How to convince my Mom it's safer to have home care givers through a service?

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My mom is 89 and lives by herself. she is in need of some assistance on a daily basis as far as meal preparation, med reminders and errands. she has hired a CNA that wants to be paid cash ($15/hour). I am trying to convince her that she needs to be going through a service to get all the benefits and resources her money can buy. She will not listen to reason and doesn't see anything wrong with paying this woman cash under the table.

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I think the question is not why it is good to go through an agency -- lollypolly seems already to have that opinion -- but how to convince Mom. It is Mom's money and her decision, after all.

If she really likes this CNA and is getting good care, perhaps it would be more fruitful to ensure that this is treated in a business-like manner. You can hire an independent caregiver, but make sure the appropriate steps are taken regarding taxes and liability.

The agency we used never had a substitute carer to fill in when our was out. Perhaps a very huge agency would, but most don't have staff sitting around waiting for a call to fill in on short notice. So I'm not so impressed with that benefit.

Agencies do screen the applicants. Some do some training; many do not.

Keep in mind that if you are paying $20/hr to an agency, the worker is probably getting about $10/hour. There is sometimes something to be said for working with a higher-paid person who has more (perhaps) vested in pleasing the client.

I am not suggesting that you DON'T try to talk Mom into going through an agency. But if you can't convince her, I think your best bet is to make the current situation legal and above-board.
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Will the CNA take a check? You can have her sign a form that she will pay her own taxes and give her a 1099 at the end of the year. I have been doing it for 6 years, no problem.The CNA is her own contractor, working in my home. The form also states they carry their own insurance, etc. Miy cna signs time sheets weekly so I have proof that its not me that is taking money from the estate. If your Mom likes her, you could have the girl go to an agency, get employed, and hire her again also but it will be about $25 an hour probably. There are many contracts online, to cover yourself, or check with a tax professional, or lawyer. Good luck.
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NY State unemployment will not only compensate them, they will go after the employer for any unpaid withholding and unemployment insurance payments, and workmen's comp insurance payments. Like I said, the person who pays off the books is left holding the bag.
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pamstegman - I don't understand how they can collect unemployment if she lets them go if it isn't being reported in the first place. Who pays for that?
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These are all reasons I always recommend going through an agency, even though I often get shot down...LOL The agency is responsible for all the paperwork , crap , and Insurance. I always like to have a "fall back plan"..LOL Heck, I still use travel agencies.... If I get stranded or screwed I want someone to blame that is NOT ME... show your mom these responces,, the theft/liabilty alone may convince her
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There is also the problem of income tax. If you don't use an agency, then you can't claim the costs as a medical deduction. Also, if she pays by cash or check she is legally expected to give the caregiver a 1099, a copy of which is also sent to the IRS and the caregiver uses their copy to file with their taxes.As has already been said, paying her under the table helps them avoid paying taxes, but if you get caught then both your mother and the caregiver are in trouble. All of this can be avoided by hiring someone through an agency. One problem that my mother ran into was the first caregiver she hired at home stole checks and forged them for thousands of dollars before they were caught. That money has never been paid back in full.
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By paperwork trail I mean contract and proof of paying.
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lollypolly, plus if that Caregiver cannot make it to your Mom's home for whatever reason, there isn't anyone to call for backup.

My boss ran into that problem... he didn't want to pay through an Agency any more... but when his Caregiver's children were home sick from school, he was in a fix and he had to stay home himself to care for his wife... he was not a happy camper. At least when he was with an Agency, even the owner of the Agency herself came to fill in when one of her employees couldn't work that day.
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There are all kinds of problems with this arrangement. Pam mentioned some very important ones. Your mother is leaving herself open to a liability suit if there is an a accident. Another thing is that the worker is doing this to avoid taxes and ss. This is not legal and could lead to trouble. I would rather pay the extra for an agency that will withhold taxes, SS, and health insurance money from the employee's check. Not having to worry about these things are very good. You can get around them by hiring a person who is self-employed, but still there should be a paperwork trail.
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Red Flag! Those who demand cash are not covered by workmen's comp, so if they trip, they sue mom. If they steal things, there is no agency to insure the loss. If mom lets them go , they can get unemployment!! So mom is left holding the bag!!
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