Press Release: 2021-06-10

Make your voice heard on Credit for Caring Act

Make your voice heard on Credit for Caring Act



By Cindy Campbell , June 09, 2021 05:01 PM



AARP is urging passage of the bipartisan, bicameral Credit for Caring Act (S. 1670/H.R. 3321) introduced by Senators Ernst, Bennet, Capito, and Warren and Representative Sánchez that would provide a new, non-refundable federal tax credit of up to $5,000 to eligible family caregivers to help address the financial challenges of caring for older parents, spouses, and other loved ones while remaining in the workforce. The vast majority of individuals 50-plus (92 percent) support a federal tax credit for family caregivers.



Family caregivers are the backbone of the U.S. care system, helping parents, spouses, and other loved ones live independently in their homes, providing about $470 billion annually in unpaid care. This care ultimately helps save taxpayer money by delaying or preventing expensive nursing home stays and hospital visits, though often at the cost of caregivers’ own financial security (including out-of-pocket expenses) and physical and emotional health. AARP believes family caregivers have earned support as they take on these costs and responsibilities which have been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.



Background:



Family caregivers are the backbone of the U.S. care system, helping parents, spouses, and other loved ones live independently in their homes, providing about $470 billion annually in unpaid care. This care ultimately helps save taxpayer money by delaying or preventing expensive nursing home stays and hospital visits, though often at the cost of caregivers’ own financial security (including out-of-pocket expenses) and physical and emotional health. AARP believes family caregivers have earned support as they take on these costs and responsibilities which have been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.



Why is the Credit for Caring Act needed?



Over three in four family caregivers (78 percent) incur out-of-pocket costs due to caregiving. Caregivers spend on average nearly $7,000 annually on care-related expenses. These personal contributions will likely to grow in the future. Forty-five percent of family caregivers reported at least one adverse financial impact due to their caregiving responsibilities, including taking on more debt, leaving bills unpaid, and sacrificing current and future savings. But, if working family caregivers age 50-plus have support, the U.S. GDP could grow by an additional $1.7 trillion in 2030.



Too often, employed family caregivers leave the workforce or reduce their hours to fulfill their caregiving duties, which can result in a loss of income, retirement savings, benefits, and career mobility. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased these risks with services family caregivers depend on, such as adult day services, being closed, further shifting the responsibilities to family caregivers.



How would the Credit for Caring Act work?



Eligible family caregivers assisting loved ones of all ages would receive the credit if the care recipient meets certain functional or cognitive limitations or other requirements certified by a licensed health care practitioner. The amount of the credit would be 30 percent of the qualified expenses paid or incurred by the family caregiver above $2,000, up to a maximum credit amount of $5,000. Individuals with higher incomes would be ineligible for the tax credit, and the bill includes provisions to prevent double-dipping with existing tax provisions.



A federal tax credit for family caregivers has strong support across party lines among individuals 50-plus, with 96 percent of Democrats, 95 percent of Independents, and 87 percent of Republicans supporting it.



Please call or email your legislator and let them know you support the Credit for Caring Act.



US Senators:



Senator Elizabeth Warren: (202) 224-4543



Senator Ed Markey: (202) 224-2742



Representatives and Congressional District (CD):



CD 1: Richard Neal: (202) 225-5601



CD 2: James McGovern: (202) 225-6101



CD 3: Lori Trahan: (202) 225-3411



CD 4: Jake Auchincloss: (202) 225-5931



CD 5: Katherine Clark: (202) 225-2836



CD 6: Seth Moulton: (202) 225-8020



CD 7: Ayanna Pressley: (202) 225-5111



CD 8: Stephen Lynch: (202) 225-8273



CD 9: William Keating: (202) 225-3111