How do I Become a Paid Caregiver for a Family Member in New York?
Serving as a caregiver for a family member is a rewarding experience but can come at a cost. You get the opportunity to ensure your family receives the best possible care and spend time with your loved one while sacrificing the number of hours working outside of the home.
This article will note some of the options for financial assistance while caring for a loved one, while going into further detail about CDPAP, the Medicaid program that allows those in need of care to hire and manage their own caregivers, including family members, and who is eligible to be a caregiver.
Potential Financial Assistance Options for Family Caregivers
It is important for family caregivers to know their options when it comes to being compensated for caregiving. Here are some possibilities for being compensated as a family caregiving:
- If you are eligible for Medicaid, look into the Self-Directed Services Programs they offer. If your loved one has or is eligible for Medicaid, you may be able to receive financial aid. Medicaid has several options for providing those enrolled under the state plan and waiver programs, such as the Consumer-Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) that we will discuss in more detail below.
- Enroll in a HCBS (Home and Community-Based Services) Program. If the care you provide to a family member or friend involves help with daily activities like walking, eating, or getting in/out of a chair, you could be eligible for an HCBS program.
- Does your loved one have a long-term care insurance policy? Some of these insurance policies include provisions for paying a family member who provides you care. Speak with an agent or the insurance company to clarify if the caregiver payment benefit is part of their policy.
- Speak with your employer and see if they offer paid leave for caregivers. With the growing number of families needing to serve as a caregiver for a loved one, companies are beginning to offer an elder care program or benefit.
- If your loved one is a veteran, they may be able to enroll in a Veteran Directed Care Program. The program empowers veterans to manage their own care, including hiring and paying for in-home care. The Aid and Attendance benefit is another potential option for veterans who need in-home care, as it may be used to cover assisted living, nursing homes, and in-home care costs like paying caregivers.
What is CDPAP?
The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) is a New York State Medicaid program that allows consumers to recruit, hire, and direct their own in-home caregivers. One of the highlights of the program is that it allows consumers to hire family members and friends to be their home health aide. The CDPAP program focuses on individuals living with chronic medical conditions or physical disabilities and have trouble with daily living activities or require skilled nursing assistance.
Who is eligible to be a CDPAP Caregiver?
This section will detail the criteria for being a CDPAP caregiver, including restrictions, physical requirements, identification and necessary paperwork:
- The spouse of the care recipient may not be the caregiver.
- The care recipient may not have their caregiver also be their designated representative. This allows for a clear separation of roles and responsibilities when providing care.
- The CDPAP caregiver must pass a physical exam to prove they can provide the necessary care and support.
- If the caregiver needs to drive the care recipient as part of their duties, the CDPAP caregiver must have a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance.
- The CDPAP caregiver must agree to follow the care plan as provided, completing the tasks and responsibilities required to meet the care recipient’s needs.
- Complete a W-4 form for tax withholding and an I-9 form to verify work eligibility.
There are no specific licensing requirements to be a CDPAP caregiver. However, the caregiver must meet the criteria listed above.
Family Caregiver Pay Rate and Benefits
- While pay varies based on weekly tasks, hours worked, and the city services provided, hourly rates range from $16.20 – $21.09.
- These rates are a general range and do not indicate the highest-paying CDPAP rates.
- Overtime hours and overtime pay are available. A nurse will assess how much care a consumer requires and determine your schedule.
- Overtime pay rates can range between $24 – $31.63 an hour. A full pay rate breakdown can be found here.
Caregivers under CDPAP may also receive free counseling services, access to a local caregiver support program, and access to a caregiver wellness program. Discover additional resources for caregivers here.