Medicaid May Pay You as a Family Caregiver

Each day, parents, children, siblings, and spouses selflessly sacrifice their time and energy to care for family members affected by illness, injury, or disability.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, about 80% of care at home is provided by unpaid caregivers and may include an array of emotional, financial, nursing, social, homemaking, and other services. More than half (58%) have intensive caregiving responsibilities that may include assisting with a personal care activity, such as bathing or feeding. 1

Caregiving can exact an emotional and physical toll. It can be financially draining, too. However, if you are a caregiver of a loved one, you may be able to be paid for your services by Medicaid.

Each state and the District of Columbia have programs that allow qualified individuals to manage their own long-term care services, including the selection of a caregiver.

Many states' Medicaid programs allow the participant to hire relatives or friends to provide needed assistance. But Medicaid services are different in each state, and states generally have more than one Medicaid program that may offer caregiver benefits.

For instance, some state programs may pay for family caregivers but exclude spouses or in-laws. Others may only provide compensation if you do not live in the same house as the person in your care.

There are a few things to note. Generally, Medicaid looks at the applicant's financial situation (income and assets) as well as his or her functional ability. Once approved, the applicant can apply for a specific Medicaid program that allows for the applicant to manage their own care, including selection of a caregiver who may be paid, directly or indirectly, by Medicaid.

Contact your state Medicaid office to learn about their specific programs and respective eligibility requirements. Also, some states have programs in addition to Medicaid that may pay for family caregiver services.

1 Department of Health and Human Services,

Form CRS