Maine is home to approximately 181,000 family caregivers who provide an estimated $2.2 billion in unpaid care for their loved ones. With the emotional, physical, and financial stress that can accumulate, family caregivers need to be aware of the ways this strain can be reduced. Aidaly believes that family caregiving is an invaluable sacrifice that deserves compensation. Read on to learn how to get paid in Maine.
Most people are taxpayers, so the government often gives financial assistance by helping out with taxes. Family caregivers in Maine can take advantage of tax benefits to reduce the financial burdens associated with care.
The Child Tax Credit and the Tax Credit for Other Dependents
People who claim their children or other dependents on their federal tax return can receive up to $2,000 for each qualified dependent. These credits are fully refundable, which means you can get the money even if you owe no taxes. To receive one of these credits, you must meet certain income requirements. To learn more and discover if you are eligible, there is more information available here.
The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
If you paid someone to care for your dependent while at work or looking for work, you could get money back even if you owed no taxes. Up to $8,000 of what you paid for daycare, day camps, babysitting, adult day programs, or caregiving while you were working or looking for work can be claimed. To assess your eligibility, click here. Even better, Maine offers state taxpayers up to 50% of the federal credit automatically, increasing the amount you can receive. Learn more about Maine’s tax credits here.
Medical and Dental Expenses Tax Deductions
If you spent more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) on medical or dental expenses that weren't paid back by your insurance, you can deduct that money from your taxable income and owe less on your taxes. You can count any money you spend on eligible expenses for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents so your total can add up quickly. There are no income restrictions for this program, and you can read more here to learn about eligible expenses.
MaineCare and Other State Benefits
Over 340,000 residents in Maine are enrolled in MaineCare (Medicaid), an assistance program that provides health insurance and medical assistance to those who meet established income and health criteria. Some state-based support services require the patient to first be enrolled with MaineCare; however, other state programs exist independently of MaineCare and can be accessed separately or in addition to MaineCare assistance. Keep reading to discover which assistance programs might suit you and your family.
MaineCare waivers permit family caregivers as a funded subset of “specialty care,” meaning eligible MaineCare participants can employ their family member as their caregiver, rather than hiring outside help like home health or personal care aides.
Home and Community-Based Waivers
Residents of Maine who are over the age of 65, are blind, or who have another disability may qualify for a Medicaid Waiver program, which uses MaineCare funding to pay for caregiving and other supportive services. For some people, funding can be passed to family members. Find out more about available programs here.
State Funded in Home and Community Home Based Care (HBC)
For those in Maine who are not MaineCare eligible, you can still redirect funding to a family member, including spouses, for their caregiving services through state funded programs. The Maine Office of Aging and Disability Services coordinates funding for home based care, and you can find out more here.
Veterans Benefits in Maine
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a range of programs to assist elderly Veterans or those disabled in the line of duty. Often these programs allow Veterans to select their own caregivers. Maine also honors veterans with its own benefits: learn more about those here.
The Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits and Housebound Allowance
The Aid and Attendance program provides funds in the form of a pension enhancement to qualifying Veterans in order to assist with improving their day to day lives. This pension is used at the discretion of the Veteran; however, it’s frequently used for caring services, which can be provided by family members. The VA also offers the related Housebound allowance for qualified Veterans and their survivors. Read more about VA pensions here.
Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC)
With the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers, you can earn a monthly stipend of up to $2,750 per month as a family caregiver to a Veteran who has a service-related disability or illness. In addition, you can access training and counseling programs to support your caregiving services. Check to see if you’re eligible here.
Veteran-Directed Care Program (VDC)
The Veteran Directed Care Program is a self-directed program aimed to keep Veterans out of nursing institutions and in their own homes. The funding obtained through this program is based on the individual Veteran's need, but its aim is to enable Veterans to choose their own caregivers — which allows them to hire family members rather than professionals. More information about this program in Maine may be found here.
It’s no secret that family caregiving can be hard on the mind, body, and wallet. With Aidaly, you can discover the financial options that are available to alleviate money pressures. Get in touch for further support, guidance, and training in your family caregiving journey.