Posted on Feb 16, 2015
Any family who has a senior who is need of extra care knows the struggles of choosing between either caring for your parent or family member personally, hiring a professional caregiver, or saving a few bucks and some time for yourself by hiring a caregiver under the table. While this may seem like a good idea, and the most logical choice for both the client and the caregiver, as the client may pay less and the caregiver could earn more, there also comes with it many more risks that may make you think twice before hiring for yourself. Senior Helpers of Moraga has provided a list of a few things to consider before attempting to venture into the caregiving world alone.
For starters, hiring under the table caregivers is against the law. The IRS considers that person your employee if you pay him or her more than $1,800 a year, and thus, as the caregiver’s employer, it is the client’s job to withhold money and paying income tax, social security, and medicare for your employee. You could also instead file a W-9 and report the annual total of the caregiver’s wages and he or she would be responsible for paying the taxes.
If you choose not to report the caregiver on your taxes, you could end up paying much more in back taxes and interest penalties down the line if you get caught.
It makes it harder to verify your caregiver. Most agencies like Senior Helpers, perform background checks on all of their employees thus insuring that the caregiver has a valid license, no criminal history, and has the proper professional training necessary.
You are not protected from disability claims. Because your caregiver most likely works all of their jobs under the table, he or she probably is not insured leaving you with little protection if your caregiver is injured on the job and chooses to seek damages.
The risk of theft is higher. Because the arrangement between you and your caregiver is more or less secret, there is the chance that your caregiver knows there is less of a chance that you will report abuse, theft or other problems.
You will deal with a high turnover. Because there is no paperwork to document the job, there is no hassle for the caregiver to leave and find another client.
Senior Helpers of Moraga serves families and their seniors in many parts of the East Bay helping to bring to families peace of mind and specialized care for their loved ones. Our caregivers provide professional care to our local seniors in areas such as Danville, Walnut Creek, and Alameda, in the form of check-in home visits, companion care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, housekeeping, and many more. For more information on how you can afford a caregiver from Senior Helpers, call 925-376-8000 or visit our website.