Unpaid family caregivers comprise over 34 million caregivers in the United States for adult family members over the age of 50. This has gained the attention of the presidential candidates and political parties as the population is continuing to age and demand for care will continue to increase.
Where are the presidential candidates on supporting the unpaid caregivers in the United States? As of today we have two candidates standing …
Clinton Paid Family Leave Proposal For Family Caregivers
Candidate Hillary Clinton has received much press over her proposal for paid family leave vs. family leave. Clinton’s proposal minus how this would be financed is:
Up to 12 weeks of paid family leave
2/3 replacement of wages
Cost to be borne by wealthiest taxpayers, exact details unreleased to date
Sanders Paid Family Leave Proposal
Candidate Bernie Sanders also supports a minimum of 12 weeks of paid family leave up to 3 months. The leave would be supported by payroll taxes which is estimated at $1.61 per week per person.
Sanders also supported the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act; introduced last year and co-sponsored by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D – Conn.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D – N.Y.). The FAMILY Act would enact a mandate of 12 weeks paid leave for the care of a sick family member.
- 12 weeks paid leave
- 66% replacement wages with a cap
- Paid by payroll taxes
- Administered by Social Security Administration
Rubio Tax Credit Family Leave Update March 2016, Rubio no longer in presidential race
Tax credit for businesses. The 25% tax credit is non refundable and businesses must provide
- voluntary minimum of four weeks of paid family leave
- maximum of 12 weeks paid family leave
- $4000 cap per year per employee who qualifies
Donald Trump Position On Caregiver Support
Remains unclear at this time.
Cost Of Caregiving & In Home Caregivers
This may very well just be election rhetoric or politically correct discussion, but will an issue which affects so many Americans actually receive the attention and perhaps assistance from the government in 2016? Or 2016 and beyond?
The AARP report Caregiving in the U.S. published in June 2015 provides an overview of all aspects of caregiving. While full of statistics, the report offers a glimpse into caregiving and the future of caregiving.
According to a Metlife study, the financial cost for caregivers remains high. Costs which could be reduced and assisted by an expansion of the FAMILY Act or assistance by the laws of the government. Irrespective of ones’ political affiliation, the medical costs associated with any illness or age related condition are high as well as the financial cost of caregiving for a family member.
Common costs associated with unpaid family caregivers:
- lost wages
- lost pension
- decrease in social security benefits
- reduced hours or part time status
- retired early to care for family member
The Future Of Caregiving
If this is an issue on your radar for the upcoming presidential election, please be aware of the proposals by your candidates. Of course, proposals are not reality. The reality remains that unpaid family caregivers do deserve a seat at the table this election.
However three states have enacted paid family leave with positive results: California, New Jersey and Rhode Island.
New York Enacts Caregiving Law
While the federal government is “studying’ caregiving, New York city has enacted the New York City Human Rights Law to protect employees with caregiving responsibilities from discrimination and protection from dismal, demotion or lack of promotion due to caregiving responsibilities.
The law became effective May 4, 2016 and affects employers with over four employees.