Minnesota is home to 640,000 family caregivers who diligently care for a loved one. However, most of these caregivers struggle to find compensation and often work completely for free. The value of this unpaid work is estimated at $8.6 billion per year, highlighting the urgency in paying family caregivers for their care work.
At Aidaly, we want to revolutionize family caregiving by providing the information you need to take action and find the right support. We’ve outlined some payment possibilities below to aid your caregiving journey.
Family caregivers in Minnesota are entitled to tax benefits to reduce some of the costs associated with delivering 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. You must meet certain income requirements to receive the credits. To learn more and discover if you are eligible, click here.
The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
If you paid someone to care for someone you love while at work, or looking for work, you could get money back even if you owe no taxes. You can claim 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. Eligibility criteria is available here.
Minnesota also offers state taxpayers an additional care credit worth up to $2,100 for eligible families; you can learn more about Minnesota’s care credit here.
Medical and Dental Expenses Tax Deductions
If you spend more than 7.5% of your gross adjusted income (AGI) on medical and dental expenses for you and your family, you may qualify for a significant tax deduction. Deductible expenses include prescriptions, co-pays, and hospital visits. Glasses, hearing aids, and transportation between appointments are also on the list. Check out the full guide to eligible deductions here.
Medicaid and Other State Benefits
Over 3.2 million Minnesotans are enrolled in Minnesota’s Medicaid program, known as Medical Assistance. Medical Assistance provides health insurance and medical assistance to those who meet established income and health criteria. Some state-based support services require the patient to be enrolled in Medical Assistance, and others are available to non-enrollees. Keep reading to discover which assistance programs might suit you and your family.
Medicaid waivers are special programs that offer flexibility to people who need extra help with daily living tasks due to age, disability, or chronic health conditions. Six different waiver programs are offered in Minnesota for particular needs, and you can learn more about all of them here. Make sure to read more about the Consumer Directed Community Supports (CDCS) program here: CDCS allows care recipients to spend their Medicaid funds on items and services that aren’t usually covered, and it can even be used to pay family members — including spouses.
The Minnesota Personal Care Assistance Program
In Minnesota, a person requiring a caregiver can hire their family member to work for them, allowing them to receive compensation, or bring another caregiver into the home. The family member must first enroll as a personal care assistant to become eligible for this home-care program. You’ll need to pass a one-time test after completing online training, although prior care experience is not required. You can learn more about this program and its requirements here.
In the U.S., the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers several programs which help Veterans, their surviving spouses, and their caregivers. The VA is federal, but resources vary from state to state. Read more about Minnesota’s state-funded benefits here.
Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits and Housebound Allowance
The Veterans Aid and Attendance and Housebound Allowance programs provide funding in the form of an increased monthly pension amount for eligible Veterans. The pension can assist in making day-to-day living easier or be used to pay for caregiving services, which can be provided by family members. The application process is lengthy, but the pension will be back-paid if approved. To assess eligibility and apply, click 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 Home and Community Based Services
The Veteran-Directed Care (VDC) program allows Veterans to be in control of their own long-term services and supports and is designed to enable them to continue living independently at home. Through the program, eligible Veterans determine their own budgets, decide what services they need, and hire their own workers — which can be family members. Be aware that not all counties in Minnesota are part of this program, but you can assess eligibility and availability here.
Family caregiving can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. As mentioned above, there is financial support available in Minnesota to help reduce the cost of care-related costs — it’s just about finding the right support network. We hope unpaid family caregiving will be a thing of the past. Join Aidaly today to find out more.