Pennsylvania’s Caregiver Support Program

If you are a Pennsylvania resident who is acting as the primary caregiver to someone living in PA, there may be financial resources and support available to you! Through PA’s Caregiver Support Program, you can have a Care Manager evaluate your needs and determine if you are eligible for much-needed support like financial reimbursement, care training, and more. Here’s how to qualify:

Qualifying for Pennsylvania’s Caregiver Support Program

Caregiver support is managed by the local Area Agency on Aging in your region. If you need assistance, contact your local agency to get the process started. When you enter the program, you will be assigned a Care Manager who will come to your home, assess your situation, and develop a care plan that will meet your needs and those of the person you are caring for.

First, both you and the person for whom you are caring must be Pennsylvania residents. The caregiver must be an adult who is primarily responsible for providing care regularly. If those requirements are met, eligibility will be determined based on one of three categories:

  • Category 1 – The caregiver must be an individual aged 18 or older. The care recipient must be 60 or older with functional deficits, or they can be any age if they have Alzheimer’s or a related disorder. The caregiver and care recipient do not need to be related to qualify for this category, and they do not need to live in the same residence.
  • Category 2 – The care recipient must be a child under the age of 18. The caregiver must be an individual aged 55 or older who is either the biological parent of the child, is related by blood, marriage, or adoption, who has legal guardianship rights, or who is raising the child informally. To qualify for this category the caregiver and care recipient must live in the same residence.
  • Category 3 – The care recipient must be an individual aged 18-59 with a disability. The caregiver must be aged 55 or over, be related by blood, marriage, or adoption, and can be the care recipient’s biological parent. In this category, the caregiver and recipient must live in the same residence.

People of all income levels can be eligible for the program, but financial support will be adjusted based on the total gross income and household size of the care recipient. Caregivers caring for someone with an income up to 380% of the current federal poverty level can receive reimbursement for expenses related to providing care. Those caring for someone whose income is more than 380% of the federal poverty level are not eligible for financial assistance but they can still receive other services like care management, caregiver education, and caregiver training. Financial assistance can include reimbursement for:

  • Respite Care
  • Consumable Supplies
  • Supportive Services
  • Supplemental Services
  • Home Modifications
  • Assistive Devices
  • Services Specific to Caregivers Aged 55 and Over

Please note that you will not be eligible for PA Caregiver Support if you are enrolled in Medicaid Long-Term Services and Supports (Community HealthChoices/ LIFE), or if you as the caregiver have been convicted or found liable for a crime relating to abuse, neglect, exploitation, or abandonment, or if you were named as the perpetrator in a substantiated report of need for Older Adult Protective Services.

For more information about PA’s Caregiver Support Program, or to apply, contact your local Area Agency on Aging. If you need advice about which important documents every family should have in place, an experienced elder law attorney like Robert Slutsky can help you. As a guardianship attorney in Montgomery County, PA and surrounding counties, he can advise you about guardianships, powers of attorney, and a range of other matters related to providing care for another person. Visit our website today to request a consultation. 

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