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22   Jun

A Question for an Elder Care Lawyer: Should Family Members Receive Compensation as Caregivers?

As Macomb elder law attorneys, we often get questions about elder care services performed by family members. The shift from being a child who provides occasional assistance to full time caregiver requires significant sacrifices. Some of those sacrifices include time, energy, and the decision to take FMLA, use all sick/holiday pay and sometimes even resignation from their gainful employment. It is no wonder many of our clients ask if family members can be paid for their caregiving services.

In some cases, the answer is yes.  However, if the family agrees to payment for a particular caregiver, they should make the arrangement legally binding with a caregiver agreement to not only protect the rights of both parties but to be in compliance with Michigan Medicaid Policy in the event long term skilled nursing home is ever needed. Things such as driving mom/dad around to their medical/legal appointments; picking up groceries, medication management and grooming.

In most cases, children assist their parents out of love and not necessarily for monetary gain. This document should be drawn up by an elder care lawyer, signed by relevant parties and notarized with all the appropriate language.

When Can Family Members Serving as Caregivers Claim Compensation?

Here are a few questions to ask when a family member who provides elder care asks for payment:

  • Does the family member in question spend a substantial amount of time with the elderly person?
  • Does the senior family member require daily help with bathing, grooming, feeding, housekeeping, and transportation?
  • Is the person asking for compensation the primary caregiver?
  • Has the caregiver given up job opportunities to care for the senior in question?
  • If the caregiver didn’t provide the services they do, would the family need to hire an individual or service to take on these responsibilities?

If you or another family member can answer “yes” to most of these questions, it’s likely that the caregiver is within their rights to request compensation. And, if this is the case, you should contact Woods Law Office to help you draw up the caregiver agreement. This document will clearly define the roll of the elder care giver, outline compensation terms, and protect all parties involved.

For example, the caregiver agreement should include the following information:

  • Expected duties from the caregiver.
  • Compensation rate, either on a weekly or monthly basis.
  • The documentation required to track the completion of tasks.

When it comes to senior family members, don’t leave anything to chance. Make sure that their rights – and yours – are protected by hiring the leading elder law firm in Michigan.

Call Woods Law Office, the Leading Elder Care Attorney Michigan

If you need assistance with Michigan probate law, estate planning, elder crisis management, veterans benefits, or anything that relates to elder care, call Woods Law Office at (586) 532-8970 or reach out to us through the contact form on our website.