Articles

DDD Paid Parent Provider in Arizona

On January 31, 2024 Emily Taylor hosted Cynthia Macluskie on the topic of Paid Parent Providers and Difficult of Care Income.  We encourage you to watch or listen to the recording of the webinar, join parent support groups, and follow the advocacy work of those involved, such as Raising Voices Coalition!  The following is a brief, general summary of the topics we discussed.

What does it mean to be a DDD parent paid provider in Arizona? The concept of paid parent providers is not new, as historically it has been allowed for adults with disabilities. This approach has allowed parents to receive compensation for the care and support they provide to their adult children with disabilities, acknowledging the ongoing nature of their caregiving responsibilities. This system is designed to not only offer financial support to families but also to ensure that adults with disabilities receive care in a familiar and comfortable home environment. However, since the Covid-19 Federal Public Health Emergency in 2020, parents of minor DDD and ALTCS members have been able to provide attendant care and habilitation for their children.  The Parents as Paid Providers initiative in Arizona offers a transformative opportunity for parents of minor DDD (Division of Developmental Disabilities) and ALTCS (Arizona Long Term Care System) members. Through this program, parents can actively engage in their child’s care by serving as Direct Care Workers (DCWs), offering Attendant Care and Habilitation services. This is made possible by partnering with authorized agencies, ensuring a professional and supportive framework for these essential services. Learn more from Emily and Cynthia Macluskie on this January 31, 2024 recorded webinar.

How can a parent register to become a paid caregiver? Parents interested in this option should initiate a conversation with their ALTCS case manager or DDD support coordinator. It’s crucial to understand that the number of hours a parent is eligible to be compensated for providing care is evaluated and established through a person-centered planning process, which also takes into account the medical necessity criteria.  In the recorded webinar featuring Cynthia Macluskie, she provides insightful strategies on how to effectively advocate for additional hours and services, offering valuable guidance for parents seeking to enhance the care and support they provide as paid caregivers.

When will DDD Paid Parent Provider End? On Feburary 20, 2024 Arizona Govenor Katie Hobbs announced this program was made permanent!  Learn more from Emily and Cynthia Macluskie on this January 31, 2024 recorded webinar.

What are Difficulty of Care Payments? Difficulty of care payments are a type of income exclusion for tax purposes, recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States. They are specifically related to certain payments made to foster care providers or caregivers under Medicaid’s Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers or certain other state programs. Here’s a breakdown of the key aspects:

  1. Purpose: Difficulty of care payments are intended to compensate caregivers for the additional challenges and responsibilities involved in caring for individuals who have physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. These payments recognize that some individuals require care that is above and beyond the typical caregiving responsibilities and therefore, warrant additional compensation.
  2. Tax Treatment: Under IRS guidelines, difficulty of care payments received by providers for providing care in their home to qualified individuals are not considered taxable income. This can apply to payments for the care of adults as well as children, depending on the circumstances and specific program guidelines.
  3. Qualifying for Exclusion: To be excluded from income, the payments must be designated as difficulty of care payments under the terms of the fostering program or state plan and are made for additional compensation for providing the care of an individual who requires additional attention and care beyond the norm due to a physical, mental, or emotional handicap.
  4. Limitations: There are limits on how many individuals a caregiver can receive difficulty of care payments for before the payments become taxable.
  5. Reporting and Compliance: While these payments are excluded from income, caregivers and agencies must still adhere to proper reporting and compliance standards as dictated by tax laws and Medicaid regulations. It’s important for individuals receiving these payments to understand their specific circumstances and how they align with IRS rules and guidelines.

Difficulty of care payments represent a significant recognition of the special needs associated with certain types of caregiving. They acknowledge that providing care for individuals with certain disabilities or conditions requires extra effort, skill, and patience, and thereby provides a financial mechanism to support those who undertake this important work. It’s essential to partner with a knowledgeable accountant who is well-versed in the specific tax implications and reporting requirements of difficulty of care payments. An experienced accountant can provide invaluable guidance, ensuring you remain compliant with tax regulations while maximizing your financial benefits.

Related Articles

The Impact of Divorce on Your Estate Plan

The Impact of Divorce on Your Estate Plan

Special Needs Trusts and Taxes

Special Needs Trusts and Taxes

Understanding DDD and ALTCS in Arizona

Understanding DDD and ALTCS in Arizona

The Strategic Advantage of a Trust Protector in Special Needs Trusts

The Strategic Advantage of a Trust Protector in Special Needs Trusts