Dems, Reed partner on bill to assist family caregivers

WASHINGTON — Rep. Tom Reed recently highlighted how two 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are partnering with him on a bipartisan, bicameral bill endorsed by the AARP to support family caregivers in New York and across the country.

“How often do you see two Democrat Senators running for president partner with a Republican House member? 40 million 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 Tom. “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.”

“We are pleased to put partisan labels aside to work together to help people,” Tom concluded.

Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) are cosponsoring the bipartisan legislation in the Senate, while Reed and Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) are introducing a similar bill in the House.

“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 Warren.

“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 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.”

“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% 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.”

“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 Sen. Joni Ernst.

“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 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.”

“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 Sanchez.

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.