Family Support Topic

Paying family members

Some Medicaid and other government programs (including the VA) allow for paying people to provide personal assistance and other services to members of their family who need LTSS. In some cases, parents and spouses can be paid. I’d like to understand the impact of paying family members to provide LTSS. This includes impact on the caregiver himself or herself, economically, socially, and in terms of possible reductions in caregiver stress; the person with the disability who receives LTSS, perhaps in terms of improved services but also the possibility that they might feel stuck with the particular family member providing services rather than being able to choose from among paid workers with whom they are not related; and other family members. There’s always the issue of so-called substitution, in which researchers pose the question as to whether the system is paying family members for services they would otherwise have provided without pay, but the issue is larger than that. Does paying family members make things better for everyone, and, if so, how?

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Idea No. 26