Financial Support for Caregivers

Last Updated: January 2, 2022

Written by the Open Caregiving Team. Editorial review by Joyce O. Murphy RN, MSN.

Is financial support available for caregivers?

There are various ways you may get paid as a family caregiver. The programs and eligibility guidelines vary by state but Medicaid is the most common way family caregivers get financial support.

How to get paid as a caregiver?

Medicaid’s Self-Directed Services

This is the most common way in which family caregivers get paid. Self-Directed Services allow care recipients to control who provides their care and how it is provided. The following are programs that give Medicaid recipients the option to self-direct their Medicaid services:

Home and Community-Based Services Waiver Programs 1915(c) allows states to pay for care and support of individuals in their homes and community.

  • This waiver option is usually referred to as Consumer Directed Care but may also be referred to as:
    • Self-Directed Care
    • Participant Directed Services
    • Cash and Counseling
    • Self-Administered Services
    • Choice Programs
  • Some states’ Medicaid Waivers give the person receiving care the option to choose a family caregiver who provides care. Medicaid pays that person the state approved hourly rate for home care.

Self-Directed Personal Assistant Services 1915(j)

  • Many State Plan Personal Care programs allow the person needing care to pick an adult family member as their caregiver. That person is paid the Medicaid approved hourly rate for their work.
  • The various names for these state programs include:
    • Personal Care Services
    • Personal Care Assistance
    • Attendant Care
    • Personal Assistance Services
    • Personal Attendants
  • To learn if your state’s Medicaid programs offer these benefits, visit Paying for Senior Care.

Adult Foster Care

  • Some state Medicaid programs allow adult children to become foster care providers of their parents.
  • To qualify for this type of care, your parents must move into your home. You must maintain a specific level of care and support that is outlined by your state’s Medicaid program.
  • Medicaid will pay you for your parent’s care services, but will not pay for their room and board. Some states offer special assistance from state funds to pay for room and board.
  • To learn if your state offers a Medicaid Adult Foster Program, see Paying for Senior Care.

Medicaid Caregiver Exemption

Medicaid Caregiver Exemptions do not pay directly to family members. They may offer you financial support after your loved one passes. To learn more if you are eligible for a Medicaid Caregiver Exemption, visit Paying for Senior Care.

Some states have paid family leave laws that vary from the Family and Medical Leave Act. These states have laws allowing you to take anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks of leave a year to care for your direct family. These weeks may be taken together or at different times. Click on your state’s link to learn about paid family leave laws:

Other Options

If none of the above options work for you, there are others, including:

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Social Security Administration (SSA)

Social Security Administration (SSA) offers 3 types of social security benefits including: Retirement Benefits, Disability Insurance (SSDI), Survivors Benefits.


Medicaid is a federal and state jointly funded healthcare program that covers health services for certain people with low-incomes.