US Senate News:
Source: United States Senator for New Hampshire Maggie Hassan
September 20, 2021
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) cosponsored bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to provide working family caregivers in New Hampshire and across the country with a tax credit of up to $5,000 to assist with out-of-pocket caregiving expenses.
The bipartisan Credit for Caring Act would provide relief for those who are taking on added financial responsibilities as family caregivers supporting a loved one. The nonrefundable tax credit of up to $5,000 could be used toward expenses such as transportation, home modifications to accommodate a family member, medication management services, and training or education for the caregiver.
According to the AARP, there are approximately 177,000 family caregivers in New Hampshire who provide $2.3 billion in unpaid care annually to their loved ones. Nationally, there are over 48 million caregivers, and family caregivers provide $470 billion in unpaid care annually.
“The work of family caregivers is exactly that: work. And yet, too often, it goes unnoticed and unsupported. The Credit for Caring Act is a recognition of caregivers’ tremendous efforts and will provide much needed relief to make sure that they have necessary resources and support,” said Senator Hassan. “This past 18 months has put new burdens on caregivers, and this bipartisan bill is a direct response to that and will go a long way in helping ease some of the burdens that our caregivers in New Hampshire and across the country face.”
“AARP thanks Sen. Hassan (D-NH) for officially cosponsoring the Credit for Caring Act and recognizing America’s over 48 million family caregivers are the backbone of this country’s care system. Family caregivers provide the equivalent of $470 billion annually in unpaid care to their loved ones, and help save taxpayer dollars by delaying or preventing expensive nursing home care. The Credit for Caring Act will help offset some of the more than $7,200 that family caregivers typically spend out-of-pocket each year on care-related expenses,” said Todd Fahey, AARP New Hampshire State Director.
The bipartisan Credit for Caring Act would create up to a $5,000 nonrefundable tax credit adjusted to inflation for family caregivers. The amount of the credit would be 30 percent of the qualified expenses paid or incurred by the family caregiver above $2,000, up to a maximum credit amount of $5,000.
Under the bill, qualifying 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.
This bipartisan bill builds on Senator Hassan’s ongoing work to support home health care workers and Direct Support Professionals. Last month, Senator Hassan helped introduce the Supporting Our Direct Care Workforce and Family Caregivers Act, which would authorize more than $1 billion to support the direct care workforce and family caregivers. Senator Hassan also joined in introducing the Better Care Better Jobs Act which would make a historic investment in home-and-community-based services by expanding access to quality home care services and lifting up the caregiving workforce that provides these services. The Senator also helped secure more than $12.6 billion in dedicated emergency funding for State Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) in the American Rescue Plan. Earlier this year, Senator Hassan introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) to address the critical need for more Direct Support Professionals in the workforce.