UNDERSTANDING LONG TERM CARE
Long term care is enormously complicated and not fully understood by most people, as it is not the same as a medical care plan. Physical and cognitive impairment will cause about half of all older adults to lose the ability to care for themselves during their lifetimes. Many times, people will suffer medical diseases but no one addresses the elephant in the room that sometimes aging is just a process with no magic pill, no magic cure. The body needs to walk through this journey in which daily activities become hard to handle and supervision needs to be given.
At Golden State, we want to assist people to live independently on their own and enjoy the comfort of their homes. When looking for assistance, it is important to understand all legal ramifications of hiring a caregiver from an agency versus an independent caregiver.
Golden State Home Care is an Agency
Using an agency means the caregiver is a company employee who receives worker’s compensation insurance, disability benefits, sick time, paid holidays and paid training. We take our caregivers seriously and their profession. Additionally, our caregivers are not babysitters and are treated with respect and professionalism, which includes receiving benefits.
… Not an Independent Caregiver
When hiring a caregiver, one must consider the difference between an independent caregiver and an household employee. The family hiring the independent caregiver takes on all the responsibilities of being an employer including payroll and taxes.
As a private employer, the individual or family is required to pay Social Security, unemployment and payroll taxes. Many aides will represent themselves as independent contractors, ostensibly relieving the hiring individual of these tax obligations. However, it is the hiring individual’s responsibility to ensure that the aide truly is an independent contractor and is therefore paying his or her own taxes. In many instances, the aide will not meet the legal criteria of an independent contractor. If the aide has not met his or her tax obligations, the responsibility falls to the employer. This can be a serious obligation because it may involve interest on back taxes, civil fines and the possible criminal penalties. Potential private employers should seek the advice of a labor lawyer to assure appropriate hiring practices with respect to the federal tax laws. This is a difficult decision. Much should be considered both mentally and financially.
We are here to help you through this process.