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Financial Assistance for Spousal Caregivers

by Charles Peterson
(Chesapeake,VA. 23320)

...For MS Patients


Question:


Are there any financial assistance programs for spouses who have had to quit working to care for spouses with MS?

I had to retire from working early to care for my spouse who has MS. I am a retired navy veteran with only my naval retirement and my spouse's disability from SS. I would like to know if there is any program available for assistance financially.


Reply:

Unfortunately, Charles, in most states, spousal caregivers is not entitled to any compensation for caring for their spouse. Other relatives, such as a child, grandchild, brother or sister, etc., can receive payment through a health aide organization when caring for their loved one.

This discrepancy makes no sense to me and many others. I will have to do a little research, because I thought I remembered seeing somewhere, that a spouse was eligible for some kind of financial compensation. This would make sense, seeing how much money is being saved when a spouse chooses to stay home in order to take care of their disabled spouse.

On the upside, there are other resources that may be available to you both depending on your income. You may be eligible for medical, food, or rental assistance if you rent. There is also money available to make you your home more accessible.

There is also a program called medicaid waiver which will pay for an aide to come to your home a few days a week. This can give you a bit of a break to refuel and help you be better able to care for your wife.

Respite care is also available through the National MS Society. This, as well as several other resources, including financial assistance for durable medical equipment, are available through the NMSS.

These resources, although not direct compensation, will allow you to keep more of the cash you do have in your pocket. If you haven't already, look into becoming a member of the NMSS and ask about the programs they have in place for those with MS and their families.

Hope this helps, and I will try and find out if there are any states which do offer spousal compensation to caregivers. You may need to take a few "training classes" and register with a home health aide company, but if it means a little extra money in your pocket, it's worth it.

If you're interested or able, you may also want to look into a few of the online ways of making money - just be very careful that you don't get hold of any scams. We ran across a website called , where you can offer services that you are good at and make money in the process.

If nothing more than to offer a few laughs and entertainment for you and your wife, take a moment and check it out.

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