More than 240,000 people in Nebraska provide unpaid care for loved ones. Family caregivers provide a total of more than 199 million hours in care, worth an estimated $2.9 billion.
There are a number of financial programs for family caregivers at the federal and state level. It can be confusing to sort through them all, so we've gathered all the options available in Nebraska here.
A number of tax credits are available at the federal level for caregivers, some of which are expanded on in Nebraska. Make sure you know how to adjust your state tax return in order to receive all eligible benefits. Learn more about these tax benefits here.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
The EITC is a federal tax credit for those caring for one or more children while earning below a certain threshold. The EITC is a refundable tax credit, which means you can claim it even if you aren’t required to pay taxes this year. Nebraskan taxpayers can also claim an additional 10% of the EITC in state tax credits. You can read more about the EITC here.
The Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Tax Credit for Other Dependents (ODC)
The CTC and ODC are partially refundable and non-refundable tax credits. The CTC can help cover the cost of caring for children under 17, and the ODC helps with the cost of supporting dependents over 17 or aging parents. The CTC provides a partially refundable credit of up to $2,000 (raised to $3,600 in 2022 only), and the ODC provides a non-refundable tax credit of up to $500.
The Child and Dependent Tax Credit (CDTC)
The CDTC covers a percentage of the expenses required to care for a person of any age who is physically or mentally incapable of taking care of themselves. Expenses must be for goods or services which allow the caregiver to work or look for employment.
The federal CDTC can provide up to $1,100 in partially refundable tax credits. In Nebraska, you can claim an additional $600 for a total of $1,700 in tax credits.
Medical and Dental Expenses Tax Deductions
If you’ve spent more than 7.5% of your income on dental or medical expenses, you may be eligible for a federal tax credit covering further costs. Learn more about the details here.
Medicaid and Other State Programs
In Nebraska, Medicaid can offer “self-directed funds” to a disabled individual to pay for their care. These funds can be used to pay family caregivers.
Nebraska Aged and Disabled Waiver (NADW)
The NADW is designed to allow elderly or disabled adults to pay friends and family members for providing caregiving services which enable them to continue living at home or within a community setting. The NADW also covers some expenses such as the installation of safety or mobility equipment within the home. You can find more information here.
Nebraska Disabled Persons and Family Support Program
This is a non-Medicaid program which allows friends and family to be paid for providing caregiving services for adults with severe disabilities. Like NADW, it can also cover expenses such as home modification as well as assistance like home-delivered meals. You can find more details on eligibility and coverage here.
Personal Assistance Services
Personal Assistance Services is a Medicaid program which allows disabled and elderly adults to hire friends and some family members to provide in-home care. Unfortunately spouses are not eligible for this program. You can learn more about eligibility and what is covered here.
Veterans have a number of options which can allow them to pay for care from friends and family members.
Veteran-Directed Home and Community Based Care in Nebraska (VDC)
The VDC program allows veterans who require assistance with daily activities to allocate part of their monthly care budget to hiring friends and family members as caregivers. The pay can vary depending on the location and level of care required; caregivers can receive from $8 to $21 per hour.
Housebound Pension Benefit (HPB)
The HPB provides up to $1,882 per month in funding to veterans who are unable to leave the house due to illness or injury. Friends and family members can be paid as caregivers using the HBP, but spouses cannot.
VA Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC)
The PCAFC provides support and resources for the caregivers of veterans who were severely injured in the line of duty. This can include training, counseling, lodging, travel expenses, and a stipend. To find out more, click here.
Aidaly is here to inform you about potential benefits you might be missing out on, including tax credits, respite care, and payment for caregivers. Contact us today so we can help you.