Caregiver Contracts in Massachusetts – What You Need to Know

Finding a caregiver for your loved one can be challenging, whether you’re looking for a caregiver for your parent, grandparent, or another cherished family member. As such, some truly dedicated people may choose to provide care for their loved one themselves rather than hire home help or entrust their loved one to a nursing home. For these individuals, understanding the benefits of caregiver contracts in Massachusetts is essential. Here’s what you need to know:

What Is a Caregiver Contract?

A caregiver contract, also called a personal care contract, is a contract between the loved one for whom care is being provided and the party who is providing the care. Essentially, the contract outlines the caregiving services that the caregiver will provide, and the rate at which the caregiver will be compensated for their services.

What is Covered in a Caregiver Contract?

A caregiver contract is a legal document that addresses compensation for services rendered. Typically, provisions that are covered in a caregiver contract include:

  • The type and duration of caregiving services that will be rendered to the loved one; and
  • Compensation that will be paid to the caregiver, based on reasonable market value for said services.

The contract may also include a statement explaining that the care is intended to keep the loved one person out of a nursing home until a care giver is unable to perform the caregiving duties any longer. It is critical that the contract is in writing and is signed by both parties, at the time the caregiving commences. It is also recommended that the contract is crafted by a lawyer.

Why Do I Need a Caregiver Contract?

You may be thinking, “Why do I need a caregiver contract? I’m happy to care for my loved one without compensation!”

While you may be more than willing to offer your parent or other loved one caregiver services without compensation, the way that the law in Massachusetts is structured makes forming a caregiver contract advantageous for financial purposes if your loved one would likely gift you the money regardless. This is because without a written contract, the loved one may be disqualified from Medicaid coverage, a/k/a MassHealth. if they require nursing home care in the future due to MassHealth’s strict asset transfer rules. When the money is paid to the caregiver as a form of compensation for services rendered, however, the money is not considered a gift, and therefore may not affect eligibility. By making payments to the caregiver, the loved one can deplete their assets by passing them along to the care giver without affecting eligibility for MassHealth benefits.

Contact Elder Care Lawyer Patricia Bloom-McDonald, Today

If you have questions about the benefits of elder care contracts and how to create one that protects you and your loved one, you need to consult with an elder law Attorney. At the law offices of Patricia Bloom-McDonald, Massachusetts elder law lawyer Patricia Bloom-McDonald has years of experience representing clients and knows how to protect your best interests. For a consultation, call her today or send her a message at your convenience.