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Apply For Social Security Caregiver Benefits

Can I Get Paid To Care For A Family Member

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We receive hundreds of calls every year from family and friends asking, âHow can I get paid to care?â These caregivers arenât asking for a handout, they are simply trying to find a way to make ends meet while dedicating their time to caregiving. Unfortunately, very few programs pay family members or friends on a regular basis to provide care. Medicare does not pay for long-term care services, such as in-home care and adult day services, whether or not such services are provided by a direct care worker or a family member. Sometimes, however, caregiving families may obtain financial relief for specific purposes, such as for respite care or to purchase goods and services, and in some cases, pay for caregiving. In some states there are programs that pay family members to provide care to those receiving Medicaid . And in a very few states there are programs available to those who do not qualify for Medicaid. NOTE: These programs vary widely, often with complicated criteria for eligibility.

Steps to Consider:

  • Use FCAs Service by State tool to find resources in your state. Check out the section Caregiver Compensation for agencies that have programs that enable the care recipient to hire a family member to care for them.
  • Additional Resources:

    Join FCA CareNav, a secure online service for quality information, support, and resources tailored to your caregiving situation.



    Were There To Provide Comfort During Difficult Times

    The loss of a parent or guardian can be both emotionally and financially difficult. Social Security helps by providing benefits to help stabilize the familys financial future. Widows, widowers, and their dependent children may be eligible for .

    In fact, 98 of every 100 children could get benefits if a working parent dies. And Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other federal program.

    Providing protection for parents too

    Even if you have never worked in a job covered by Social Security, as a parent, there are two ways that you may still qualify for benefits.

  • If you are a parent and take care of your child who receives Social Security benefits and is under age 18, you can get benefits until your child reaches age 16. Your child’s benefit will continue until he or she reaches age 18, or 19 if he or she is still in school full time. Your monthly payments stop with the childs 16th birthday, unless your child is disabled and stays in your care.
  • If you are a parent who receives most of your support from your adult child, and your child dies, Social Security also pays monthly benefits to you under the following conditions:
  • Benefits For Your Children

    When you qualify for Social Security disability benefits, your children may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. Your eligible child can be your biological child, adopted child, or stepchild. A dependent grandchild may also qualify.

    To receive benefits, the child must:

    • Be unmarried.
    • Be under age 18 or
    • Be 18-19 years old and a full-time student or

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    Benefits For Your Spouse

    Benefits are payable to your spouse:

    • Age 62 or older, unless your spouse collects a higher Social Security benefit based on their earnings record. The benefit amount for your spouse is permanently reduced by a percentage, based on the number of months up to their full retirement age.
    • At any age if they are caring for your child under age 16 or who was disabled before age 22, and is entitled to benefits.

    How Soon Can Survivor Benefits For Children Be Started

    Caregivers of minors with disabilities may be eligible for Social ...

    To initiate survivor benefits for children, an application and supporting documentation must be supplied to the Social Security Administration. How quickly benefits begin depends on how long it takes the agency to determine eligibility and for the applicant to submit the required documentation. However, benefits cannot be paid for the month in which the recipient died.

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    Do You Have To Pay A Share Of Cost

    Here are the most common groups of people who pay a share of cost for IHSS, if their income is high enough that they no longer qualify for one of the Medi-Cal categories listed above:

    • People who get Social Security Disability Insurance and do not work at all.
    • People who get veterans benefits or other unearned income and do not work at all. Note: Many veterans do not have a share of cost.
    • People who get Social Security or other retirement benefits and do not work at all.

    In this case, you could qualify to pay a share of cost through Aged, Blind, & Disabled Medically Needy Medi-Cal . Depending on your income level and the number of hours of IHSS you need, your share of cost could be very expensive. Learn more about ABDMN and calculating your share of cost in DB101’s Medi-Cal article.

    If you have a disability and you start working, you could probably qualify for no-cost IHSS, because you could sign up for Medi-Cals Working Disabled Program . Read more about WDP in DB101s article about Medi-Cal.

    Modernizing Social Security: Caregiver Credits

    The briefs key findings are:

    • Traditionally, Social Security has supported family caregivers typically women through a spousal benefit.
    • Today, however, many women are not eligible for this benefit because they are not married or they qualify for their own workers benefit.
    • As a result, many mothers receive little to no support to offset lost earnings due to childrearing responsibilities.
    • In response, some propose caregiver credits to boost Social Security earnings, a common provision in other developed countries.
    • These credits could be offset by reducing benefits somewhat for higher earners.
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    Social Security may provide payments to select caregivers under specific circumstances, and other government agencies and programs offer financial assistance for caregivers as well. This is important because serving as the primary caregiver for a family member is often a full-time job. Caregivers who are unable to work outside the home require other sources of income to cover their expenses and maintain their standard of living.

    Helpful Resources

    Federal Government Caregiver Resources

    • Alzheimers Caregiving – Find out from the National Institute on Aging how to be a caregiver for someone with Alzheimers disease or another form of dementia. Learn skills for coping with a loved ones behavioral changes.
    • Caregiver Resources – The National Institute of Health’s MedlinePlus site has an overview of caregiver services. It also offers resources to help you protect your own health.
    • Caring for the Caregiver – This resource from the National Cancer Institute is for family and friends who are caring for a person with cancer.
    • Managing Someone Elses Money Guide – The family member you’re caring for may not be able to handle their bills themselves. Get information about managing their finances from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
    • The VA Caregiver Support Line helps people caring for veterans. Find services and benefits for your loved one and get support for yourself.
    • Office on Womens Health Caregiver Page – Get tips on how to prevent or relieve caregiver stress and how to find and pay for home health care services.

    Read Also: Spousal Benefits Social Security Disability

    Will Social Security Pay For A Caregiver

    • Find out how a caregiver can get paid to care for a friend or family member. Learn who qualifies for Social Security disability and how to apply for benefits.

    Social Security programs offer vital assistance to people who become chronically ill or disabled. If you or a loved one have difficulties with day-to-day tasks due to an injury or illness, daily help from a caregiver may be necessary.

    Will Social Security pay for a caregiver? Unfortunately, the simple answer is no. Social Security programs don’t directly pay caregivers. However, there are still many ways a caregiver can interact with Social Security programs to benefit a loved one.

    Financially Qualifying For Ssi

    Because minors often have minimal or no income or assets of their own, the SSA must consider the financial circumstances of the child as well as the parents, guardians, foster parents or other caregiver. Children are also unable to apply for benefits for themselves, which means the SSA has standard processes in place to allow any adult who cares for a child with a disability to apply for SSI on his or her behalf.

    Before applying, you may wish to review the SSA’s Child Disability Starter Kit. This kit explains the SSI program and the information and documentation that will be necessary for filing a claim on behalf of a child. The SSA must review the financial details of the household in which the child lives. This includes the income, assets and other financial resources of the entire family.

    Although the SSI qualification rules are strict, many children are able to receive support, even when they have two parents who work and earn a decent living. This is because the SSA excludes some income and other financial resources from consideration. They additionally only assign or “deem” a portion of available income and assets to the child, which makes it more likely a child will be approved. Also considered is family size and whether income is earned or unearned, among other factors.

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    Medical Eligibility For Benefits

    Every application is reviewed against listings that appear in the SSAs Blue Book. Listed disabilities include a range of serious illnesses. Some disabilities listed in the Blue Book include:

    For example, Parkinson’s disease will medically qualify if the person you’re caring for cannot walk without assistance, or perform dexterous movements due to tremors in two or more limbs. Those with ALS will automatically medically qualify.

    Youll want to discuss the application with the individual for whom youre applying as well as his or her doctor. Together, youll get an idea of the listing under which your friend or family member may qualify. This in turn will help you know if existing medical records are sufficient evidence or if additional documentation must be collected.

    Although you can complete SSI and SSDI applications on someone elses behalf, he or she will still be required to sign certain documents, unless you are a legal guardian or hold power of attorney for this person. The applications themselves must be signed in addition to consent forms, giving the SSA permission to contact doctors and other healthcare providers and to request medical records and other documentation.

    If the person you care for cannot hold a pen, it is perfectly acceptable to hold a pen in a mouth to sign a paper. If there is no possible way for the person you care for to sign documents, exceptions can be made and you may be able to sign the final application on his or her behalf.

    Your Responsibilities With Your Care Provider

    Applying as a Caregiver of an Adult with a Disability

    In many ways, being a recipient is like running a small business. You are responsible for hiring, firing, and supervising your care provider.

    You can hire a friend, relative, neighbor, or other care provider. IHSS offices also have registries of providers who may want more work. If your county has contracted IHSS providers, you can hire them to provide you with the necessary services. You can work with one provider or have a team for different days and times. New providers must enroll with IHSS to get paid by the state they must also go through a training and background check.

    You can find the Individual Provider Wage Rate for IHSS care providers in your county online. You and your care providers must submit timesheets for all authorized services provided. The state will manage the payment and taxes for your care providers. Providers that work enough hours can also get benefits such as health insurance and overtime pay.

    The In-Home Supportive Services Consumer Training Handbook offers detailed information about how to supervise a care provider, including issues like hiring, firing, communication, safety, and handling payment. There is more information about this on the California Department of Social Services website.

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    How Can A Caregiver Help

    The SSA has procedures that allow adult caregivers to assist those who cant apply for disability themselves. This often is the case when a caregiver is caring for a child or adult whos been disabled since childhood. But, there are other conditions which can prevent you from being able to apply for disability yourself.

    Your caregiver can help out by understanding whats involved in the application process. There are standard documentation and information thats needed for all disability applications. Knowing what to expect is half the battle.

    Depending on the situation, the SSA may want to document the financial information of a disabled persons household. This means theyll want to know how much income is coming into the household and any other financial resources at their disposal.

    Whether or not the SSA asks for financial information, theyll want to determine if the disability medically qualifies you for benefits. In this case, the SSA will want access to all medical documentation and information to review and determine whether or not the disability medically qualifies for benefits.

    Your caregiver can help contact your doctors and other providers for documentation of medical records, procedures, tests, and treatments. A letter from your physician which details your disability and how it prevents you from working can also greatly enhance your chances of approval.

    What Is A Pcs Caregiver

    Medicaid’s PCS program offers services to those with limitations who would not normally be able to live independently in their homes without help. These groups include:

    – the elderly

    – people with disabilities

    – the chronically ill

    – those with temporary-but-debilitating conditions

    In Nevada, Medicaid recipients can receive care from loved ones such as friends and family members through the PCS program. These caregivers are known as Personal Care Aides .

    PCAs and other PCS caregivers offer assistance with everyday tasks so that people can remain in their homes and communities.

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    When Social Security Will Pay A Caregiver Directly

    Social Security pays benefits for individuals who are retired, disabled, a surviving relative of someone covered by Social Security or dependents of those who receive Social Security. Benefits come in the form of monthly payments.

    The program doesnt pay directly for a recipients expenses. Instead, you can use the monthly payment as you see fit. As a result, you could use all or some of your Social Security benefits to pay for a caregiver.

    An exception may be made for spouses responsible for caring for the child of a Social Security recipient. Social Security Administration rules require that the child be 16 years of age or younger or disabled. The child must also be eligible to claim Social Security benefits on their parents record. In this case, the spouse serving as a caregiver would receive monthly Social Security payments but not direct wages from the Social Security Administration.

    Can A Caregiver Help With Applying For Disability

    Is a mental illness a basis for Social Security Disability Benefits

    Many medical conditions can prevent you from working and earning a substantial income. The conditions can be incapacitating and range from mental to physical disabilities.

    Theres a very good chance that the condition that causes your disability can help you qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Applying for benefits can give you the financial help you need. If your disability prevents you from applying yourself, a caregiver can help you with the application process.

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    How To Calculate Your Own Social Security Spousal Benefits

    The spousal benefit calculation is straightforward if you dont have a benefit of your own. Remember, in that case, its between 32.5% and 50% of the higher-earning spouses full retirement age benefit, depending on your filing age.

    However, it can seem a little more complicated if you have Social Security benefits from your work history.

    And to keep things interesting, the Social Security Administration decided that a different calculation method should be used to determine how much each benefit should increase/decrease based on your filing age.

    Fun, right?

    As complicated as Social Security benefits can seem, there is a way to correctly calculate how much your spousal benefit will be if you qualify to receive it.

    Check out this section of my video that goes over this calculation step-by-step. VIDEO: How To Calculate Spousal Benefits The RIGHT Way

    If you understand how they break down the individual benefits, its not hard to use the table above to quickly figure out what your approximate benefit will be. Heres an example.

    Joe and Julie each have a Social Security benefit from work they individually performed. Julies benefit at her full retirement age is $800 per month. Joes benefit at his full retirement age is $2,000.

    Assuming they are both full retirement age when they file, Joe will be entitled to a benefit of $2,000 and Julie will be entitled to the greater of her own benefit or half of Joes benefit.

    Sounds simple, right?

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