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U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Helps Reintroduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Assist Family Caregivers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today helped reintroduce bipartisan legislation, led by Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), that supports family caregivers in Wisconsin and across the country.

“In so many instances, family caregivers put their financial security at risk to tend to the needs of their loved ones, many of whom require full-time assistance and care,” said Senator Baldwin. “This bipartisan reform will provide family caregivers some much-needed tax relief.”

“Iowa is home to over 300,000 family caregivers. Many of these individuals are juggling their own full-time or part-time employment while also selflessly caring for a loved one. Our bipartisan bill recognizes the additional financial responsibilities placed on our family caregivers and would provide an avenue of relief and support for these hardworking folks in Iowa and across the country,” said Senator Joni Ernst.

“Each year, Wisconsin’s 578,000 family caregivers provide about 538 million hours of care to their parents, spouses, partners, and other adult loved ones,” said AARP Wisconsin State Director Sam Wilson. “In addition, family caregivers spent an average of $7,000 in 2016 on out-of-pocket costs related to caregiving.” Wilson went on to say that family caregivers “provide this care while also keeping up with their own jobs, running their own households and trying to make ends meet. AARP supports the Credit for Caring Act to provide some much-needed financial relief to eligible family caregivers and looks forward to working with the bill’s sponsors and others to pass this important legislation.”

“AARP is pleased to endorse the Credit for Caring Act and appreciates the bipartisan leadership of the bill’s Senate and House sponsors to support family caregivers,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer. “Nationwide, 40 million family caregivers are assisting loved ones so they can stay in their homes and communities. In 2016, family caregivers spent an average of 20 percent of their income, or nearly $7,000, on care-related expenses. The Credit for Caring Act would provide some much-needed financial relief to eligible family caregivers. We look forward to working with the bill’s sponsors and Congress to enact this important legislation.” 

The Credit for Caring Act would provide working family caregivers with a nonrefundable tax credit up to $3,000 to assist with out-of-pocket expenses related to caregiving. This tax credit for caregivers can be used toward expenses such as transportation, home modifications to accommodate a family member, medication management services, and training or education for the caregiver.

About the Credit for Caring Act:

  • Creates up to a $3,000 nonrefundable tax credit adjusted to inflation for family caregivers.
  • Applies to incurred family caregiving expenses greater than $2,000.
  • Qualified care recipients must have been certified by a health care practitioner to be in need of long-term care for at least 180 consecutive days.
  • Eligibility is limited to a caregiver of a qualified care recipient who must pay for caregiving expenses and has earned income in excess of $7,500.
  • Credit is phased out when income exceeds $150,000 for joint filers or $75,000 for individual filers.

The legislation is also cosponsored by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Chris Coons (D-DE), Angus King (I-ME), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). U.S. Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY) and Linda Sánchez (D-CA) are introducing a bipartisan companion bill in the House. 

The full text of the bill can be found here.