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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Credit for Caring

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the day-to-day challenges facing autistic people and their families.

A release from Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY):
Tom Reed is continuing his efforts to support those who become primary caregivers to loved ones. Reed is introducing a new bill which offers a tax credit for caregivers. “We care about those who become caregivers for their aging parents, grandparents or other relatives. These families are making enormous sacrifices and are struggling to make ends meet. The expense of providing personal, at-home care can add up quickly. It’s only fair that we support our caregivers,” said Reed.
As the Baby Boomer generation ages, a growing number of aging Americans will require assistance with daily tasks, such as eating, dressing, bathing, and transportation. As adequate paid care is often unaffordable, many come to rely on family and friends, known as family caregivers, for help.

The bipartisan bill would provide a tax credit for care giving expenses. The credit would ultimately lift some of the financial burden of caring for loved ones at home, making it easier for those in need of care to remain with their families at home, instead of a long term care or assisted living facility.
“It’s a win-win. Families will stay together and those in need of assistance have access to better care,” said Reed.

“This is more than just another tax credit,” said Rep. Linda Sánchez, the cosponsor of the bill. “This is about how we can help older adults and people with disabilities live independently in their own homes and communities. This legislation will help alleviate some the burden on family caregivers by providing a tax credit for services such as home care and adult day care. I am proud to work with Rep. Tom Reed to find a bipartisan solution to help families across this country care for their loved ones.”

The Credit for Caring provides qualifying working families a credit for 30 percent of caregiving expenses, up to a maximum of $3,000 over the course of a year. In order to qualify for the credit, caregivers must earn at least $7,500 dollars annually. The credit phases out for married taxpayers with incomes over $150,000 ($75,000 for single or taxpayers filing separately).
The proposal has received support from groups like AARP and the American Heart Association. “AARP is very pleased to endorse the bipartisan Credit for Caring Act. We appreciate the bipartisan efforts of Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY) and Linda Sanchez (D-CA) to support family caregivers and help address the financial challenges of care giving. Forty million family caregivers of adults provide unpaid care valued at about $470 billion annually. Family caregivers help their loved ones live independently in their homes and communities, saving taxpayer dollars by helping to delay or prevent more costly institutional care and helping to prevent unnecessary hospital readmissions. We urge support of this important legislation,” said Joyce A. Rogers, AARP Senior Vice President, Government Affairs.