With uncertainty ahead, it’s important to be financially prepared without sacrificing the quality of your in-home care.
Given that seniors are an at-risk group for contracting the coronavirus, in-home care has never been in higher demand. An in-home caregiver can help with things like grocery shopping, running errands, and even setting up telehealth visits. When your loved one can remain in the comfort and safety of his or her home, it reduces their exposure to the virus.
However, many families are also facing financial hardships during this time. Those who have been laid off, furloughed, or had work hours reduced may find it difficult to pay for the in-home care their loved ones need.
We’ve rounded up some financial resources that can help your elderly loved ones get assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic so that they don’t have to sacrifice the help of a caregiver.
Will Seniors Get Stimulus Checks?
Congress recently approved a massive stimulus package that granted financial relief to businesses and put much-needed funds into the hands of individuals. But because the government is using 2018 tax returns to decide who gets the money, many seniors are wondering if they’ll be overlooked.
Most seniors who are receiving social security typically do not file tax returns since their fixed income is so low. But even without a tax return, a special provision for SSI recipients will ensure they’re included in the stimulus relief.
As part of the CARES Act, individuals will receive up to $1,200 (married couples will receive up to $2,400). This one-time boost can be used to pay for food, bills, caregiving services, or other expenses as determined by the individual.
Other Financial Resources for Seniors During COVID-19
Older adults who rely on their families to help pay for some of their expenses may find themselves in a financial struggle if a family member has been laid off or furloughed. There are some resources that can help provide assistance for essential needs, but these resources can vary by state. For the most up-to-date, state-specific information, we recommend visiting https://www.benefitscheckup.org/.
In North Carolina, seniors can lower their phone bill or get free wireless minutes on a cell phone through the Lifeline program. You can also apply for LIHEAP, which provides assistance for paying heating or cooling bills (it does not cover water or sewer costs).
Feeding America and Meals on Wheels continue to provide much-needed nutrition to the senior community during the pandemic, which can help cut down on food costs. You can visit their websites and search by ZIP code to find a service near you.
The Extra Help program is helping to make prescriptions more affordable for low-income seniors. You can apply through your local Social Security Administration.
Resources for Caregivers
If you’re providing care to a former veteran, you may qualify for a monthly stipend. A few states are also offering reimbursement for certain expenses to family members who are serving as caregivers.
In addition, the FMLA has been extended to include organizations with fewer than 500 employees. The new rules will allow family members to be partially compensated by their employer for up to 12 weeks if they need to care for a family member.
At Tailored Home Care, we’re continuing to make the families we serve our top priority. For more COVID-19 news and insight, head back to our blog.