Reps. Axne, Schakowsky and McKinley Unveils Bipartisan Tax Credit to Support Families Caring for Older Americans
Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), and Rep. David McKinley (WV-01) unveiled bipartisan legislation that supports Americans who are caring for their older family members by offering tax credits to cover costs of elder care.
The Americans Giving Care to Elders (AGE) Act would provide tax credits of up to $1,200 to taxpayers earning under $200,000 to offset expenses incurred providing elder care – including the costs of personal and respite care, technological and environmental improvements, and care centers.
“We provide tax credits and savings accounts to help with child care, dependent adult care, health savings accounts – but nothing to help the millions of Americans who care for the older generations of their family every single day,” said Rep. Axne. “Sometimes a crushing illness or injury means our seniors suddenly rely on their family or friends for assistance. These caregivers are helping with medications, medical tasks, and daily living assistance all out of their own pocket. My bipartisan bill would provide a critical lifeline to folks who are caring for a parent or relative while balancing the demands of their own careers and lives.”
“For too long, the ability for families to provide care for their aging loved ones has been heavily hampered by cost and the lack of caregivers. The lack of support is felt most of all by those who provide unpaid caregiving, like the family member who cares for grandparents or a mother with Alzheimer’s, all while trying to balance a job or other responsibilities,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “Today, nearly 42 million Americans are providing care to an aging family member, a significantly higher amount than in 2015. I am proud to sponsor legislation that will help these unpaid family caregivers afford the care their loved ones need.”
“Family caregivers assume enormous responsibilities to care for their loved ones, oftentimes placing a financial burden on them. These caregivers are helping pay for medications, hospital visits, and daily living expenses while still managing the expenses of their own lives,” Rep. McKinley said. “Our bipartisan legislation will allow caregivers to offset the cost of caregiving to ensure those who look after seniors – often family members – are able not just to take care of others, but also themselves.”
An estimated 44 million adults serve as unpaid caregivers in the U.S., assisting parents and relatives with functional limitations who require assistance with transportation, personal care, and other day-to-day activities. 34 million adults are providing this type of caregiving to someone over the age of 50; 16 million adult family caregivers are providing care to someone who has long-term, progressive dementia like Alzheimer’s.
Approximately one-third of caregivers leave the workforce entirely to provide care for someone in their life. It’s estimated that caregivers across the country are providing the equivalent of $470 billion in unpaid assistance.
AGE Act tax credits would be available to Americans caring for their parents, grandparents, in-laws, or to individuals who live with taxpayer. The tax credit would phase out for those making between $120,000 and $200,000 a year, and the legislation includes protections against fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayer money.
The legislation has the endorsement of the American Heart Association, Alzheimer’s Association, LeadingAge, Long Term Care Community Coalition, Center for the Rights and Interest of the Elderly (CARIE), National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care.