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Can a Spouse Be Paid as a Caregiver?

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spouse caregiver

According to a study by the Family Caregiver Alliance, about 43 million Americans provide care without pay to aging, ill, or injured family member. For many families, unpaid care leads to a severe financial burden and ongoing stress.

There are programs in the U.S. that can help families alleviate some of this stress.

In the United States, spouses, in general, can be paid as caregivers. As of June 2019, fifteen U.S. states have assistance programs that allow a spouse (and adult children) to get paid as caregivers for a family member. These programs allow the beneficiary to choose whomever they would like as a personal care provider. So, they can choose to hire their spouses as caregivers.

There are different funding resources and state programs that allow paying spouses and other family members as caregivers. It depends on several factors whether you will be eligible for such programs or not.

For example, your eligibility for spousal pay may be determined by factors such as your income and financial resources, your state of residence, the types of insurance you have, and if either you or your spouse are veterans.

What is Medicare Policy Regarding Spousal Pay?

Medicare does not pay for spousal care because Medicare doesn’t cover personal, non-medical care for its beneficiaries. So, you will not be able to obtain Medicare coverage for providing assistance or personal care with activities of daily living (personal hygiene, eating, dressing, maintaining continence, mobility) for your spouse.

However, there are often misconceptions about whether Medicare pays spouses to provide home care for their husbands or wives because a rare circumstance where a spouse is married to a practicing doctor (caregiver). In this case, Medicare may pay a doctor (spouse and caregiver) for home healthcare visits and providing medical care for his or her spouse, but not for personal care.

State Programs

While not all of the U.S. states have spousal pay programs, this benefit is still available to a fair percentage of the nation, as these programs are available in 15 U.S. states, which statistically represents 42 percent of the population.

There are several programs available that allow spouses to be paid as caregivers. These programs include Medicaid HCBC Waivers, a non-Medicaid state-funded assistance program, and Medicaid State Plan Personal Care programs.

How Paying Spouses Woks?

Each of the state programs for spousal pay allows the beneficiary or the user to decide from whom they will receive their home care services. This means that you can choose whoever you want as your caregiver, as long as this person meets certain requirements regarding physical ability, background check, etc.

If approved, the spouses are paid either by the state program or through an intermediary agency. Compensation rates vary from state to state, but you can expect to be paid between $10.75 – $20.75 per hour.

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25 Comments

Amy CloerOctober 21, 2021 at 11:21 pmReply

My husband had a stroke in 2019 I’m his only caregiver he just got his disability started we live in chatsworth ga. Is there any programs or benefits or can I get paid for caregiver I just lost my job to Covid my husband and mom got it to and I lost my mom he seems to be getting worse so I can’t leave him bye his self I don’t know if we have any options for help to keep his in our home

Juanita McEwenJanuary 10, 2022 at 7:19 pmReply

Have you thought about hospice? It is supposed to be paid through medicare. They will have someone come in and help about three days a week and provide supplies and medication. It’s just a thought.

Aletha BrightMarch 1, 2022 at 10:49 amReply

I live in Maine,I had a heart attack last March(2021) I have CHF with just having surgery and had an LVAD device implant. I can’t work andy husband is my caregiver. Can he get paid for it. And where do we apply.

Virginia TimmermanNovember 13, 2021 at 6:57 pmReply

I am suffering from memory loss due to brain cancer since Jan of 2021, I also am almost blind in one eye and do not have good vision in the other, As a former diabetic, I have had a pancreas and kidney transplant but the diabetes has affected my healing process and I have several wounds that need dressings and care. My husband has been caring for me since Jan of 2021 and listens to and follows how the Dr’s tell him to treat my wounds. Could I please find out how we can apply for spousal care through Medicare or another agency. Thank you for your time and help!!

Juanita McEwenJanuary 10, 2022 at 7:22 pmReply

Sweetie, have your husband call in hospice. It doesn’t mean you are about to leave this world, but they will help you. My mother was on hospice for three years. God bless you. Oh, and Virginia was my grandmother’s name!

KimMarch 23, 2022 at 8:57 am

I fell and broke hip having dropfoot and having Covid was in hospital 3months and have pulmonary disease in 2018 and in hospital again in2021 for 3 months
In wheelchair. My husband takes care of me he does cooking and laundry bathes grocery shopping clean house. Can he be my caregiver?

Isabel Lourdes L JundisApril 22, 2022 at 9:05 amReply

I am a Filipina married to a US citizen for 17 yrs now. He has undergone heart bypass and has Alzheimer’s. He has retired and is 79 yrs old by Step 2022. He wanted to go back to the US with our son who is 18 yrs old. Can I be my husband’s caregiver and be paid accordingly? Please advise.

VickyDecember 21, 2021 at 2:24 pmReply

My 45 year old husband was just hospitalized in a hospital with Covid-19 pneumonia.
He has been home for five days now. He is on oxygen still for a few months. He will be out of work as he is recovering from this.
I am his wife and caregiver and I would like to know if Arizona has any programs that would pay me for taking care of him? Please respond 🙏

DonnaJanuary 5, 2022 at 9:31 pmReply

I’m collecting SS at age 62, in order to care for my husband who is on disability SS. I also receive Medicaid Insurance for Medical coverage.
I live in NJ. Am I eligible to get paid for being my husbands caregiver?

NellJanuary 23, 2022 at 7:42 amReply

My husband has work all his life and love to continue but due to this deadly lung disease, He needs 24hrs care and I had to stop working to give him that support I’m in the health field and we both have insurance that cover us how do I go through them to continue care and help us paid the bill because I’m now taking care of him 24hrs a day

Hicham GhaniJune 26, 2022 at 4:44 pmReply

Great.

JanetFebruary 1, 2022 at 1:49 pmReply

My husband has been diagnosed with Stage 4 liver cancer and it is also in his brain. He has had 5 radiation treatments and currently on chemotherapy at the time he is in the hospital with pneumonia and will be on oxygen from now on. He has no family and I was wondering if I quit my job to take care of Jim is there any programs that make me eligible to be paid to be his caregiver.

Sherry ByrdFebruary 2, 2022 at 1:42 pmReply

I need help with income. I have cancer and it takes 24 hours a day. My husband is self employed and he can’t work anymore taking care of me. Please we need financial help. We live in Kansas.

MarieFebruary 3, 2022 at 8:52 amReply

I am 47 am have had 38 surgeries in the last 10 years, all due to an overdose after a surgery in the hospital that killed me for 7 minutes. I now only hove about 3 % of my vision left and have 8-15 sezuires a day. Not to mention all the pain I have. The only person I have is my husband, He lost his job 2 years ago due to covid. He know how to do everything. He can tell how I am just by The way I am waling. That means a lot. It is unfair that our spouse can not get paid to be our caregiver.

Mary MontgomeryFebruary 4, 2022 at 6:48 pmReply

My husband was paralized from his waist down from a horse accident in October,2014. He started drawing SSI benefits in January 2015. I am his caretaker. I turned 65 in August,2016 and also started drawing SSI. both of us together draw less than $!3,000. Is there any way I could get paid for being his full time care giver?

Vonda E LongmireFebruary 13, 2022 at 12:43 pmReply

I have been talking care of my husband since June 2005,can I get paid as a caregiver

kathie cadmanMarch 2, 2022 at 11:00 amReply

My husband has demensia. We are both retired and on social security. He needs full time care…….can I be paid to be his caregiver and keep him at home?

Christian BryantApril 1, 2022 at 6:50 pmReply

I been married to wife for about 9years I bean caregiver for 7 years my wife has Huntingtons she in her second stage over the year I have taken verry good but I have a little story to tell some don’t believe but I have the proof me and my wife were being harrssed and stalked for the last 5years I ha ve made complaints and told a few people what it working or freinds that are working in social services like the ihss program and aps and the sheriff’s department what if caregiver for spouse and your not from that county your going to get discrimination on be these people made me and my wife homeless 2times they have messed with are finances they they have even tried to separate are marriage even the my wife’s family gotten to try to paint a ug lol y photo of me wich is not true so so I’m fighting for my wife because one I love her very much and two all they want is mony and to DESTROYE a husband and wife my wife bacame first life all I was trying to do was build something nice for her and me and they were trying to stop it but God has got us and God is not going to lose the thing is aps don’t have anything on me they have broken all kinds laws and keep her from talking to me so they can get what they want I’m not going to say much because I now attorney but I don’t think I need one and this crazy and way would I make this up who does things like this to people thanks for listening

Dawn luisserApril 28, 2022 at 4:35 pmReply

My husband was in hospital with coved he has congestive heart failure in diabetic I have been taking care of him since he came home not able to work and haven’t been. Paid can I get paid for him at home he only wants me as his caregiver.

Roland E BaisdenJune 2, 2022 at 9:18 amReply

I want my wife for my care giver

Kimberly HughesJune 17, 2022 at 10:05 pmReply

I am a caregiver to my husband in Baldwyn, Ms. he has has 4 knee surgeries, and is still have problems walking , looses his balance , walks with a cane . Knee is very weak and retains fluid a lot and has to be drained off . He also has had a stroke , and several mini strokes, I last 4 years.he has a see pap machine he needs to wear . I have to bathe him dress him and bring him his food. He is just very weak . He cannot do and thing around the house because of weak ness he has knumbness in both hands . I have walk him to restroom as Well can I get paid for being his caregiver?

Kimberly HughesJune 17, 2022 at 10:06 pmReply

I live in Baldwyn , Ms 38824

Michelle GettingsJune 19, 2022 at 8:25 amReply

My mother had to quit her job to stay home and take care of my dad. He is a dble amputee and can not be left alone. They are struggling now to pay their rent and buy food. Is there any help for them out there?

Angela KeigleyJune 20, 2022 at 2:49 pmReply

Hello. My case is not the norm. I have dealt with MS for several years. I need a lot of care. My husband cares for me. He has to work. We live in florida. Can he get paid to be my caregiver? We may not meet age requirements. Can you point me in the right direction. My husband is even willing to get CNA if he needs to.

Pamela AbelJune 28, 2022 at 9:53 amReply

I am my husband’s caregiver. He has Dementia,hips that need surgery along with a.knee,his entire spine etc. He can’t walk without me helping him and a walker. He also has a mental problem probably, he says that bugs are crawling in his skin 24/7. I can not leave him. He needs me constantly. He want me and no one else. I bathe him and do everything else that he requires. I could really use some financial help. We r going to have to move which we can’t afford to do. We live off of our SS only. So I would like to know if I qualify to be paid as a caregiver. Thank you Pamela Abel

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