In Washington D.C., 81,000 people are family caregivers — many of whom care for their loved ones without compensation. This equates to over $1B of unpaid care per year. With the high costs associated with caregiving, it’s important to investigate financial options to support you in your caregiving.
Aidaly understands the benefit of a helping hand, which is why we’ve cultivated a list of useful payment and financial relief opportunities available for family caregivers in Washington D.C. Continue reading to understand your options.
Tax Benefits in Washington D.C.
Family caregivers in Washington DC can receive tax benefits to ease the costs of caring for a loved one.
The Child Tax Credit and the Tax Credit for Other Dependents
People who claim their children or other dependents on their federal tax return can receive up to $2,000 for each qualified dependent. These credits are fully refundable, which means you can get the money even if you owe no taxes. To receive one of these credits, you must meet certain income requirements. To learn more and discover if you are eligible, there is more information available here.
The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credits
If you paid someone to care for your dependent while at work or looking for work, you could get money back even if you owed no taxes. Up to $8,000 of what you paid for daycare, day camps, babysitting, adult day programs, or caregiving while you were working or looking for work can be claimed when you submit federal taxes. The District of Columbia also offers a credit automatically to District taxpayers who qualify for the federal credit, worth 32% of the federal credit, up to a maximum of $672. Find out more about the credits here.
Medical and Dental Expenses Tax Deductions
If you spent more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) on medical or dental expenses that weren't paid back by your insurance, you can deduct that money from your taxable income and owe less on your taxes. You can count any money you spend on eligible expenses for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents so your total can add up quickly. There are no income restrictions for this program, and you can read more here to learn about eligible expenses.
Medicaid and Other State Programs
Almost 270,000 D.C. residents are enrolled in Medicaid, allowing access to health insurance and other services. D.C. Medicaid also includes several programs targeted towards people who need assistance from caregivers, including people who are elderly or disabled and people who have intellectual disabilities. You can find out more about Medicaid in D.C. here.
Medicaid Waivers and Long-Term Care
Medicaid Waivers are specialty programs which use Medicaid spending to protect Washington D.C. residents who are facing nursing home placement. Waivers can be used to pay for community services, respite care, and caregiving. Washington offers long-term care services through waivers and other programs for people who are disabled, people who are elderly, and people with developmental disabilities. Washington D.C. also follows a “no wrong door” policy, which allows all government departments and human services organizations to refer citizens to any and services that they qualify for instead of just the one they apply for. For more information, visit the Aging and Disability Resource Center.
District of Columbia Caregiver’s Institute
The District of Columbia’s Caregiver’s Institute (DCCI) provides support to family caregivers who are taking care of an elderly loved one who has limited functioning in everyday life. A Caregiver Flex Account is set up upon joining, where funds are channeled to help with care-related expenses. You may be eligible if you’re already an unpaid family caregiver of a relative over 60 years old and experiencing financial strain as a result. Make sure to contact the Department of Aging and Community Living to learn more.
Veterans Benefits in the District of Columbia
In exchange for the service and sacrifices they’ve given their country, Veterans are entitled to many benefits which can offer support to their caregivers. Most programs are offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs, while the District offers several other benefits and programs to help Veterans.
Veteran-Directed Care (VDC) Program
Through the Veteran-Directed Care program, Veterans are able to redirect their monthly care budget towards a family member who is “hired” as a caregiver. This means the family caregiver is paid an hourly rate, generally between $8 and $21 per hour. Veterans of all ages who require assistance with daily living are entitled to the VDC. Learn more about applying for the VDC here.
Veteran Aid and Attendance Benefits and Housebound Allowance
The Veteran Aid and Attendance benefits and the Housebound Allowance are two special pension enhancements available for Veterans who need help with daily living tasks. Veterans can spend their pensions however they’d like, including paying caregivers or purchasing supplies and equipment. Read more about qualifying here.
Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC)
With the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers, you can earn a monthly stipend of up to $2,750 per month as a family caregiver to a Veteran who has a service-related disability or illness. In addition, you can access training and counseling programs to support your caregiving services. Check to see if you’re eligible here.