Oklahoma has taken a significant leap forward by becoming the first state in the nation to enact an extensive caregiver tax credit.

Viewpoint: Family caregivers deserve tax credits for saving Oklahoma money
Family caregivers deserve tax credits | The Oklahoman

How to qualify?

The recently passed Caring for Caregivers Act is set to provide invaluable support to families across the state. State Representative Tammy West (R-OKC), a passionate advocate for the legislation, expressed her excitement about the groundbreaking measure designed to alleviate the financial burden faced by individuals caring for their aging loved ones at home. This caregiver tax credit initiative is projected to impact numerous Oklahomans positively. Representative West emphasized acknowledging the substantial impact of caregiving responsibilities and the critical need for accessible resources. Many families face the challenge of providing adequate care while striving to keep their elderly relatives in familiar surroundings rather than relocating them to assisted living facilities or nursing homes, Fox25 News.

Implementing the Caring for Caregivers Act aims to bridge this gap by extending caregiver tax credits to cover expenses typically not included in Medicaid or other programs. The caregiver tax credit will provide much-needed assistance with various expenses, including but not limited to the cost of adult diapers, home modifications such as handlebars or ramps, and respite care. Furthermore, families can utilize the caregiver tax credit to hire additional help for their loved ones in their homes. Representative West highlighted caregivers’ financial strain, pointing out that the average annual cost of meeting their loved one’s needs is $7,200. To alleviate this burden, the Act offers a caregiver tax credit of up to 50% of eligible caregiver costs, with a maximum cap of $2,000 or $3,000 per year.

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AARP Oklahoma State Director, Sean Voskuhl, explained that individuals who are caregivers for someone aged 62 or older, with an income of $50,000 (or a joint family income of $100,000), will qualify for a $2,000 caregiver tax credit. Additionally, if the person cared for is 60, a veteran, or diagnosed with dementia, the caregiver tax credit expands to $3,000. Lawmakers believe that this caregiver tax credit will not only directly benefit caregivers but also positively impact the state. Representative West emphasized that the cost to the state for a loved one to reside in a nursing home is approximately $200 per day while caring for them at home costs less than $20 per day. The new legislation is slated to take effect on January 1st, providing crucial support to Oklahoma families.

The enactment of the Caring for Caregivers Act serves as a testament to Oklahoma’s commitment to recognizing and supporting the invaluable role of caregivers while also alleviating the strain on the state’s resources. With this pioneering caregiver tax credit, Oklahoma stands at the forefront of comprehensive assistance for families navigating the challenges of caring for their loved ones at home.

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