I am the legal guardian for my 51 year old cousin who has autism and early onset dementia. Can I be paid for caregiving in his home?


I want to keep him home as long as possible. Can I be paid for care giving in his home and be his legal guardian?



How kind of you to take on the responsibility of legal guardianship for your cousin. He is lucky to have you in his life.

You want to keep him home as long as possible. How about keeping him home as long as it is the best option for him? Sometimes the appropriate care center can provide things staying at home can't, like social interactions, 24-hour on-site help in emergencies, entertainment, easy access to a barber, medical personnel making house calls, etc.

Does keeping him in his home require you to be his caregiver? Who is caring for him now? I can believe that you might be his preferred caregiver and that you know the nuances of his particular infirmities. I can also understand that you need to earn a living. If funds were available to hire "outsiders," would that work?

Many states have Medicaid waivers that do pay family members for caregiving. It is not usually 40 hours a week (except in NY), and it is low pay. But it is an option worth looking into.

Does your state have a Disability Helpline? They may know of other options in your area.

Because this is a topic of great interest on this forum, it would be a kindness to come back and let us know how this gets resolved for you. We learn from each other!
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to jeannegibbs

I am assuming he has signed up with some type of autistic program and Dept of Disabilities. If not I suggest that you try to get services for him thru them. Dementia mixed with autism is going to be a challenge. You will need as many services as possible. If on SSD, Medicare and Medicaid, ask Medicaid if he can get help to fund Daycare.

Check your local Caregiving businesses. Ask if they have a program where they train and pay you to care for a LO. Call Medicaid see if they have a program.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to JoAnn29

lorrieklessig, kudos to you for taking on the responsibility of your cousin. Yes, you can probably be paid, but, as Ahmijoy said, probably not enough to support yourself (unless your cousin is wealthy and you provide full-time care). As worriedinCali said, each state has different rules and programs that may provide some funding. And if your cousin happens to be the child of a veteran who served during a war, he may be eligible to receive an Aid and Attendance pension from the Veterans Administration.

In any event, as his legal guardian, the guardianship court has to determine what, if any, payment you can receive from him, but that court ruling will not make funds available to be paid to you, it just sets the amount of payment if funds are available from somewhere. Hope this helps.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to bicycler

Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to BigMoneyTexas

If he can’t afford to pay you himself.....Medicaid has HCBS-home and community based waivers- for those with autism/developmental disabilities, all states are required to have this but the programs and what they provide vary from state to state. You may or may not be able to be a paid caregiver if he gets a waiver. Check with your local social services office.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to worriedinCali

We get this question very frequently here. The simple answer is probably not. You can search on this site for “getting paid to be a caregiver” and find answers better than mine, but paid family caregivers just really don’t exist. Especially to the point that you’d be able to make enough to support yourself. And, you would not have any health or other benefits. The only way you could do it, if your cousin is still “with it” is to draw up an employment agreement that he will pay you a certain amount of money to be his caregiver, and since he is not only autistic but also has dementia, you’d probably need an attorney to draw this up. I understand that you want to keep him in his home for as long as possible, but it may not be financially beneficial to you.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Ahmijoy
jeannegibbs May 7, 2018
My sister was a paid caregiver for our Mom, paid by Medicaid. Paid family caregivers do exist. It is not a lot of money! But it is genuine employment, with taxes withheld, etc.