While providing 24/7 caregiving to a disabled child is beneficial to the child, it can take a financial toll on the caregiver. Many might feel guilty about seeking caregiver pay, but they shouldn’t. There are many resources available to help them because others understand the value of what they do.
Many government agencies offer alternatives for those seeking caregiver pay. Lawmakers created these programs out of recognition that caregivers provide an invaluable service to children with special needs. While it’s done out of love, financial support can make the commitment to caregiving easier to manage.
Much like compensation for parent caregiving, getting paid to care for your disabled child allows you to keep doing what you know is the right thing for your son or daughter.
The Danger of Caregiver Burnout
Even the most loving caregivers run the risk of caregiver burnout if they don’t receive emotional and financial support. It’s an issue that impacts many caregivers. Caregiver burnout can change the caregiver’s attitude from positive to negative. They may also experience anxiety, stress, fatigue and even depression.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, “Burnout can occur when caregivers don’t get the help they need, or if they try to do more than they are able, physically or financially.” Financial support can provide a boost, helping caregivers avoid burnout and the stress of having to stretch their finances in order to provide care for their disabled child.
Some Caregiver Statistics
An estimated 14 percent of the 43.5 million caregivers in the United States care for their own children. On average, these caregivers spend 13 days per month on shopping, food preparation, housekeeping, laundry, transportation, and administering medication. They spend six days per month on feeding, dressing, grooming, walking, bathing, and other duties for their loved one. They also spend 13 hours per month researching care services, information on disease, coordinating doctor visits or managing financial matters.
That’s a full-time job. Just seeing the average amount of time spent on these duties should be enough to dispel any lingering doubts about whether caregiver pay is deserved by those who care for their own disabled child.
Sources of Caregiver Pay
The first step to finding out if you can get paid to care for your disabled child involves assessing the level of assistance provided to the child every day. This includes the cost of that assistance as well as the details of what the caregiver does each day.
With this information in hand, caregivers can look for financial support from a variety of sources. Keep in mind that what you can receive in caregiver pay depends on a wide variety of factors. They include your other income, your child’s condition, the age of the child and where you live.
The first place to start is in your own state. Not every state has a program that offers caregiver pay, but some do. And within those that do, payment may be limited to only caregivers who provide care for minor children. But the only way to find out is go online and see if your state offers caregiver pay.
Supplemental Social Security
Through the Supplemental Social Security program, the federal government makes cash payments to disabled children, adults and those 65 and older. Parents who provide caregiving to their disabled child may also be eligible for payments.
If your child qualifies for Medicare, then the government-funded healthcare plan may also cover some services that will help offset the cost of care for your child. That includes, in some situations, Home Health Services.
Medicaid typically doesn’t cover direct caregiving costs. However, it’s possible you may qualify for a home and community-based service waiver (HCBS Waiver). With this waiver, it’s possible the state will authorize payments for home services to certain types of people, including homes with technology-dependent children and individuals with intellectual disabilities.
If your disabled child is an adult and a veteran, they may qualify for the Veterans Directed Care program. That program financially supports veterans, giving them the budget to manage the cost of services. They also can hire whomever they wish to provide those services, including relatives. The first step to finding support is knowing it is there. By searching for more information on these programs, parents can find out if they can get paid to care for their disabled child. It’s worth pursuing so that you can avoid burnout and continue to afford to give your child the care they need.