People with Alzheimer’s are generally surrounded by loved ones who provide a tremendous amount of care. Statistics tell us that if these family members were paid for providing this care, it would add up to billions of dollars a year. The fact that it is unpaid is unfortunate for a number of reasons.
In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Illinois Elder Law attorney, discusses Alzheimer’s and unpaid family caregivers and how paying these loved ones, in a legal and correct way, may not only benefit the family caregiver, but the person with Alzheimer’s, as well.
Alzheimer’s and Unpaid Family Caregivers
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. I want to talk to you today about Alzheimer’s people and the tremendous volume of care that is provided to them by family members who either aren’t paid or they’re not paid the right way.
All the statistics tell us that if family members were paid for providing the care they provide to Alzheimer’s, those payments would add up to billions of dollars a year. The fact that it is unpaid is unfortunate for a number of reasons. Let’s talk about why.
First of all, you may not have known that if the family member with Alzheimer’s is a wartime veteran or widowed from one, payments to a family member caregiver can support a claim for VA benefits that can be very helpful. Second, people worry about the Medicaid look-back rule and spenddown. Well, payments to a caregiver, if they are done in a legally correct way – written contract, dot the “i”s and cross the “t”s – are permissible spenddown. They’re not gift transfers. But, on the other hand, if they’re done the wrong way – pay some money on the side, give you a gift, not going to have you charge me – those are considered transfers. And even if they’re well intentioned, and the person really did do the work, they’re a killer when it comes to Medicaid eligibility. They’re considered gift transfers and they’re going to cause substantial delays in eligibility.
So, the lesson here is if you have Alzheimer’s and are being cared for by a family member, or if you are a family member providing care to somebody with Alzheimer’s, please get thee to an Elder Law Attorney and get the help you need. Thanks.
For more related information on Alzheimer’s, visit these articles:
- Alzheimer’s and Driving
- My Life is a Struggle but I Don’t Want Help: Senior Resistance to Change and Care
- Second Childhood: Parenting Lessons for Dealing with Elders with Dementia
- Handling the Difficult Conversation about Facility Placement Video Series
The Alzheimer’s Guide
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Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (877)995-6876 or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.