Home caregivers, many of whom make substantial financial sacrifices to provide care for elderly individuals, would receive a tax credit of up to $3,000 if a recently introduced bill is passed by Congress.
H.R. 4708, the Credit for Caring Act, was introduced by US Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY) and Linda Sanchez (D-CA), both of whom are members of the House Ways and Means Committee.
As the number of senior citizens requiring care increases, so does the number of home caregivers – and so does the cost of providing that care. According to one survey, more than 40% of home caregivers tending to a family member pay more than $5,000 annually for care-related expenses.
In a statement, Reed said, “We care about those who become caregivers for their aging parents, grandparents or other relatives. These families are making enormous sacrifices and oftentimes struggle to make ends meet. The expense of providing personal, at-home care can add up quickly. It’s only fair that we support our caregivers, and I’m proud to work with Rep. Linda Sanchez on legislation that does just that. It’s a win-win. Families will stay together and those in need of assistance have access to better care.”
Home caregivers would need to meet several requirements to be eligible for the credit, if it passes both houses and is signed into law. These include:
- Earn at least $7,500 in income; the credit phases out for married taxpayers earning more than $150,000.
- Be caring for an eligible family member – a spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, child, niece, nephew, brother-or sister-in-law, or father-or mother-in-law.
- The individual being cared for must be certified as requiring long-term care for at least six months; the individual must also be unable to perform at least two activities of daily living (e.g., dressing, eating, bathing, walking, grooming/personal hygiene, attending to the bathroom).
The future of the proposed bill is yet to be determined. Home caregivers who wish to make their opinions known about this legislation should contact their representatives. (Those who are unsure of who their representative is or how to contact them may locate that information at http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/.)