Can I Get Paid for Being a Family Caregiver?

I’m not trying to be greedy, but I had to quit my job to take care of my mom.

My husband isn’t comfortable having a stranger take care of him.

My insurance will pay for someone to take care of my disabled sister and I’m a trained medical assistant – can’t they just pay me?

Family caregivers often spend a large portion of their income – not to mention their savings – to care for their loved ones. You might even be taking unpaid leave or feel forced to quit your job to fulfill your family obligations. Family caregivers are saving insurance companies and government agencies billions of dollars by providing care – shouldn’t there be a way to get paid something?

Check out the following programs:


  1. Medicaid Relative Care Program: If the parent, spouse, or other person you’re caring for is eligible for Medicaid, you can get paid as a relative caregiver. The Dept. of Human services case manager can qualify and set you up for this program to get paid up to 8 hours per week.


  1. Medicaid In-Home Support Services (IHSS)- if the patient need some medical care such as medication management and wound care the family caregiver can get up to 40 hours per week to care for them. The care is supervised by a licensed home care agency under an RN


  1. Long-term care insurance– if the person you’re caring for has that includes in-home care coverage, in some cases those benefits can be used to pay you.


  1. Veterans Benefits I- Veterans needing home-based care may be eligible for Veteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Services (VD-HCBS). Beneficiaries can manage their own flexible spending budgets for personal care services, and can hire their own workers, including family and friends. For more information visit their web site National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services. Also ask your VA case manager for more information.


  1. Veterans Benefits II– Pension service connected benefits Aide and Attendance pay the veterans and/or surviving spouse benefits $1787 for veterans and $2120 per month benefits, surviving spouses can receive $1149 to help with medical expenses. Comfort Keepers can help you through the process or application at no cost to the veterans. The process can take from 3-6 weeks. Veterans can choose relatives and friends to care for them and they can be paid as the agency’s employee that will provide training and benefits.


  1. Drawing up a personal care agreement-if the person or people you’re caring for are going to pay you for caregiving, it’s a good idea to draw up a simple contract that sets out the terms of the care and payment. If the person or people you’re caring for ever need to enter a nursing home and aren’t already on Medicaid, the agreement will show that these payments to you were legitimate.


Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Ora Lee. Ms. Lee is the owner of Comfort Keepers Home Health Care Agency. For further information call our office at 970-241-8818 or email :