How to Get Paid for Taking Care of Parents on Social Security


Caring for your parents on Social Security can be time-consuming, as well as add a financial burden to your own family. Thousands of adult children quit their jobs or take leaves of absences to care for the aging parents. Some people are fortunate that they have parents that can afford to pay them for care, while most of the aging population lives close to the federal poverty level. Many states offer programs that will pay you for caring for your parents.

  • Contact your local Adult and Aging Services office. Ask them if they offer in-home support services or if your state offers a cash and counseling program. In-home support services pay the caregiver an hourly wage, while a cash and counseling program pays a sum to the recipient to offset the cost of food, medical care, transportation and bills to the designated caregiver. Only a handful of states offer this program

  • Apply for Medicaid (Medi-Cal if you reside in California) for your parents. Most agencies require the recipient to also be eligible for Medicaid. Typically you will need to provide proof of citizenship, identification, income and resources.

  • Schedule an appointment with your state agency to have a social worker access the needs of your parents. In-home support services uses a formula to determine how many hours a week care is needed, based on the recipients capability for self-care, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping and transportation to receive medical care.

  • Get certified with the state to become a home care provider. Certification includes training that meets Medicaid requirements and may differ from state to state. Training may be through a local government agency or a community college for a low fee.

Tips & Warnings

  • To find information about being a caregiver in your state, do an Internet search with the term "Medicaid paid caregiver" plus the name of your state.
  • If your parents have long-term care insurance, check to see if they qualify for the policy's home care benefits and what the requirements are.
  • Check the website of the National Council on Aging to see what programs are offered in your state or if they offer grants.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images
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