Blog Home > Blog > Can I Get Paid to Care for My Parents? Paying Family Members for Elder Care

Can you get paid to care for an elderly family member? Nearly one in five adults in the United States are providing care to a loved one. A large percentage of these caregivers are also working full or part-time outside of the home to make ends meet. In addition, AARP estimates that the average caregiver spends over $7000 out of their own pocket each year on caregiving expenses. When considering the loss of income through missed work, increased expenses, and the prevalence of caregiving, it is fair to ask, “can I get paid to care for an elderly family member?” In this article, we will discuss places to look for compensation or subsidies for caregiving and how to find out if you’re eligible to receive them.

In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)

In-Home Supportive Services is a program offered through Medi-Cal (Medi-Cal is the California version of Medicare). This program offers financial support to pay for someone to help with care tasks in the home, such as household chores, personal care, and grooming.

The unique thing about the California In-Home Supportive Services program is that they offer a broad range of eligibility when choosing who to hire. California allows for IHSS participants to choose their caregiver. This self-direction allows your loved one to hire friends, children, siblings, nieces and nephews, and in some cases, spouses as professional caregivers through IHSS.

To qualify for IHSS, your loved one needs to:

  • Physically reside in the United States. 
  • Be a California resident.
  • Have a Medi-Cal eligibility determination (including financial need).
  • Live at home or an abode of your own choosing (acute care hospital, long-term care facilities, and licensed community care facilities are not considered “own home”).
  • Submit a completed Health Care Certification form.
  • Be over 65 years old, disabled, or blind.

(Source of Eligibility Criteria)

Long-Term Care Insurance

A potential second source of compensation for caregiving may come from your loved one’s long-term care insurance. Not all insurance plans cover this, so you’ll need to refer to their policy specifically.

If your loved one has an insurance policy that covers long-term care and their policy:

  • Pays for personal care costs outside of official residence care facilities
  • Allows for the policyholder to receive the payment instead of an official care facility

Then your loved one may be able to hire you as their chosen care provider through their long-term care insurance.

California Paid Family Leave Act

The California Paid Family Leave Act offers eligible California caregivers compensation of up to 70% of their current wages/income for providing care to a seriously ill or disabled loved one. 

The California Paid Family Leave Act will replace up to 70% of your income (though 60% is more commonly awarded) for a maximum of eight weeks within a 12-month period. To qualify, you must:

  • “Be unable to do your regular or customary work.
  • Have lost wages due to the need to provide care for a seriously ill family member.
  • Be employed or actively looking for work at the time your family leave begins.
  • Have earned at least $300 from which State Disability Insurance (SDI) deductions were withheld during your base period.
  • Complete and submit your claim form no earlier than the first day your family leave begins, but no later than 41 days after your family leave begins or you may lose benefits.
  • Provide a medical certificate on your care claim for the seriously ill family member. The certificate must be completed by the care recipient’s physician/practitioner.”

(Source of the California Paid Family Leave Act Eligibility Criteria)

Note, you do not need to be a citizen of the United States of America to claim this benefit.

Where to Find More Information 

  • For more information about the California Paid Family Leave Act, click here to read our article about it.
  • For more information about the amount you’d be eligible to claim, click here.
  • To contact the EDD or DI for more information, click here.
  • For guidelines about the medical certificate, click here.

Important: Your employer is not required, through the California Paid Family Leave Act, to hold your position while you are out on leave. To protect your position, you will need to simultaneously apply for the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to secure a protected leave of absence.

Closing Thoughts

If you’re providing care to an aging or elderly loved one, we hope you found some information that will help your financial situation. To get more information about compensation or other resources available to California caregivers, contact us at the California Caregiver Resource Center nearest to you or join CareNav today.

An Additional Note for Caregivers of Veterans

If you care for a veteran in the state of California, there are additional benefits and resources you may be eligible to claim. 

  • Veteran Directed Care (VDC) is a program that offers veterans the option of receiving care at home and to pay family members to provide it. Any veteran who is currently enrolled in the VA Medical Center Care System and requires assistance with daily living tasks should be eligible for this program. For additional information, click here.

Aid & Attendance is another benefit that veterans are eligible to claim to help compensate a loved one for providing care. Click here to find out more about the Aid & Attendance eligibility and application requirements.

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