Elder Law Attorney Christopher Berry Comments on Caregiver Support
Bloomfield Hills, MI (Law Firm Newswire) August 23, 2013 – The AARP has released information to help finance caregiving support for a loved one.
Some states have programs to assist family members pay for their chosen caregiver, which may be a family member. The program is sometimes called “participant-directed,” “consumer-directed” or “cash and counseling” and has stringent income and additional eligibility requirements which the care recipient must meet in order to be paid as a caregiver.
“The programs have long waiting lists due to state budget cuts,” commented Michigan elder law attorney Christopher Berry. “If there are questions about those eligibility requirements, individuals can check with their local aging services department or Medicaid offices or check the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services.”
In 2010, a law was passed to provide a monthly stipend to the caregivers of vets who were injured in conflicts after September 11, 2001. Additional caregivers benefits, such as access to healthcare insurance, mental health services, respite care of up to 30 days per year and travel expenses are also available. Interested parties can get more information by calling 1-877-222-VETS (8387). Individuals who are providing care for vets of other wars may also be eligible for the VA’s Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit, or may be able to get benefits via another state program specially designated for veterans and their caregivers.
Though long-term care insurance can cover a great deal of care, it is still widely underutilized, elder care advocates say. Some long-term care policies allow family members to be paid for care, though people living in the same household as the patient may be excluded. Individuals interested in long-term care insurance should speak with an experienced elder care attorney to find out what options are available to them and any potential benefits.
If the patient does not have long-term care insurance, nor has coverage by the VA’s Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit, nor has access to a “participant-directed” program, there are still options available for some financial recompense. If the patient has some assets, such as savings, it may be possible to pay the caregiver out of that fund. A caregiver contract can be drafted by an elder care attorney to ensure the contract meets all future tax requirements, deals fully with inheritances, and is officially approved by any and all interested parties such as siblings and other family members.
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