May 18, 2017

Senators Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Assist Family Caregivers

Washington, D.C.
 - Today, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) reintroduced the bipartisan, bicameral Credit For Caring Act, which would provide working family caregivers with a nonrefundable tax credit up to $3,000 to assist with out-of-pocket expenses related to caregiving. The legislation, led by Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), is also cosponsored by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO),and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), as well as U.S. Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY) and Linda Sánchez (D-CA). 

This bipartisan legislation seeks to aid those balancing full or part-time employment, while also taking on added financial responsibilities as a family caregiver supporting a loved one. This tax credit for caregivers can be used toward expenses such as transportation, home modifications to accommodate a family member, medication management services, and training or education for the caregiver.

"More than 40 million Americans provide unpaid care to a friend or relative with a long-term illness or medical condition, often juggling this work with other obligations and spending a great deal of money providing this care," said Warren. "This modest tax credit will make life a little easier for the hardworking Americans who do the often-unacknowledged but powerfully important work of taking care of their loved ones in need."


"Family caregivers play a critical role in supporting aging parents or special needs individuals," said Ernst. "There are more than 40 million family caregivers across the country, and 317,000 in Iowa. I am grateful for the bipartisan support from my colleagues on this important legislation to better accommodate family caregivers' selfless actions."

"Colorado's family caregivers dedicate countless hours of unpaid care so their loved ones can continue to live independently," said Bennet. "This bipartisan tax credit will help ease the burden of everyday expenses for family caregivers. As our population grows older, this is an additional step we can take to support families across the country."

"Having recently shared in the caregiving of my own parents, I understand the difficulties that caregivers face and the significant costs involved," said Capito. "The Credit for Caring Act is exactly the type of solution we need to help ease the financial burden caregivers face, and I am proud to join my colleagues to support this important measure."

"We all care about ensuring our aging loved ones get the assistance they deserve," said Reed. "We must work to find an equitable approach to ease the burden on family caregivers, which is accomplished with this legislation."

"As a daughter with two parents living with Alzheimer's disease I understand the burden this responsibility places on family caregivers in similar situations all across the country," said Sánchez. "The Credit for Caring Act will help alleviate some that burden by providing a tax credit for services such as home care and adult day care. I am proud to work with Rep. Tom Reed and Sen. Joni Ernst to find a bipartisan solution to help families across this country care for their loved ones." 

"AARP is pleased to endorse the Credit for Caring Act and appreciates the bipartisan leadership of Senators Ernst (R-IA), Bennet (D-CO), Capito (R-WV), and Warren (D-MA) and Representatives Reed (R-NY) and Sánchez (D-CA) to support family caregivers," said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer. "Across the country, 40 million Americans are taking care of loved ones so they can stay in their homes and communities, delaying or preventing more expensive institutional care or hospital stays. Last year, these family caregivers spent an average of 20 percent of their income on care-related expenses. That translates to $6,954 in 2016, and some pay much more. The Credit for Caring Act would give some much-needed financial relief to eligible family caregivers. We look forward to working with the bill's sponsors and others to pass this important legislation." 

About the Credit for Caring Act:
· Creates up to a $3,000 nonrefundable tax credit adjusted to inflation for family caregivers
· Applies to incurred family caregiving expenses greater than $2,000
· Qualified care recipients must have been certified by a health care practitioner to be in need of long-term care for at least 180 consecutive days
· Eligibility is limited to a caregiver of a qualified care recipient who must pay for caregiving expenses and has earned income in excess of $7,500
· Credit is phased out when income exceeds $150,000 for joint filers or $75,000 for individual filers

Family Caregivers in Iowa:
· According to AARP, there are 317,000 family caregivers in Iowa at any given time during the year
· AARP also found that the unpaid contributions of family caregivers in Iowa are valued at $3.86 billion annually