Q:

Who can claim a care giver's allowance?

A:

Quick Answer

As of June 2014, your ability to claim a caregiver’s allowance is dependent on a number of factors, including your relationship with the individual you are caring for, the reason why you are providing care and the state you live in. That said, there a number of government programs, family payment options and tax breaks to help procure a caregiver’s allowance.

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Full Answer

Some states implement programs to help individuals pay for their caregiver of choice. In some cases, particularly “participant-directed”, “consumer-directed” and “cash and counseling programs,” you can receive an allowance for providing care to a family member.

Benefits are also available when providing care to veterans. Providing care to wartime veterans or their spouses makes you eligible for “Aid and Attendance” benefits to help for in-home care, nursing care and assisted living resources. To procure these benefits, the veteran must require assistance with daily living activities, such as changing clothes, going to the bathroom and/or bathing. Moreover, the spouse or veteran’s income must not exceed $13,362 for surviving spouses and $20,795 for veterans.

A 2010 law also provides monthly payments to primary caregivers of veterans injured in battle after September 11th. For more information on these benefits, please contact 1-877-222-VETS.

The federal government also provides tax breaks if you pay at least half of your family member’s yearly expenses and if his/her annual income does not exceed $3,900 (excluding Social Security payments). If so, you may claim your family member as a dependent on your taxes, and reduce your taxable income. You may also claim the family member you are providing care for as a dependent if the living expenses you pay exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income.

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