Extra Special Benefits for People with Live-In Aides or Caregivers

If you live with a caregiver or home aide, here are a few financial benefits you may not know about.

What is a Live-In Caregiver?

🎀 Every program has different rules. Please check the policies for the program you are applying for.

🎀 For some programs, the person helping you will only be considered a home aide if she is officially hired and paid.

🎀 In other programs, any friend who is caring for you can be considered your home aide. In some situations, a family member can qualify as a home aide.

What are These Extra Special Benefits I Might Not Know About?

🎀 You may be able to qualify for assistance with utility bills

Your caregiver’s income may not count for utility assistance. This means that if you did not qualify for utility assistance, you may be able to reapply without including your aide’s income to the household. Check with your local energy assistance program.

If the person processing your application does not know this policy, it may help to find it and show them. Here’s how Carnation did it:

“I was told I did not qualify for energy assistance. Then I found out about the live-in aide rules. I filled out the application and I did not write down any information on my aide’s income or assets.  Instead, I wrote: see attached. I attached a note saying: I have not included financial information for my live in aide because live-in aide income is excluded and I attached with a copy of the policy. A few weeks later, I received a utility assistance of $500! My only sadness is that I could have been getting this assistance years ago.”

🎀 Your caregiver may qualify for free rent

If you live in certain types of subsidized housing, your caregiver can be given free rent. You may need to apply for this benefit and have special disability accommodation forms filled out by your doctor. If you do not have a caregiver and need one, you may be able to offer this person a free room in exchange for care. Learn more about How to Have a Live-In Aide in Affordable Housing

🎀 You may qualify for more living space

If you live in certain kinds of affordable housing, you may be about to request an accommodation for a larger apartment for your aide to have a bedroom. Your rent will not change. Learn more about How Rent and Bedrooms Work if You Have a Live in Aide

🎀 Your housing voucher amount may go up

If you have a housing voucher, the voucher amount may increase to accommodate the extra bedroom for your aide. This is called the “payment standard.” For example, if your voucher is currently for $800, it may increase to $1,000. Learn more about How to Apply For Section 8 Housing Vouchers

🎀 You may qualify for funding to pay your caregiver

If a friend, loved one, or family member is assisting you with  personal care, the state may be able to pay this person a small salary for the care they are giving you. In most states, this program is only for people who need help with personal care (bathing, feeding, dressing, etc). However, in California, people can qualify even if they have less care needs. Learn more about Home Care Waiver Program

🎀 You may qualify for state home aides

If you do are in need of care and would like to see if there are any programs in your area that you are eligible for: How to Get a Caregiver. This can provide respite for your current caregiver.

🎀 You may qualify for more food stamps

If your caregiver lives with you but purchases and prepares separate food, you may be eligible for your own food stamps account. Food stamps will consider you and your caregiver to be two separate “households”, even though you live together. In most situations, this means you will be eligible for more food stamps and/or you will qualify for food stamps even if you were turned down in the past. If your caregiver is low-income, he or she may also apply for their own food stamps account separately from you. You may find it helpful to learn the Food Stamps Regulations

🎀 Extra Benefits for Caregivers Through Your State

If you are receiving a home aide through a program funded by your state, there are a bunch of other benefits that may help you. These programs may be called Medicaid Waivers, Medicaid Home and Community Based Care, IHSS, Long Term Care, or something different in your state. Depending on your state, extra benefits may include:

  • Health insurance for your caregiver
  • Assistive technology (computer equipment, communication devices, etc)
  • Home modifications (wheelchair ramps, walk in showers, grab bars, etc)
  • Additional caregiver hours
  • Funding for a variety of health-related purchases

🎀 Your caregiver may not have to pay taxes

If your caregiver lives with you and is paid through a Medicaid or Medi-cal program, they do not have to pay any taxes if they file for a  difficulty of care income tax exclusion.

Learn More

Meet Jane and Sally – Example of affordable rent and other live-in aide benefits.

Facebook Groups for People in Medicaid Home Care – Learn from the real experts.

How to Find Wonderful Housemates & Caregivers – Find your people

What Do You Think? 

Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. 

Updated May 2018. If you found this page helpful, please share it with others by pressing one of these magic little buttons: 

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