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 could not apply 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 every year.”

🎀 You may qualify for more living space

If you live in HUD housing, or Section 8 Housing, or USDA Housing, your caregiver or attendant can live with you. Her income will not be considered in the rental calculations. Learn more about applying for these housing options. Some people report success at getting approved for a 2-bedroom apartment (with no increase in rent) to accommodate their caregiver.

🎀 Your caregiver may qualify for free rent

If you live in this type 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. How to Calculate Rent in HUD, Section 8 and USDA Housing

🎀 You may qualify for funding to pay your caregiver

If your disabling condition is severe (“nursing home level of need”) and a friend, loved one, or family member is already providing personal care for you in your home, the state may be able to pay this person a small salary for the care they are giving you. In most states, it cannot be a spouse. Learn more about Home Care Waiver Program

🎀 You may qualify for state home care

If you 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.

🎀 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.

🎀 You may qualify for more food stamps

If your caregiver lives with you but eats separate food, you may be eligible for your own food stamps account. If your caregiver is low income, he or she may also apply for their own food stamps account separately from you. If you were turned down for food stamps, or you were approved but they are very low, 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, Medi-cal, or something different in your state.

🎀 You may qualify for more home aide hours.

Some state waiver programs offer “respite care.” This is for people who have unpaid caregivers in their home (for example, a family member is caring for you but not paid). The respite hours are designed to give your unpaid caregiver a break. In a bizarre ironic twist, this means that in some states people who have unpaid caregivers get more paid aide hours, and people who live alone get less. Inquire with your caseworker for your waiver program.

Learn More

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

How to Find Wonderful Housemates & Caregivers – find your people

What is not on this list yet? Please comment below and let us know.

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