How to get paid for caring for elderly loved ones CarePenguin penguin

How to Get Paid for Caring for Your Elderly Loved Ones

Caring for elderly loved ones can feel like a full-time job. Adult children spend countless hours each week helping their parents shop for groceries, organize their medications, or even help with simple tasks like dressing and eating. If you are a caregiver to an elderly loved one, you may be eligible for compensation. 

We’ve put together a quick summary of different options for getting paid as a caregiver, but we strongly recommend checking out this article that goes over each option in detail. Your eligibility also depends on several different factors, so using this Paid Caregiver Program Locator will be a quick way to see what options are available to you.


Medicaid is the most common source of payment for caregivers. There are four different types of Medicaid programs that allow caregivers to be paid for their services. Not all of them are available in every state, but at least one of the four are. 

HCBS Waivers and 1915(c) Waivers

HCBS waivers, short for Home and Community Based Services waivers, are the most common option for getting paid. They compensate caregivers for caring for elderly loved ones that need help with activities of daily living such as dressing, eating, and mobility, and other services needed for those living in their homes. 

Medicaid Personal Care Services

Medicaid is an entitlement program and if you meet the eligibility requirements, you can receive payment. State Medicaid programs cover personal care under their regular Medicaid program, which is sometimes called their “Medicaid State Plan.” More information on this here.

Medicaid Caregiver Exemption

The Caregiver Exemption does not directly pay an adult child for their caregiving services, it is more indirect. When an elderly person moves out of their home and into a nursing home, and then passes away, their state may take the home for reimbursement for the senior citizen’s care. The Caregiver Exemption allows the adult child to inherit their house instead. 

Adult Foster Care

If an elderly parent lives with you and you help them with activities of daily living, you may be paid for your caregiving services. You could be compensated between $1,550 and $2,550 per month for your services.


There are two programs for getting paid to care for veterans: the Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services and the Veterans Aid & Attendance Housebound Pensions. The first is available to any veteran who is currently enrolled in the VA healthcare system, and caregivers can expect to be compensated around $8.44 to $20 per hour. It’s run at a local level, so check out this list of participating VAMCs here.

The Veterans Aid & Attendance Household Pensions benefits veterans and their families. The dollar amount of pension depends on their level of income and the Department of Veterans Affairs allows the beneficiary to deduct all care-related expenses. How caregivers receive benefits is a little complicated, so we recommend reading this article if you’re interested in learning more. 

Other Options

Other options besides Medicaid and veterans programs include state-based, non-medical programs, life insurance, long term care insurance, paid family leave laws, and tax deductions and credits. If you’re interested in learning more about how you could possibly benefit from these options, read this article to get details.

Caregiving for elderly loved ones can be a lot of work, and you should be recognized and compensated for it. Take this quick assessment to find out what type of compensation you and your family are eligible for.