Sen. King backs tax credit for family caregivers

Sen. King backs tax credit for family caregivers

Senator Angus King spoke at the Stewart Adult Day Center in Falmouth yesterday to announce his co-sponsorship of a bill to support family caregivers across Maine. The “Credit for Caring Act” would provide up to a $3,000 nonrefundable tax credit to working family caregivers to help them as they balance employment and caring for their loved ones.

After touring the facility, King met with representatives of  the Southern Maine Agency on Aging, Bath Housing, Spectrum Generations, the Maine Women’s Policy Center, and Maine AARP to discuss how to make caregiving more feasible, both practically and financially, in Maine.

As the state with the oldest median age in the country, Mainers often grapple with issues related to caregiving. Nursing homes are expensive, and aging Mainers would often prefer to remain in their homes for as long as possible. One solution is to have in-home caregivers to provide support. This responsibility often falls on relatives and in Maine there are now over 178,000 unpaid caregivers in the state finding ways to care for their loved ones.

These unpaid caregivers are often taking time away of their jobs in order to have the time for their loved ones and also doing hard work without pay in order to maintain that person’s quality of life. According to the AARP, these unpaid caregivers save Maine $2.3 billion a year.

But this financial stress can have a significant impact on the health and quality of life of the caregivers themselves, who are often women with families of their own to support.

“Thousands of family caregivers across Maine are balancing supporting an aging loved one with the demands of everyday life, like working and raising children – and they often reach deep into their pockets to do it,” said Senator King. “This tax credit can help make the cost of that care a little more affordable and life a little easier while ensuring that loved ones receive the care they need.”

Senator King formally cosponsored the bill last week. It was introduced by Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.). The bill is a companion to H.R. 4708 introduced by Congressman Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) in March.

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