Is it illegal for your elderly parent to pay you to be their caregiver, even if you're licensed?

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It should be fine, but you should have an attorney draw up an agreement. If she goes on Medicaid, you could have issues, but if it's done legally, especially since you are a licensed caregiver, I can't imagine why it couldn't be done. Just protect yourself with documentation.
I had an attorney draw up a contract orginally because my siblings were upset that my Mom was contributing money to live in my house. Of course it was too much as far as they were concerned because they were not getting the money or having the additional expenses. But when I went to have the contact drawn up the attorney told me it is good idea not just because of siblings, but because medicaide could come back at me and say everything my Mom gave to me for expenses was a gift. I don't know how the government can say it does not cost a person any money to live!!!! That is insane!!! I do not intend to give the contact to my siblings and "open old wounds" again. I have it just for my protection and if they should start with me again, I then can show them my Mom is doing this becasue she wants to pay her own way and not be a burden to anyone. They have no idea of the work that also goes into taking care of an older person, it changes you whole life style, but I love my Mother and would not want to see her with strangers if I can help it.
It is not illegal but the parent should not pay more than the going rate for caregivers. Anything in excess of a market rate could be considered a divestment for Medicaid purposes.
In California there is Medicare and I part B state program Medi-Cal. (do not consider the facts perfect but the concept is correct). Medi-Cal pays for a county run program called In Home Support Service (IHSS). Receiving Medi-Cal (I believe) depends on where you are economically. But if qualified for Medi-Cal you can apply for IHSS. Depending on needs, and supervision is a need for dementia sufferers, Medi-Cal will pay for in home care up to 280 hrs/mo. I would hope all states have similar programs for the elderly. The great thing about the program is that the expenitures actually save money as opposed monetary outlays by Medicare/Med-Cal for a skilled nursing facility. Look into what your parent qualifies and deserves as an aging American.
Hi magmarconis,
The government is not saying "it does not cost a person any money to live" Your fellow taxpayers are telling the government that they do not want to pay out medicaid money to people who can afford to pay their own way or who turn that money over to a family member for the purchase of drugs or alcohol instead of using it for their own care. Your legal documents provide the best evidence that your mom's money is being used for her care in your home.
I hope someone with more experience in CA matters will chime in. My mother makes too much to be Medical fund recipient, so I lost out that source of funding. It seems like it's the parents' financial status that determines if there is money to pay the relative caregiver, who might be totally poverty stricken (especially after volunteering their time full time for 8 years or so). My case involves financial abuse by two sisters, so more aware of the laws to protect elders from so called relative caregivers, who are really freeloading. Anyway, specific letter of the law, link to appropriate law, etc. would be great. Thanks,
Being paid for caring your loved one is not illegal- it's common sense. I do not know what your licence is in, but if you are a home health care provider- and are taking care of your parents vs using an agency you should definetly be paid for your services. Every one is talking about medicaid- but that wasn't your question. If you need advice about medicaid, speak with an estate attorney. Lets, get back to caring for your parent. You are providing in home care, using your car to transport, going grocery shopping, taking to functions and activities, serving meals, purchasing the necessities, and providing for their well being vs ALF or nursing home care. It's not the per hour payment that you should be looking at- it's the monthly expenses. What would the cost be if your parent was placed in an ALF? They factor in for the building insurance and taxes, vehicle transportation cost and insurance, water, sewer, electric and phone. They also factor in repairs and maintence- so should you- and this is additional to the daily care that a person requires such as bathing, grooming, companionship, and the daily hands on care that you are giving.

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