Social Security Care Giver Credit Act

Woman sandwiched between her son and her father

I read a wonderful article about how Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) introduced a bill: the Social Security Care Giver Credit Act.  This bill, if passed, will provide countless caregivers who are presently not paid for their services to loved ones, whether it be a mother taking care of a new born or an adult child taking care of their elderly parent or grandparent.

The credit would be based on a sliding income scale related to previous earnings capped at the average national wage or a maximum credit equal to half the average national income for those who weren’t earning money previously, for up to five years of caregiving. And it would apply to anyone caring for a child, grandchild, niece or nephew, aunt or uncle, spouse or domestic partner, parent, or sibling who needs daily assistance with basic activities like eating and bathing or even managing finances and shopping for food.**

The law will also provide for those who are part-time caregivers.

Most caregivers are women.  Add this to the fact that women are already often getting paid less than their male counterparts in the workplace, it does not take a lot of imagination to recognize that aging women are at risk of finding themselves impoverished at a most crucial period in her life. This bill would help in avoiding that outcome.

The Senator points out that keeping a family member at home is far less expensive than sending them to a nursing home, usually paid for by the government through Medicaid.   Thus he sees his proposal as a win-win for government and for family members.

There is a slightly different House version of his proposal which has 54 cosponsors.

The bill was introduced on April 17, 2016.  So all you caregivers or potential caregivers out there, write your Congress representative and ask that they support this very important bill!

Copyright 2016  Yvonne Behrens

**http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2016/03/18/3761628/murphy-social-security-caregiver-credits/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tptop3&utm_term=5&utm_content=13&elqTrackId=c86a879020f3468cbd81587197095e9c&elq=e2b71a2d40924cc08ab7ecb678701d34&elqaid=29510&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=5255