Advocates To Push for Caregiver Tax Credit in 2017
Thursday, January 5, 2017
PHOENIX -- The new legislative session will begin on Monday, and advocates for people age 50 and older are laying out their priorities for 2017 - and they include a tax credit for caregivers.
One in eight Arizonans - about 804,000 people - spends at least one hour per week helping an elderly friend or relative get by. Stephen Jennings, associate state director at AARP Arizona, said he supports a tax credit for those who are doing so much.
"Your typical caregiver spends around $6,000 of their own money taking care of the loved one over the year,” Jennings said. “And we'd like to see the Legislature pass a $500-a-year tax credit for people taking care of others."
AARP Arizona is also working to encourage hospitals to give caregivers more training before a patient is released, in order to bring down the rate of readmission.
Jennings said he would also like to see more support for respite programs that give caregivers a break by paying for a substitute caregiver for a few hours every once in awhile, so they don't burn out. He said that caregivers who feel refreshed can continue in that role - often for many years - and that's good for everyone.
"It can save the taxpayer money because then, families are enabled to take care of their loved ones for a longer time and keep them out of expensive, tax-supported nursing homes,” Jennings said.
Last year, the Legislature approved some one-time funding for a caregiver respite program and to hire more staff to investigate elder abuse. AARP Arizona is hoping those funds will be made permanent.
They are also pushing for a new rule to stop "surprise" medical bills, by requiring hospitals to tell patients ahead of time they are going to be treated by someone who does not take their insurance.
get more stories like this via email
This July 4th marks nearly 250 years since the United States declared its independence, setting the country on a path to establishing its democracy…
It's July 4th, a celebration of the United States' independence. It's also an opportunity to take a look at the state of the country's democracy…
July 4th celebrates the founding of the United States' democracy - and some say it's time to recommit to defending that democracy. In the wake of …
Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…
Health and Wellness
A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …
The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …
Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …
A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…