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Support for Caregivers in Health Care Reform | The White House

The Middle Class Task Force developed a new Caregiver Initiative in the FY 2011 Budget to address the needs of the estimated 65 million Americans that provide unpaid care to seniors or people with disabilities. The historic health care legislation signed by the President last Tuesday will complement and enhance the Task Force’s Initiative. Let’s take a quick look at the ways in which health reform will help family caregivers and their loved ones.

First, the health reform legislation includes a provision called the CLASS Act, which establishes a new, voluntary long-term care insurance program for workers aimed at allowing them in the event of a disability to assist them in accomplishing life’s daily activities. After a 5-year vesting period, participants who experience a functional limitation would receive a cash benefit that could be used to purchase services and supports needed to maintain their independence at home or in the community including things like home modifications, assistive technology, accessible transportation, homemaker services, personal assistance services, home care aides, and nursing support. CLASS Act benefits can be used to compensate family caregivers, who often make huge financial sacrifices. And receiving benefits from this program would not have any effect on eligibility for other government programs.

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