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For a short time longer I will be using a visiting CNA provided by an agency. Soon their hourly rates will be doubled. I will be forced to hire an independent to save costs. From my research thus far, I have found that just because a caregiver will accept a 1099, that does not relieve me of potential liability and Ca. legal requirements for employment. Of utmost importance is that there not be a parade of caregivers. It was difficult to find that with most agencies.

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Google your local "Counsel for the Aging ", they may be able to help you or at the very least direct you!

God bless!
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Reply to xrayjodib
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Imho, you may want to retain an elder law attorney.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Hello gofore

Maybe you should contact a lawyer in your state whom will give you advice on this situation.

Family and friends may have opinions; but you need a plan,a vision on what to do. Therefore “google” the internet for lawyers whom deal with what your need is asking for.

Also Elderly programs listed in Your state may direct you toward different options which be affordable to your needs.

As you seek,and continue to ask questions the answers will come your way.

The best of luck to you. Stay with this web site it is a great resource to connect!
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Reply to Destinydrh
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Consult a local lawyer that specializes in family law. Better yet, would be to consult a lawyer that handles elder law. He/She can walk you through the requirements where you live.
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Reply to Taarna
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There are on line companies as well as checking with others in area for referrals for independent caregivers.

There are also payroll companies that will handle all paperwork for you and they are really very inexpensive as compared to hiring through an agency. As for background checks - those can be done online as well.

Agencies are great when need arises quickly, but for most of us not a financially reality in the long run. Depends on your situation, length of time possibly needed, etc.

A thought - check with colleges or companies in your area that have nursing programs. Perhaps they will know of someone looking for work/experience that would be capable of handling your needs.
If hiring independent - always have a back up plan - an agency will send someone else if your person is out for any reason.
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Reply to desert192
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All of the advice below is excellent but check more with the professionals as to an "employee" status and obligations. And somehow you must make sure the caretaker you do hire has the personality and capability that will mesh well with the patient - and that is a tough one and takes time to find the right one.
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Reply to Riley2166
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I am in the same position of having to decide between using an agency or hiring an independent health aide after surgery. I love the idea that an independent person might be a happier and more capable helper, but I do not want to have to figure out all the insurance and paper work and SS withholding and tax implications, so I expect to go through an agency.
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Reply to RedVanAnnie
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Isthisrealyreal May 20, 2021
Red, you can use a payroll service. They will handle everything for a fee and it keeps everything legal.

They offer worker's compensation insurance, unemployment insurance and all of the items that you listed.

I highly recommend using one, their fees, where I live, are about 25% above what you pay your workers but, that includes all of the taxes and insurances that protect you from lawsuits and gives the workers peace of mind in the event that they get injured on the job.
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The various legal aspects of hiring an "independent" could end up taking more of your time than it is worth. Having to calculate their taxes, both state and federal, SS, Medicare, and workman's comp alone and submitting them just seems like a LOT of work! Yes, it is possible for that person to ignore the 1099 and not file, but so long as you've done your work, you wouldn't be liable for anything. It still seems like more work than I'd want to take on!

Additionally would be background checks, ensuring the person is a legal citizen or has proper paperwork to work in the US, and liability, for starters.

I understand the concerns about cost and having a parade of different people through the agency, but there's no guarantee an independent hire won't quit or become a no-show problem as well. If the doubling of cost is the bigger issue, I would check other agencies first. Increases are expected, but increase of that much seems unwarranted. Perhaps they have encountered the hiring problem many companies are seeing now, with workers holding out for more!

Based on the state of residence you've listed in your profile, would your wife qualify for MediCal? I don't live there and never had to use Medicaid either, so I don't know the rules and such, but perhaps you could get some assistance from them?

It might be worth having an appointment with a professional (tax atty? EC atty?) who knows all the rules and what needs to be done. Ask all these questions and more so you can discuss them and fully understand before you dive into this. There are likely some "independents" out there who work for themselves and say they cover all those costs and paperwork, but again, it would be wise to have checks in place - those who say they do it but don't could put you in a bind and leave you liable.

I would ensure I fully understand this before undertaking it, both for the legal aspects and for how much work it will put on me. When I took over my mother's finances, initially it wasn't bad - I had all bills change mailing address to me, set up bill payer to pay them online and only the initial set up was time consuming. When we tried hiring aides (only 1 hr/day), that added to my "work", keeping track of them and charges. When she refused to let them in, she was moved to MC, but the condo had to be cleared, cleaned and repaired, so it added MORE work, including juggling funds to cover all the costs. It was one of the reasons I was glad I had been laid off, because this was just too much! If I'd chosen to hire people myself, it would be like having yet another full time job!

Consult with someone in the know about the taxes, etc to have a better idea how difficult this might be. Inquire about Medical. Look around for another agency. Weigh all options carefully before committing.
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Reply to disgustedtoo
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Get an accountant who knows about small businesses and the employment law for your state. We did this for my aunt, who lived in Illinois. My husband is an accountant, and even with his help it turned out to be complicated. We treated my aunt's live-in caregiver as an employee and gave her a W2. We did withholding for her, paid Unemployment Insurance, had to get employee disability/liability insurance, etc. It did turn out to be less expensive than hiring someone from a service, but we had to handle all of the administration that a service would handle. Also, the caregiver will need breaks and vacation. You'll have to think about how you'll handle it if she needs some sick time off. During the pandemic, there may be special laws and rules. You'll have to make accommodations for a back-up person (she may know someone who can be a backup) who can be there when your caregiver needs time off. It might also be helpfult to connect with a social worker and senior networks in your area who can advise you on your options. Medicare may pay for some of the home care.
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Reply to NancyIS
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Please check with the labor board in your area. This is a great question, but the law varies in different areas, so you should get ahold of the experts in order to check things out. Yes, as an employer you must give 1099. Check with the IRS on your obligation under the law. What the employee does with that 1099 following their receipt of it is up to them, but you will have reported their income to the IRS, which is all you are legally required to do for them. Look up online with the IRS what forms you must file including W-2. Look up under California Franchise tax, or call them. You may want to consult a Lawyer if you are concerned further after these contacts.
Do understand that there are other things that help you when you use an agency. Most do some vetting of their employee's and bear some responsibilities that are solely yours if you hire independently. The agency is responsible for knowing how many hours the person is working and the legalities. They are responsible usually for replacing a person who may be a no-show on any given day, and etc. Some of the burden of obligations and safeguards are removed from you and that is what you are paying for. I am surprised at a DOUBLING of the cost of care suddenly; consider exploring some other agencies.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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First of all hiring privately will not only save you money, but you will get infinitely better help then if you're using an agency.
The reason for this is because independent, private caregivers normally make two or three times what agency help does because there's no middle man who has to get paid.
You do not have to take out taxes or anything like that. You can get documentation drawn up that the caregiver signs agreeing that you've hired them as an independent contractor making them responsible for taking out their own taxes and paying Medicare and social security.
You can protect yourself from possible liability if the worker gets hurt on your property by having them agree to a certain dollar amount of liability. This is what care agencies do. The workers agrees that the agency will only be held liable to 'X' dollar amount in the event of accident or injury to the worker. Then the worker is encourages to pursue damages from the family they work for.
You can even insist that your caregiver insures themselves. I've had positions with this and the family paid for the insurance policy. It's worth it if you've got assets to protect.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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SynergyNJ May 20, 2021
Your advice will not stand against a legal challenge in most states
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I would create a plan, outlining categories,  goals, tasks and specific activities.  It can be your plan guideline, with enough details so that nothing slips through the cracks.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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Gofore, don't forget to check out whether you'll need liability insurance for your new employee.   In Michigan, personal Homeowners insurance won't cover liability; we would have to purchase a commercial liability policy.  That was a deal killer for us.
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Stacy0122 May 18, 2021
In CA, it does...it is the only state.
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In CA, your WC should be built into your homeowners policy, if not, check to see if you can just add a rider.
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Reply to Stacy0122
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My first suggestion would be to look for another agency.

Being an employer involves many different issues. You must do a background screening for your own sake, that costs. What about worker's comp? CA laws for employers is probably extensive and complicated. You also open yourself up for laws suits. Are you using a lawyer to draw up the contract? How will this affect your home insurance? Payroll services will cost you. Just things to consider.

If you do hire an independent, make certain your specify that this is an “at will” employment. CA may presume all employment is “at will”. I like Grandma1954's suggestion of contacting some nursing schools. Good luck.

Good luck.
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Reply to sjplegacy
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gofore May 18, 2021
Yes, expensive and complicated. Gonna cost about $100. per month to have my part time caregiver paid every two weeks. Then there is work comp. and unemployment ins. costs. This is quite the nightmare. I just finished getting an ein# and filed with the edd should I go through with the hiring. Thanks for your advice and help.
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Since you will first be getting someone from an agency pay close attention to the forms that are filled out and contract you sign. You will need a contract when you hire someone. You will need to spell out what your expectations are and the hours to be worked.
I would have the contract so that it can be reviewed every 6 months. This way if the person that is being cared for declines and needs more help the contract can be adjusted to reflect changing needs.
Make sure the proper paperwork is completed so that you are paying taxes, the income is being reported, that your homeowners insurance covers the employee.
BTW..the 2 best caregivers I hired were recent students that had completed a CNA certification course at the local Community Collage and were waiting for the next semester so they could start Nursing School. The local Community College is a great place to start looking
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Reply to Grandma1954
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gofore May 18, 2021
You've been a great help in getting me to think this through. I am making preparations with all the legal stuff. Now I just have to weigh it all versus the cost of an agency.
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Read IRS publication 926. Get an EIN and find a payroll service. Most people screw it up and do not follow laws.
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Reply to Stacy0122
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gofore May 17, 2021
Thx Stacy. I'll be going to a payroll services co. tomorrow, They wouldn't give me quotes over the phone so I am betting it's not gonna be cheap. I am afraid this caregiving hire thing is quite the roundy round, You know, after all is said and done, it probably won't be much less expensive than just staying with the agency. I'll let you know.
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