But for many people who leave a job to take on caregiving responsibilities, the cost is even higher. An earlier AARP study estimated that missed wages and Social Security benefits totaled $234,000 for male caregivers and $324,000 for women, who are more likely to drop out of the workforce.
So it’s no surprise that many family members who devote significant time and money to caregiving wonder whether it’s possible to be compensated for their work. “The majority of people who contact us are asking precisely that,” says Sima Schoen, a resource specialist at the Family Caregiver Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy group in San Francisco.
The answer is maybe, if you're persistent. “There are a handful of ways you may be able to get paid," says Schoen. "But programs and policies vary from state to state, and even in the best of circumstances, it can be difficult.”
Click HERE for five of the best routes for getting paid as a caregiver to a family member.