Congress considers tax break for caregivers

Caregiving at home means not having a loved one live in a residential facility which can be very costly and it can be lonely for some residents. But at-home caregivers take a huge personal financial hit.

According to AARP Georgia, eight out of 10 caregivers spend their own money for care to the tune of $7,240 a year. That, for many, comes to about 26% of their household income. But Congress is looking at a tax break.

"The option that we’re looking at is making sure that Congress passes the Credit for Caring Act. Congress is considering this act. And what this would do is create a tax credit for up to $5,000 for working family caregivers, and this could really help offset some of those expenses that we know that caregivers are facing. AARP is endorsing the Family Care Act as it about 80 other organizations," said Hillary Williams Thomas with AARP Georgia. 

Nearly half of caregivers have had a financial setback caring for others like being unable to meet their own family budget, reducing their own retirement plans, or skipping their own healthcare appointment to tend to others.

Williams Thomas added that while you wait for a tax break, create a caregiving network. Conquer and divide the care and the cost.

"If you’re only driving people to appointments, you might be stopping for meals along the way, or on the way back, or getting gas," she said. Or you could be the person responsible for all the medications, so that could be your cost."

Caregivers are 61% women, and Gen X seems to carry more of the financial weight than other groups spending $8,500 on average a year out of pocket to care for an elderly parent, an adult child, or a spouse.

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