Structured Family Caregiving

Family caregivers are the backbone of long-term caregiving in the US. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, about 38 million Americans spent 36 billion hours caring for adults with chronic, disabling, or serious health issues.  Much of that care is provided by family caregivers and is unpaid.  Recently, the state of Georgia become one of only seven states to cover Structured Family Caregiving services.  Structured Family Caregiving provides payments to family caregivers under specific Medicaid programs.

What are the requirements?

To participate in the Structured Family Caregiving Program, both the caregiver and care recipient must meet certain eligibility criteria.  Let’s review the requirements for the caregiver:

  • Caregiver must live with the person as their primary caregiver.
  • Caregiver must be related biologically or through marriage.
  • Caregiver must be 18 years or older.
  • Caregiver must be able to pass a criminal background check.
  • Caregiver can have no other paid employment.
  • Caregiver CANNOT be the spouse or guardian.

What are the eligibility requirements for the care recipient?

Under the Structured Family caregiving rules, the care recipient must be eligible for services through the Elder and Disability Waiver Program (EDWP).  The EDWP help people who are elderly and functionally impaired continue living in their homes.  SOURCE and CCSP are part of EDWP.  The main requirements include:

  • Georgia resident
  • Meeting the asset and income requirements of the EDWP program
  • Qualifying for nursing home-level care as assessed by a healthcare professional.

How does it work?

Typically, a qualifying family caregiver will enroll with a Georgia Department of Community Health approved service provider. They in turn will connect the family caregiver to a local case management agency or to a local Area Agency on Aging.  This step is critical to ensure Medicaid eligibility through the EDWP program.   Once approved, the caregiver will receive a weekly stipend for ongoing caregiver support, monthly coaching, and training material. It is important to note that under the Structured Family Caregiving Program, stipend payments DO NOT come directly from the Georgia Department of Community Health.

How much will the caregiver earn?

A weekly, non-taxable stipend is paid directly to the caregiver via direct deposit.  The amount of the stipend depends on several factors including the care recipient’s gross income and their unique cost share. It is important to reiterate that the cost share WILL impact the weekly stipend.

Want to learn more?

Structured Family Caregiving can be a perfect solution for specific families who meet the various eligibility criteria. Providing both emotional and financial support to the caregiver, leads to more confident, competent caregiving and better outcomes for their loved one.  If you have questions about Structured Family Caregiving and the community-based Medicaid waiver programs like CCSP and Source, contact Hurley Elder Care Law at 404-843-0121 to see if you may be eligible.

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