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Mom gets reimbursed from long term care insurance. Her provider has been approved by them. She wants to make sure she is complying with laws. The caregiver is an independent contractor but I'm not sure that would hold up for her status as a full time caregiver. What do we need to know?

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Not specifically related to the legal issues of hiring an independent contractor, I'm adding something else from work scopes I've created, and from contracts I've read from private duty companies: sequester any valuables, personal information, tax issues, checks, anything of value. That avoids the issue of theft accusations or claims.

Create a list of tasks; negotiate them with the caregiver so you're both in agreement what should be done.

Create a resolution procedure in the event of disagreement over duties, or anything else. Better to do it now than after she's on the job.

Establish an emergency contact list. In the event of an emergency, do you want her to call EMS or you?

Create an operational binder, with instructions on any equipment she might need to use, or maintain....I included oxygen concentrators, the humidifier, nebulizer, etc.

Establish housekeeping activities, if she'll be doing any of that. E.g., I found one agency which would supply someone to puree food but who wouldn't do dishes. That really wasn't much help; I didn't want to come over to my father's house to do dishes after someone left them dirty in the dishpan.
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Joan, adding to GSA's advice on liability insurance, this became an issue when we considered hiring someone as an independent contractor, but who wanted to be treated as an employee. When I contacted my insurance agent about adding a liability rider to my father's HO insurance policy, I learned that in Michigan that it can't be done.

I would have to take out a professional liability policy for the workers' comp coverage, at a rate (a few years ago) of about $750 to $1000 annually for the premium.

If the individual was injured, filed a comp claim, the benefits if awarded could have drained our reserve for home care. At that point I revised my plan for home help.
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If you are well organized, you can help your parent with end of year filings and track this. If not, you need to find a qualified bookkeeper or CPA that knows the laws of your state and federal filings. This is general information and not exact tax advice.
If caregiver is truly an "independent contractor", your parent is responsible for filing a 1099-MISC by a certain date in the following year for money paid through the end of the previous calendar year for the total amount of money paid to the caregiver if it is above $600. Your tax preparer will have the dates due and documents you need, or you can find them online through tax preparation programs or in office supply stores. You will need the caregiver's social security number to file this document. You will need to provide a copy of the 1099-MISC to the caregiver when you mail the 1099-MISC to the IRS and to your state's taxing authorities (if your state collects personal income taxes). Please note that the IRS and many states consider most household help to be statutory employees; and you should be withholding taxes, paying the employer share of social security and medicare, federal and state unemployment, etc. BUT If the caregiver is being treated by you as an independent contractor, you should have documents in place that list duties, rate of pay, and get invoices that match what you pay the caregiver. Please note that your parent will get a 1099 from the long-term care people for the money that was reimbursed for the caregiving, so you need to make sure that what you paid out matches what you were reimbursed so that when your mother files her taxes she doesn't look like she had income from long term care insurance that was not offset by expenses. The 1099-MISC means that the IRS and state will be looking for tax returns with income declared by the individual caregiver. Sticky if the person does not usually file a return, collects any state assistance or federal assistance that is affected by income like food stamps, CHIP, or Medicaid. Homeowner insurance does not cover injuries to someone working in your home, so you need to have a special policy to cover any injury to the person as it will not be covered by your homeowner policy (lifting, a fall that results in injury, exposure to chemicals or body fluids that might cause hepatitis, etc). Your signed contract needs to include language that the caregiver is assuming liability for their own health insurance, etc. and that workman's compensation is not being provided by you. Home care can be done and tracked by the individual, but one false move can be quite costly. Please check with tax professional in your jurisdiction.
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Who is paying workmans comp if she gets injured?
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How is "full-time" defined? But if the insurer has approved the contractor, what's the problem?
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