Is your state providing money to help pay for caregivers, and you don’t know about it?

A Pennsylvania state program that provides services and benefits to primary caregivers assisting the elderly is not being used as widely as it could, according to state Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne.

The program reimburses caregivers for certain out-of-pocket expenses up to a maximum $500 a month and provides one-time grants up to $2,000 for home modifications such as ramps, grab bars and chair lifts. The allowed expenses also include respite care, supplies, support services and transportation.

The Pennsylvania FAMILY CAREGIVER SUPPORT PROGRAM Act (62 P. S. 3061- 3068 ) , states in part:

CAREGIVER PARTICIPATION - Eligibility for Program benefits.

The services and benefits of the Program are available to the primary caregiver of a functionally dependent older adult relative, or other adult relative suffering from a chronic dementia such as Alzheimer’s Disease, who lives in the same residence and whose household income does not exceed 380% of the poverty level…, to reimburse caregivers for expenses directly related to the provision of care.

The caregiver program is part of an effort by the department to help seniors remain in their homes rather than resorting to more expensive care in a nursing home. However it seems that state caregivers are not taking advantage of the program as much as is to be expected. The issues being explored as to why are whether caregivers face barriers to enrolling, how need assessments are done and how to partner with the United Way and other organizations to promote the program.

Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Aging Teresa Osborne
Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, Teresa Osborne

 

The Pennsylvania aging department’s budget provides $12 million in state lottery funds for the program. An additional $10 million comes to Pennsylvania through a companion program at the federal level.

PAL Caregivers helps you stay informed on programs for caregivers, such as the one in Pennsylvania, as this type of funding benefits seniors and should not go unused.

View and download a PDF of the “The Pennsylvania FAMILY CAREGIVER SUPPORT PROGRAM Act” Here

Visit the Pennsylvania Department of Ageing Here

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