It’s all too common for elders and their family members to work with caregivers who are not employed through caregiver agencies who are their fiscal intermediaries. There may be an arrangement to pay by the day or the hour in cash or check. The caregiver may have to go home for a while and finds another person to “fill in”. Then that person leaves and someone else is the caregiver. Sometimes, “home” for the caregiver is a pretty far away place.
A lot of money is paid to caregivers, and Medicaid, through the five-year lookback, always “follows the money.” But all they want to know is–did you get appropriate services for what you paid? They aren’t looking to scrutinize the caregiver’s status. In fact, according to NJAC 10:71-1.6(a)(6), “Information about applicants and beneficiaries and their circumstances shall not be disclosed except as required for the proper and efficient administration of the program and only to those agencies involved in the lawful administration or operation of public welfare functions or services.” Therefore, whenever you employ a caregiver, whatever the arrangement is, have the caregiver sign a sworn affidavit regarding the arrangement (this post is not an endorsement of off-book payment, by the way). It should not ever be disclosed to the IRS or INS, and having it will make a future Medicaid application worlds easier when the time comes!!!