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Financial options for family caregivers

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Elder law attorney Christina Lesher recommends looking into the following Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans benefits if a loved one needs full-time care.

Medicare does have home health benefits if the person needing help is also receiving some type of therapy.

The home health could include help with bathing, dressing, and other activities of daily living.

Medicaid has a great benefit called Community Based Alternatives (CBA).

CBA provides many of the same services that someone could receive in a skilled nursing facility. Because there is up to a two year wait list, we advise calling 211 to be placed on the interest list.

You can skip the wait for CBA if your loved one goes into a nursing home, qualifies for Medicaid, and then discharges out into the community under the "money follows the person".

Once on CBA at home, the family can hire their own caregivers.

Medicaid has spousal protections that help prevent spouses from being totally impoverished by paying for home care. Many people qualify, and don't know it.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a program to pay cash to the veteran (or surviving spouse) for paying for care at home, in assisted living, or at a nursing home.

Income and asset qualifications do apply.

Here are some websites that can help as well:

FOR MEDICARE RECIPIENTS

http://www.medicare.gov/campaigns/caregiver/caregiver.html

FOR MEDICAID RECIPIENTS:

www.yourtexasbenefits.com

GENERAL CAREGIVER QUESTIONS

http://www.caregiver.com/regionalresources/financial/index.htm

FOR VETERANS

www.va.org

https://www.nrd.gov/family_and_caregiver_support/caregiver_support/financial_and_legal_resources_for_caregivers

FAMILY CAREGIVER GUIDE

www.nextstepincare.org

CAREGIVER MATCHING PROGRAM

www.cancare.org

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