Can I get paid to be a family caregiver?

 – The Caregivers Space

It’s usually accompanied by qualifiers:

  • 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 portions 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 be a part or full time caregiver. Family caregivers who quit their jobs los a paycheck, but on retirement plans, pension plans, and social security benefits. Family caregivers are saving insurance companies and government agencies billions of dollars by providing care.

There are only a few programs that will pay family caregivers. We know how hard you work and how much you deserve financial support, but most of the time it is not possible to be paid to be a family caregiver. 

Administration on Aging & Department of Aging Services

Each state and county provides different services for the Administration on Aging. Some programs will provide stipends, reimburse caregivers for supplies, offer training, and provide respite. Paying for Senior Care maintains a list of Area Agencies on Aging and Disability Resource Centers that’s searchable by state and county.

Guardians of children

Guardians of disabled children who are not their biological or adopted children can become subsidized guardians. This allows relatives to receive financial help to care for children and keep them out of foster care.

Structured Family Caregiving

In some states, family caregivers of Medicaid recipients can be paid through the Structured Family Caregiving program. In order to participate, you must be referred by your local Agency on Aging, which is typically run at the county level. The program is run by Caregiver Homes. Caregiver Homes is available in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Ohio, and Indiana, and will be in other states soon.

  • The person receiving care must be eligible for Medicaid and deficient in at least 3 of 5 activities of daily living: dressing, bathing, grooming, using the toilet, eating, walking, or getting in and out of bed.
  • Caregivers and patients must live together.
  • Stipends typically range between $900 and $1,200 a month, depending on the level of care.
  • You will be assigned a registered nurse and a care manager who will meet with the caregiver and patient to develop a care plan and will provide ongoing coaching, training, and other support.


Medicaid varies by state, so contact your local Medicaid office to find out if you may qualify. If your Medicaid office isn’t responsive, the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services can help connect you to the state programs that allow the patient to decide how to spend their health care money – sometimes including the option to pay a family member for care.


Medicare does not pay for in-home care or adult day services.

Paying for Care Services web site

When will you and your family have the conversation about your caregiving and exit strategy?
This entry was posted in Blog, Boomer, Care Giving, Care Giving Facility, Family, Health, Lifestyle, Money, Retirement, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , by Lavine, MBA, MA, CLTC. Bookmark the permalink.

About Lavine, MBA, MA, CLTC

Raymond Lavine became interested in extended care benefits (long-term-care insurance) because of personal experiences with the disruption that extended illnesses cause for families and their finances. He now advises families and businesses about ways to mitigate the consequences extended care. Lavine says many people believe that they will never need any form of extended care because they are healthy now. Life studies clearly that many Americans may need extended care at some time, but what people do not consider are not what happens them them but care giving responsibilities which will affect their family, their cash flow, and financial commitments towards the future. The common misconception that Medicare, the Veterans Administration, or some other social service agency will pay for extended care leads people to believe that no individual or family plan is needed. By the time they see the reality, it's too late. Lavine explains the issues and provides the information needed to make an informed decision about planning for extended care. Raymond Lavine has a BA in International Relations from the University of Southern California; an MBA and MA from Drucker-Ito Graduate School of Management, Claremont Graduate University; and the CLTC designation.