If you are providing care to your parent, you are probably doing it without being asked and without compensation. It probably isn’t on your mind at all. But, I can tell you as a Plano elder law attorney, it should be.
As a society, we value our elders and provide the care they need without being asked, just as they did for us. In most cases, the last thing on a caregiver’s mind is being compensated for their time. We value your commitment, but you should know that getting compensation for helping them might actually benefit everyone in the long-run. This is because paying you may help them become eligible for government benefits, such as VA Aid and Attendance for Veterans.
The VA Aid and Attendance benefit is for Veterans who were active duty 90 days (before the Gulf War), there was at least one day of active duty during a time of war and the discharge was any discharge other than dishonorable. This is a great benefit for Veterans and their surviving spouses. Right now, a child can be a caregiver and it would help make a Veteran or surviving spouse eligible for benefits.
Another type of government benefit for nursing home care is Medicaid. Medicaid is a means-based benefit. If you have too many assets (money or property) you would not be eligible. To become eligible, you must “spend-down” assets to a certain level. While paying a caregiver might work for VA benefits, unforunately paying a child caregiver may not work to get Medicaid benefits in Texas. It is best to work with a qualified Elder Law Attorney to give you the right advise and who can set up a caregiver contract to keep the terms of the agreement clear.
Please consider these points when creating a caregiver contract:
- Contact an experienced elder law attorney in Plano to ensure that the compensation will count toward the spending down of their assets for the type of benefit sought.
- If a caregiver contract is applicable, be sure to include a detailed list of the caregiver’s responsibilities including transportation, laundry, cleaning, etc.
- Make sure the compensation is in line with what professional caregivers charge.
- The caregiver must report the compensation as income earned on their taxes.
If you are caring for a parent – especially if that parent is likely to need long-term nursing home care – call our Plano elder law attorneys right away at 214-292-4225 for a consultation.