Caring for a disabled person can be a difficult, yet rewarding experience, especially if you are helping someone you love. For instance, let’s consider Malcolm and his wife, Lisa. Unfortunately, Lisa is no longer able to work because of stage three breast cancer. Instead, she receives disability benefits. However, Malcolm had to quit his job to spend time caring for Lisa. Even with her benefits, they are suffering financially. In some cases, including Malcolm’s and Lisa’s, caregivers and disability benefits work together to ease the situation a little.
In this article, we will look at how caregivers may qualify for payment.
The Need for Caregivers
No matter their age, disabled individuals often need someone to take care of their daily needs and handling financial affairs. Caregivers can be family and friends, or an aide hired from an agency.
Caregivers may even apply for disability benefits like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for their ward.
Eligibility for Paid Caregivers and Disability Benefits
For some caregivers, payment comes from a government assistance program:
- Cash and Counseling Program. Medicaid offers this program to provide money to caregivers in the form of hourly wages. The payments are based on the number of hours spent caring for the disabled person times the appropriate hourly wage.
- California’s In-Home Support Services (IHSS). People who qualify for IHSS can hire someone for non-medical care. Typically, spouses, adult children, other relatives, or friends may be eligible as paid caregivers.
- Aid & Attendance. Caregivers of veterans with disabilities may qualify for monthly payments.
- California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) Act. The PFL program gives some wage replacement for people who have to take time off work to care for seriously ill relatives or registered domestic partners. Like other programs, you have to meet specific requirements to qualify.
Lisa is not a veteran, so they don’t qualify for Aid & Attendance benefits. Malcolm and Lisa do not qualify for Medicaid’s Cash and Counseling Program. However, both the IHSS and PFL programs might work. Malcolm may get paid $12.00 per hour for the 30 hours a week he cares for Lisa. It is less than he was making at work, but the money eases Malcolm and Lisa’s financial situation at a difficult time in their lives.
Paid Caregivers and Disability Benefits Can Go Hand-in-Hand
If you or someone you know is caring for a disabled person, give us a call. The person who is disabled may be eligible for SSDI or SSI benefits, as well as disability benefits for California residents.
For a free consultation with an experienced Social Security attorney, consult with an attorney at The Law Offices of Martin Taller. Call us at 714-385-8100. We assist clients through Southern California from our home office in Anaheim.