Reed introduces bipartisan, bicameral proposal to support America’s family caregivers

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) on May 14 proposed a bipartisan, bicameral bill that would provide a nonrefundable tax credit for working family caregivers across the country.

“Millions of Americans provide unpaid care to a friend or relative with a long-term illness or medical condition, often juggling this work with other obligations resulting in a significant financial burden,” Rep. Reed said. “We all care about ensuring our aging loved ones get the assistance they deserve and want to ensure any financial pain put upon caregivers are eased.”

Rep. Reed cosponsored the Credit for Caring Act of 2019, H.R. 2730, with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-CA). The U.S. Senate companion bill, the same-named S. 1443, was introduced on Tuesday by U.S. Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Michael Bennet (D-CO).

The measure already has an endorsement from AARP, which said 40 million family caregivers nationwide now assist loved ones so they may 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, according to AARP, which said the Credit for Caring Act would provide them with some financial relief.

The proposed bill would provide eligible caregivers with a nonrefundable tax credit up to $3,000 to assist with out-of-pocket expenses related to caregiving, according to Rep. Reed, who said the tax credit could be used toward expenses such as transportation, home modifications, medication management services, and caregiver training or education.

According to the text of the bill, eligibility would be limited to a caregiver of a qualified care recipient who must pay for caregiving expenses and has an earned income in excess of $7,500. The credit would be phased out when income exceeds $150,000 for joint filers or $75,000 for individual filers.

H.R. 2730 is under consideration by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, while S. 1443 is being reviewed by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.