Earlier this election year, I wrote about Secretary Hillary Clinton’ proposed tax credit for caregivers taking care of elderly or disabled family members and I wrote that we would hopefully see “much more emphasis on caregiving from the presidential candidates.” But alas, crickets. This election cycle has been one like we have never witnessed before and issues like caregiving have not been given any air time out on the campaign trail.
True, Donald Trump did include eldercare as part of the childcare plan he rolled out. But between drama over emails and video tapes detailing sexual assault (and no, I do not think the two issues deserve equal treatment), there hasn’t been enough time for domestic issues like eldercare.
But we working daughters, and sons, know, we need better policies to support family caregivers. So, before you head to the polls, here’s where the candidates stand on issues related to eldercare, taken from their websites:
- Provide up to $6,000 in tax credits to help family members offset caregiving costs for their elderly family members.
- Launch a Care Workers Initiative to create a coordinated, government-wide initiative to address the challenges faced by paid care workers.
- Expand Social Security so Americans receive credit toward their Social Security benefits when they are out of the paid workforce due to caregiving duties.
- Invest $100 million in the Caregiver Respite program.
- Invest $2 billion per year in research for Alzheimer’s and related disorders, the level leading researchers have determined necessary to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s and make a cure possible by 2025.
- Guarantee up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave to care for a new child or a seriously ill family member.
- Ensure Americans get at least two-thirds of their current wages, up to a ceiling, while on leave.
- Allow an above-the-line deduction limited to $5,000 per year for eldercare costs necessary to keep a family member working outside the home.
- Allow parents to enroll in tax-free dependent care savings accounts for their children or elderly relatives. Total contributions could not exceed $2,000 per year from all sources
- Provide benefits to lower-income taxpayers who can’t use the exclusion against the income tax because they have no income tax liability a boost in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This benefit would be half of the payroll taxes paid by the lower earning parent.
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