Bennet, Bipartisan Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Support Family Caregivers

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are leading a bipartisan effort to provide working family caregivers in Colorado and across the country with a tax credit of up to $5,000 to assist with out-of-pocket caregiving expenses.

The Credit for Caring Act would provide relief for those who are taking on added financial responsibilities as family caregivers supporting a loved one. The nonrefundable tax credit of up to $5,000 could be used toward expenses such as transportation, home modifications to accommodate a family member, medication management services, and training or education for the caregiver. 

According to the AARP, there are approximately 620,000 family caregivers in Colorado who provide $7.8 billion in unpaid care annually to their loved ones. Nationally, there are over 48 million caregivers providing $470 billion in unpaid care.

“This public health crisis has shined a light on the critical role caregivers play in the lives of their loved ones,” said Bennet. “They care for family members, while balancing jobs, family responsibilities, and expenses. This bipartisan legislation will help ease the financial burden so many caregivers in Colorado and across the country face, at a time when they need the relief more than ever.“

“More than 300,000 Iowans serve as family caregivers for a loved one, often while balancing the needs of a full or part-time job. And with the COVID-19 pandemic, those challenges have only gotten more difficult,” said Ernst. “This bipartisan legislation is a critical way to help relieve some of the financial burdens and the sacrifices these hardworking folks in Iowa and across the country have made to care for the people closest to them.”

“Millions of Americans care for loved ones who are ill or have serious medical conditions, often taking time off of work or juggling work, care, and other family responsibilities. Washington should be fighting for these families, which is why I am calling on Congress to pass this modest tax credit to make life just a little easier for them,” said Warren.

“As someone who helped care for both of my parents who passed away following their battle with Alzheimer’s, I saw firsthand the emotional and physical toll it can take on individuals and families,” said Capito. “I’m glad to reintroduce the Credit for Caring Act with my colleagues as a step forward in helping to ease the financial burden caregivers face.”

"Although rewarding, the intense responsibilities of providing care for someone living with dementia can often take a toll on the caregiver," said Amelia Schafer, Colorado Executive Director of the Alzheimer's Association. "We are grateful to Sen. Bennet for his leadership to introduce the Credit for Caring Act. This important bill seeks to support family caregivers and help address the strenuous financial challenges associated with providing care."  

“For family caregivers of a dependent autistic child or relative, this tax credit provides essential financial assistance,” said Lea Anne Paskvalich, Executive Director of the Autism Society of Colorado. “Particularly after a year of Covid-19, when many had a job loss or lower income and higher in-home care needs while therapies and group activities were on hold.”

“AARP appreciates the bipartisan leadership of Senators Ernst (R-IA), Bennet (D-CO), Capito (R-WV), and Warren (D-MA) in sponsoring the Credit for Caring Act and in recognizing that America’s nearly 48 million family caregivers are the backbone of this country’s care system. Family caregivers provide the equivalent of $470 billion annually in unpaid care to their loved ones, and help save taxpayer dollars by delaying or preventing expensive nursing home care and unnecessary hospital stays. The Credit for Caring Act will help offset some of the nearly $7,000 that family caregivers typically spend out-of-pocket each year on care-related expenses,” said Nancy A. LeaMond, AARP’s Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer.

Background

The Credit for Caring Act would create up to a $5,000 nonrefundable tax credit adjusted to inflation for family caregivers. 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.

Under the bill, qualifying 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.