If you are a caregiver to a friend or family member, you know firsthand how demanding the role can be – emotionally, physically and financially. We have written several articles about the importance of seeking support for yourself (examples include Self-Care is Smart Care and The Albany Guardian Society). In the state of New York, there are several programs to financially compensate you for your caregiving role. Here are a few programs with their basic eligibility requirements.
The Consumer-Directed Personal Assistance Program, or CDPAP, is a Medicaid program in which the beneficiary can direct or choose from whom they receive personal care assistance. In other words, family members such as adult children (or friends) can be hired and trained to provide personal care.
As explained on the website, there are caveats and participants do need to meet certain eligibility requirements. But to briefly summarize:
Participant needs to:
- Be eligible for New York Medicaid;
- Require personal care assistance; and
- Meet financial criteria. Applicants 65 and older are limited to a certain monthly income. The value of their countable assets is limited as well. There are still some options available to you if your loved one’s finances exceed the current limits, but it may be helpful to gain the assistance of a Medicaid planner.
- The caregiver cannot be the current spouse of the person requiring care.
EISEP, or New York’s Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly, is intended for those who aren’t eligible for Medicaid. Some of the benefits of this program include adult day care, respite care and personal emergency response services. There is also a “consumer directed in-home services” option like the one Medicaid provides.
Participant needs to:
- Be a minimum of 60 years old;
- Be a resident of New York state;
- Reside at home;
- Require assistance with their daily living activities;
- Have limited income, but the limits aren’t fixed. Instead, there are cost-sharing rules that impact the amount of financial assistance. (A helpful chart can be found here.)
NFCSP is the National Family Caregiver Support Program. It was established over 20 years ago to provide funding for states to fund a range of supports for family caregivers. Administered through Area Agencies on Aging, these programs are intended to help people continue to comfortably and safely live at home instead of relying on costly long-term care facilities. You can find more information on NFCSP-funded programs in New York through the Office of Aging website here. This differs from the programs mentioned above, which “hire” and train you to provide care for your loved one. But every caregiver should connect with their Agency on Aging to see how NFCSP programs can assist them with their needs.
Caregivers must meet one of the following criteria to be eligible:
- Be an adult family member or other informal caregiver aged 18 and older providing care to individuals 60 years of age or older;
- Be an adult family member or other informal caregiver aged 18 and older providing care to individuals of ANY age with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders;
- Be an older relative (not parent) age 55 and older providing care to children under the age of 18; and
- Be an older relative, including a parent, age 55 and older providing care to adults ages 18-59 with disabilities.