|Janet Morris, Director of Bet Tzedek’s Family Caregiver Program, with clients. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
If your mom is low-income and eligible for Medicaid, you may be able to get paid a small amount by the state. In 15 states, Medicaid offers a Cash & Counseling program (see cashandcounseling.org) that provides an allowance that can be used for various services, including paying family members for care.
Uncle Sam may also be able to help if you pay at least half of your mom’s yearly expenses, and her annual income was below $3,900 in 2013 (not counting Social Security). If so, you can claim her as a dependent on your taxes, and reduce your taxable income by $3,900. See IRS Publication 501 (www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p501.pdf) or call the IRS help-line at 800-829-1040 for information.
If your mom doesn’t financially qualify for the government aid or the tax breaks, can she afford to pay you herself or do you have any siblings that would be willing to chip in? After all, if your mom had to pay for home care services, the costs would be anywhere between $12 and $25 per hour.
Pop will have been gone five years this April 14th and I find myself once again isolated, alone, drained, sleep deprived, lonley, malnourished, depressed, and boxed into a corner as the sole 24/7 caregiver to my nearly 30 year best friend, boss, roommate, running buddy Kjell who’s as hard case died in the wool, constitutionally incapable, jay walking, bull headed, stinking drunk that ever walked the earth with no redeeming or even barely likeable qualities left. Thats me and him there to the left on the day about 15 years ago after I kicked a US Prosecuter’s ass up and down the block in Federal Court while I went pro per not only under oath but also mirandized and facing a federal prison term myself if that prick of a dumbass rookie schmuck prick of an Assistant US Attorney had his way as he grilled me all day on the stand. The hardest day of my life. My pal here…was there for me…in the gallery behind said prickface Assistant US Attorney giving me a tug of the ear or a brush of his hair or gentle cough now and then that got me through that ordeal and I walked out of that US Federal Courthouse with my head held high a free man. So how can I not care for the rotten old bastard now when his lady of 20 years and his entire family and all of his friends have washed their hands of him and left him for dead?