How to Become a Paid Caregiver in Nevada

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Certified Care Manager, Aging Life Care Professional, and National Master Guardian Emeritus

Caregiving is a tough job. As a family member who is caring for a loved one, you have several concerns. Caregiving duties tend to increase over time as someone becomes frailer and requires more assistance. The stress of caregiving is real, and caregiver burnout is common among family caregivers.

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Along with stress, burnout, and the time-consuming nature of caregiving, there is the cost. Many family caregivers reduce employment hours or leave the workforce altogether to care for a family member. Doing this places enormous financial strain on the primary caregiver. Hiring private caregivers has costs that can soar depending on the number of hours of needed care. 

One possible way to lessen the financial burden of caregiving is to be paid to provide care for a family member. Unfortunately, there are not many opportunities to be a paid family member. Each state, including Nevada, has a program you can apply for to become a paid family caregiver, but there are income and disability requirements.

Can a Family Member Get Paid to Be a Caregiver in Nevada?

A family member (except for a spouse or legal representative) can be paid to be a caregiver in Nevada, but you must meet strict criteria. Most US states have similar programs, and Medicaid eligibility will differ slightly. 

The Nevada program is called the Personal Care Services (PCS) self-directed program and is administered through Medicaid. Many families assume that Medicare will pay for family members to be caregivers, and they will not. Let’s look at the requirements to become a paid family member in Nevada.

The recipient must be a Nevada resident and qualify for Medicaid

Medicaid is a federal program that provides health coverage to millions of Americans, including low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults, and people with disabilities.  Medicaid provides several programs for each of these groups, depending on the state where they live.

States administer Medicaid according to federal requirements. In Nevada, the yearly income amount can not exceed $16,753, and assets cannot exceed $2000. If you have a spouse, then the amounts will be slightly different.

The recipient must need assistance

The assistance must be significant, and the recipient must not be in the hospital, a nursing facility, an intermediate care facility, or a residential care facility. The idea and philosophy behind the PCS self-directed program are to prevent nursing home care, which is far more expensive and not what most people want. So the person applying for the PCS program will need to meet nursing home eligibility. 

With the support and assistance of PCS, the recipient is expected to continue to live independently in their home with the support provided by a family caregiver. Here are some of the activities of daily living that a recipient may require:

  • Help with bathing, grooming, and dressing
  • Assistance to the toilet and help with maintaining hygiene for incontinence problems
  • Help with transferring and positioning 
  • Help with eating, which includes preparing, feeding, and cutting up food

The recipient has at least one of these deficits

  • Mobility problems that require the use of a walker or wheelchair or motorized device
  • Cognitive deficits that impede an individual’s ability to perform activities of daily living and other household duties safely
  • Deficits such as eyesight impairment or loss of hearing that impact a person’s ability to function independently
  • Endurance problems that impact a person’s ability to perform activities of daily living or other household activities

Services not covered under PCS

It’s important to understand the services that are not covered under the self-directed PCS program. It might be necessary to augment care from other sources if these tasks are needed: 

  • Catheter care
  • Wound care
  • Injections including IVs
  • Monitoring vital signs 
  • Specialized feeding
  • Massage
  • Range of motion
  • Medical case management
  • Toenail cutting
  • Chore services and pet care
  • Transportation
  • Respite care
  • Companion care

If the family member who is receiving compensation through the PCS program is licensed as a nurse or CNA, they may be able to perform some of the medical tasks listed. 

Other Ways to Become a Paid Caregiver

There are several other ways to become a paid caregiver outside the usual state and federal programs. With some creative thinking and investigating, you may be able to find other ways to be compensated for your caregiving time.

Veteran’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC)

The Veterans PCAFC program pays a monthly stipend to family caregivers of veterans who qualify. The veteran must have a disability rating of 70% or higher and have served on or after September 11, 2001, or on or before May 7, 1975. The family caregiver can assist the veteran with activities of daily living. The veteran must also require in-person personal care services for a minimum of six continuous months based on inability to perform activities of daily living and/or need supervision, instruction, or protection.

Be paid directly by your loved one

The idea of your loved one paying you for caregiving is not as unusual as it might seem. If your family member needs the help, and you’re taking time away from a job or other responsibilities, you could arrange to be paid directly for your time. Receiving payment can help offset your loss of income as long as your loved one can afford it.  

If you choose this route, put a contract in place that outlines how many hours a week you will work and the specific tasks you will provide. Then determine between the two of you what your hourly rate will be. Don’t forget that you will have to pay taxes on any caregiving income. In addition, have a clause that allows either of you to break the contract if it isn’t working out. 

How Much Do Family Members Get Paid for Caregiving in Nevada?

Family members get paid approximately $11.00 an hour to be a caregiver through the PCS program. Most self-directed state programs base their caregiver pay on the state’s average hourly rate for professional caregivers.  

The stipend amount through the Veterans PCAFC program depends on the state you live in and the amount of care you provide. 

Do You Need to Get Training to Become a Paid Family Caregiver in Nevada?

The person receiving the PCS program benefits can hire and train the caregiver they want through the self-directed program. Training is always recommended for a family member who is caring for someone through the PCS program. The program doesn’t require training, but basic health and safety instruction is advisable. 

For a small cost and minimal time, you could get training as a CNA so that you feel confident in caring for your loved one. Safety should be the caregiver’s primary concern.

3 Steps Become a Paid Caregiver for a Family Member in Nevada

In the self-directed PCS program, your loved one’s responsibility is to work with you to complete the steps necessary to hire you as the primary caregiver. The recipient is responsible for all steps required to qualify for the program and then scheduling the family member for caregiving responsibilities. 

1. Help your family member apply for Medicaid

To qualify for the PCS self-directed program, your loved one must first apply for Medicaid. They can call 800-525-2395 to begin the process. They may also want to hire a fiscal intermediary to manage payments to you as their caregiver. Qualifying for Medicaid could take some time. Your loved one’s financial situation is analyzed to see if they meet income qualifications.

2. Ask your loved one to apply for the PCS self-directed program

Once they have qualified for Medicaid, your loved one can apply to the PCS program. They may need to provide physician information as part of their application. The application will entail basic demographic information about them, where they live, and their needs

3. Assessment

A nurse, occupational and physical therapist from the PCS program will come to your loved one’s home to do an assessment. The assessment determines their level of disability and whether it meets the PCS criteria for participation. Specifically, this person will evaluate your loved one’s mobility, activities of daily living, and ability to function safely in their environment.

How to Become a Paid Family Caregiver in Nevada

Applying to get caregiving services through the state can be frustrating and time-consuming. Most caregiver programs across the country rely on Medicaid funding, and any programs that pay caregivers are part of that program. If you think you qualify, it will take patience and time, but it might be well worth it to your loved one to have a family member care for them in their own home.

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