Four bipartisan lawmakers are joining efforts to assist caregivers who care for elderly, sick or disabled family members. Republicans Rep. Dan Donovan- N.Y and Senator Joni Ernst – Iowa are joined by Democrats Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham – N.M. Senator. Tammy Baldwin – Wis in bridging the partisan sides to help lighten the financial burden for those who help care for family members.
There has been far reaching bi partisan support for this issue as every American can understand the financial as well as emotional burden it takes to care for loved ones.
The Credit for Caring Act – which is supported by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va and.Ernst; Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass as well as many others, propose a tax credit of up to $3,000 to help working caregivers cover out-of-pocket expenses. The big question is whether caregiver provisions will be included in the final tax overhaul and if those changes will be embraced by our residing President.
In recent months, other bipartisan bills (RAISE Family Caregivers Act and the Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act) have been introduced to support family caregivers. The legislation has moved to the House of Representatives for consideration.
In 2015, AARP reports that an estimated 43.5 million Americans provided unpaid care for a loved one over the course of the preceding year. Caregivers spent an average of 24.4 hours per week providing care for a loved one, while 23 percent allocated a whopping 41 hours. Caregivers need a tax incentive or financial boost to help offset the time they are missing at work to help care for their loved ones. The average caregiver spends approximately $7,000 annually to help care for their family member.
Our population is aging and we are all living longer. How will we afford to care for our elders? What can corporations do to help ease the emotional and financial burden on their employees? These are tough questions that need to be explored – soon.