Ernst Teams Up with Democratic and Republican Colleagues on Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Assist Family Caregivers
May 14 2019
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) is teaming up with her Democratic and Republican colleagues in the Senate and the House of Representatives on a bipartisan, bicameral bill that supports family caregivers in Iowa and across the country.
Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) are cosponsoring the bipartisan legislation in the Senate, and U.S. Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY) and Linda Sánchez (D-CA) are introducing a similar bill in the House.
“Iowa is home to over 300,000 family caregivers. Many of these individuals are juggling their own full-time or part-time employment while also selflessly caring for a loved one. Our bipartisan bill recognizes the additional financial responsibilities placed on our family caregivers and would provide an avenue of relief and support for these hardworking folks in Iowa and across the country,” said Senator Joni Ernst.
“Millions of Americans quietly bear the immense responsibility of caring for loved ones day-in and day-out, with little recognition or financial support – dedicating countless hours of care and covering costs so family members who are aging or otherwise in need of support can live their lives with independence and dignity,” said Senator Bennet. “This bipartisan tax credit will help ease the burden of the significant expenses that family caregivers shoulder. We should recognize and support the important work of family caregiving by passing this legislation.”
“As someone who helped care for both of my parents who passed away following their battle with Alzheimer’s, I saw firsthand the emotional and physical toll it can take on individuals and families,” said Senator Capito. “That’s why I’m glad to reintroduce the Credit for Caring Act with my colleagues as a step forward in helping to ease the financial burden caregivers face.”
“Millions of Americans care for loved ones who are ill or have serious medical conditions, often taking time off of work or juggling work, care, and other family responsibilities. Washington should be fighting for these families, which is why I am calling on Congress to pass this modest tax credit to make life just a little easier for them,” said Senator Warren.
“Millions of Americans provide unpaid care to a friend or relative with a long-term illness or medical condition, often juggling this work with other obligations resulting in a significant financial burden,” said Congressman Tom Reed. “We all care about ensuring our aging loved ones get the assistance they deserve and want to ensure any financial pain put upon caregivers are eased.”
"As a daughter with two parents diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, I understand the weight this responsibility places on family caregivers in similar situations across the country. Millions of Americans are balancing full or part-time employment, while also taking on the added financial responsibilities of being a family caregiver. The Credit for Caring Act helps 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,” said Congresswoman Linda Sánchez.
“AARP is pleased to endorse the Credit for Caring Act and appreciates the bipartisan leadership of the bill’s Senate and House sponsors to support family caregivers,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer. “Nationwide, 40 million family caregivers are assisting loved ones so they can stay in their homes and communities. In 2016, family caregivers spent an average of 20 percent of their income, or nearly $7,000, on care-related expenses. The Credit for Caring Act would provide some much-needed financial relief to eligible family caregivers. We look forward to working with the bill’s sponsors and Congress to enact this important legislation.”
The Credit for Caring Act would provide working family caregivers with a nonrefundable tax credit up to $3,000 to assist with out-of-pocket expenses related to caregiving. 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.
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.
- AARP also found that the unpaid contributions of family caregivers in Iowa are valued at $3.86 billion annually.