs 24/7 care due to an accident and their spouse can no longer work because of the demands, but that would come from an auto insurer or work comp insurance.

I'll be watching this thread to see if anyone has info on caregiver benefits for I am caregiver to my husband, Stage IV colon cancer.

Take care - Tina

Posts: 33
Joined: Jul 2010

Oddly enough I was cruising around the website of the lawyer helping me with my Dad's probate and came across the story below yesterday - it's not clear to me why this is related to Medicaid. Also - There was also a caregiver's clause in my Dad's long-term care policy where family members could be compensated under that policy given all the correct paperwork. I was my Dad's caregiver and wondered about some form of compensation for all the time but never managed to pursue it.

Let us know how this goes - any relief for caregivers would be welcome.


In the United States many of our elderly reside in retirement facilities or nursing homes because they do not have family members who are either able or willing to care for them. Oftentimes family members feel that they are neither physically or financially able to care for their elder relatives. It is not common in the United States for a child or other family member to care for an elderly relative until his or her death.

In many cultures, it is taken for granted that children will care for their parents or other elderly family members when the time comes that they cannot care for themselves. Many Asian and Indian cultures in particular are seen as owing their parents this care and comfort in their last years and if this care is not provided they may be shunned by others. In the United States we are very independent and many of us hate to ask for help or rely on others for our care, especially as we get older. In addition, if an elder person does rely on another family member for his or her care, they would like to compensate that individual for such care.

Under federal Medicaid law, caregivers are not entitled to compensation unless the parties have entered into a written care agreement. It is important that an attorney be consulted in drafting a caregiver agreement if you want to compensate your caregiver and not encounter problems with Medicaid eligibility requirements.

An effective caregiver agreement must be in writing and should be witnessed by two unrelated persons. The agreement should indicate when care is to be provided and what the amount of compensation will be to the caregiver. The caregiver should be paid a reasonable rate for his or her services depending on what services are provided; the rate may be different for the various services. The agreement should include payment schedules and payment should not be made in advance of rendered services because Medicaid may treat unearned compensation as a gift. If the caregiver has experience in providing certain services, he or she may be entitled to additional compensation. For example, if your child is a nurse and he or she is able to care for an elderly relative, he or she should be compensated at a rate higher than a family member who is not a nurse.

Caregiver agreements are a good tool to reduce misunderstandings among family members at the death of an elderly person. Caring for a parent or other family member before his or her death is hard work. I have handled cases where siblings or other family members file claims against the estate of a deceased for compensation due to services provided before death. I have also had cases where family members wish to contest a deceased’s will because they do not feel that they were treated fairly. I encourage family members to discuss care and compensation issues before death to reduce possible litigation after the care recipient’s death.

Posts: 1154
Joined: Jun 2010

There are really none to speak of. If your parent has been declared permanently disable by a doc, over the age of 65, and you financially support them over 50 percent , then you may be able to claim them as a dependent. Otherwise it is all in how much your parent decides to give you.

mswijiknyc's picture
Posts: 421
Joined: Oct 2010

From your job, look into FLMA. If I hadn't been let go from my last job, I would have used that for caring for hubby. Since it's your dad, it should fall into the same category. There is a limit to this tho. My last job was 6 months at a clip.

I think that was what you were looking for. If not look into it anyhow. Anything helps!

geotina's picture
Posts: 2116
Joined: Oct 2009

My understanding of FLMA is that it is "unpaid leave", it just guarantees your job.

References to Medicaid - I believe Medicaid is the health care coverage for those receiving welfare. Welfare benefits vary from state to state but I don't believe welfare benefits would extend to family member caregivers but it is worth looking into if the member you are caring for receives welfare benefits. Every little bit sure does help.

If the patient wishes to compensate the caregiver from personal funds, it really should be in writing so there are no family issues from those that just come around to visit and don't actually do the work involved.

I am the caregiver to my hubby who has State IV colon cancer so this topic is of interest to me. If I can find any informtion where a caregiver is entitled to compensation from a government agency I will surely post it.

It is really a shame that we take care of so many countries but continue to not take care of our own. Being a caregiver is a very hard job, unless you do it you have no idea. Sometimes people will say you should do this or that and you want to scream and say ok, you do it, but of course, you don't, you just smile and say I will take it under advisement.

Big hugs to all - Tina

Posts: 24
Joined: Nov 2010

I'm afriad the only "benefits" caregivers get are non-monetary : )

Stephanie313's picture
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2010

Try getting in touch with real services...when I first started with them they had said something about either getting paid by the state for taking care of my grandfather or I could "hire" help. By hire I mean use an agency to have an aid come to your home to care for my grandfather. I use help at home. They are very nice and helpful. Hope this helps.


Posts: 1154
Joined: Jun 2010

I looked up options on the internet under "caregiver benefits for families" and found this program. It involves grant writing and the program is not in every state , but it is a program for getting cash for caring for your loved one.

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