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Question: caregiver question
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maralina1
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« on: May 12, 2011, 09:10:16 AM »

I am paid by my parents to take care of my dad.I live with them. Am I allowed to pay some household expenses with this pay? This would include utilities and some groceries.
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Fit2009
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2011, 05:09:39 AM »

There are no restrictions on how you spend your pay by the VA.  Make sure you check to see about a caregiver contract for Medicaid in your state.
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maralina1
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2011, 06:33:35 AM »

Why would I need to check with Medicaid? I'm asking, if my parents are paying me for homecare, is it ok to use some of that money to pay some household bills? 

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vetadmin
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2011, 11:30:10 AM »

Because if and when such time that you would need to put them into nursing home care and had to apply for Medicaid, Medicaid would look at all those payments to you and imply they were "gifts" that were given to bring their income down in order for them to qualify.

You need a caregiver agreement in place to protect them and you.

What you do with the money that they pay you is up to you.  How you spend it and what you spend it on does not matter.  It is your income that you earned just like any other source of income. 
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Caroliso
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2011, 12:11:57 PM »

This raises a question that had never occurred to me.  How should I handle the following for Medicaid purposes should I need to apply for my Dad?

My dad and I share a house that we co-own with rights of survivorship.  I pay the mortgage and household expenses, my Dad pays me.  We have been doing this for 12 years.

The mortgage is obvious, he pays half of what the mortgage statement is, in one check every month.  I keep documentation on all the bills and how they are split.  Would that be sufficient to clarify that monthly checks written to me are for mortgage and shared household expenses, not gifts to me?  I assume I should keep this documentation for at least the five year look-back period, yes?

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vetadmin
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2011, 01:37:40 PM »

You need to check with someone in your own state who is knowledgeable on Medicaid.  The laws vary from state to state, and we do not deal with Medicaid.
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rockingma21
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« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2011, 06:50:54 AM »

Where do we find information regarding caregiver rules etc...? My brother lives with my mother (surviving spouse) and she has dementia and she has just been approved for A&A benefits with me appointed as her fiduciary.  He provides full time home health care to her and he does absolutely everything for her because of her severe limitations.  However, he is not a nurse and does not have any medical training etc...as her fiduciary, am I allowed to pay him for his services from her VA A&A pension? He doesn't work as she needs F/T care and he surrendered his high paying job to be able to care for her, after my dad died last year.
Thnx,Rockingma21
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vetadmin
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« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2011, 07:13:15 AM »

Yes, your brother can be paid as her caregiver.  A caregiver does not have to be a licenses medical professional.  It is recommended that you draw up an informal agreement stating that he is acting in this capactiy, and the amount he is to be paid.  It's the same as if you were using outside services to come into the home.  Yes, you can pay whoever is providing the care. 

Be careful to pay all by check and to keep a full accounting of all her expeneses.  Next year the VA will send her an EVR that will have to be completed.  If you have all her expenses together it will much easier on you to respond in the alloted time.  Never be late with sending these back to the VA as they will stop the pension immediatley, and it's a mess to get straightened out.
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rksteele
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« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2011, 01:12:07 PM »

My Mom pays by cash, but I have the caregiver sign an agreement summarizing the dates that he was paid and stating that she is acting as an independent contractor and that she is responsible for all taxes
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vetadmin
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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2011, 03:33:54 PM »

Even with the signed statement, you really want to pay by check for accounting purposes when the EVR comes up, you do not want to be dealing with the VA questioning the payments.
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rockingma21
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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2011, 05:51:57 AM »

1.  If my brother becomes my mother's F/T caregiver and I'm the fiduciary and I pay him from my mother's VA A&A pension, how do I determine how much to pay him?
2.  Also, who pays the taxes, my mom or him?
3.  Is there a site that breaks this down or gives advice? I know through your advice, that I need to make sure to pay him by check. Thnx!
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vetadmin
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« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2011, 08:14:17 AM »

You should make some calls in your area to see what the charges would be for an outside angency to come in and provide the same services to get an idea of what is reasonable to charge.  If you stay in that range + or - doing a bit of a discount since it is a family member, you'll be fine.

Your mom does not pay the taxes and the pension itself is not taxable income.  Your brother would be responsible for reporting the income and paying the appropriate taxes.
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