When a client requires an individual to take care of someone, be it an adult or a minor, they can choose to hire someone to do so for a fee, of course. This person is assigned the title of caregiver and to make sure there are no hiccups with the arrangement; a caregiver contract will give legal backing to the arrangement. It goes over the specifics and scope of what the caregiver will have to do, the monetary compensation they are entitled to, terms of care as well as several other clauses that help make sure everyone gets the best deal possible! Before starting, however, there are few things you should know about caregivers in particular.
Caregivers can range from an individual whom you know and are comfortable with, to a licensed professional, like a nurse. Their general job description is to provide meals, housekeeping tasks, cleaning, doing any additional chores, and, most importantly, attending to the personal needs of the client or the beneficiary. In some cases, additional help may be required, such as transportation and assisting with miscellaneous tasks, but generally, caregivers are obliged to fulfill the aforementioned tasks. They generally work on a schedule that is to be determined and embedded within the contract.
Some live-in caregivers live with the client or the beneficiary for the period stated in the contract, with their job description staying more or less the same. The only difference is that they don’t adhere to a schedule and rather are there on an on-demand basis for the client/beneficiary. Caregivers in the United States are typically paid $11-$12 an hour, but this can vary depending on locality. Expect prices in urban areas to be much higher than in the countryside!
Additionally, to draft a contract, caregivers may be treated either as employees or as independent contractors. While, in reality, this presents a very minute difference, it will result in changes that need to be made to the contract. For this reason, clients should ideally decide beforehand and reach a decision.
What Else Do You Need to Enlist a Caregiver?
Typically, caregivers also require a few additional forms for emergency purposes. This holds particularly true for live-in caregivers but is equally important in the case of a scheduled caregiver as well. These forms, at the very least, are a power of attorney forms that give the caregiver the legal power to seek professional help on behalf of the client/beneficiary in case of a legal or medical emergency. More specifically, a caregiver will likely need the following;
- Financial PoA (Power of Attorney) – This allows the caregiver to perform certain financial tasks on behalf of the beneficiary. This includes simple things like paying bills, making deposits and/or withdrawals from the bank, and seeking out professionals in the field of finance and banking to assist the client/beneficiary.
- Medical PoA – This allows the caregiver the right to admit the beneficiary/client into the care of a medical facility in cases of emergency.
- General PoA – This allows the caregiver the right to represent the beneficiary/client if there are visitors who are legal representatives and/or government officials, and the beneficiary/client is not in a satisfactory condition.
Drafting a Caregiver Service Contract
A Caregiver service contract will need to consider a number of things before being drafted. Most importantly, the client will have to decide whether they want the caregiver to be hired as an independent contractor or an employee. Each of these positions will require separate and distinct sections in the body of the contract. Once that’s done, the contract can be drafted using the template below! It can be modified to best suit your situation and will have space for additional clauses that may be required!
CAREGIVER SERVICE CONTRACT TEMPLATE
The following agreement is hereby titled the “Caregiver Service Contract.” The parties subject to it will hereby be referred to as “The Client,” _ (Client Name) with a mailing address at _____________________________________________________
And the “Caregiver” (Caregiver name) with a mailing address at _____________________________________________________
If the client wishes to enlist the services of the caregiver to satisfy the needs of another individual, this individual will be referred to as “The Beneficiary” (Beneficiary Name) with a mailing address located at _______________________________________________________
For this agreement, the caregiver agrees to work in the following capacity (Choose one.)
(a) Independent Contractor – In this capacity, the caregiver assumes all fiscal responsibility that pertains to payment of taxes and assumes full legal responsibility as it pertains to State and Federal Law. The caregiver also waives their right to unemployed insurance on both State and Federal levels.
(b) Employee (W9) – In this capacity, the caregiver serves as an employee of the client/the beneficiary (Choose one). Subsequently, the caregiver is obligated to turn in the appropriate W9 forms, which contain declarations about taxes, insurance, social security, and state and federal unemployment insurance, to which the caregiver will be entitled.
The contract will be enforceable and commence on (START DATE) and subsequently end on _ (END DATE).
The “Client” hereby agrees to pay the caregiver the following amount;
_ Yes _ No A fee of __$/hour _ Yes _ No A fee of __$ for the entirety of the contract _ Yes _ No Other ___________________________ (Please explain.)
The caregiver hereby agrees to assume the responsibility in the following capacity; (Choose one)
(a) Caretaker Basis – The caregiver agrees to provide their services for _ number of hours per week while being paid an hourly rate of /hr. (If there is a schedule, it should be attached here.) (b) Live-in Caregiver – The caregiver agrees to provide their services and stay on the premises/in the vicinity of the client/beneficiary, who hereby agrees to provide room and board, which is separate from the caregiver’s pay. For this, the client/beneficiary agrees to pay /hr (OR) _$ for the entirety of the term of this contract.
(c) Reimbursement – The client/beneficiary hereby agrees to reimburse the caregiver for all expenses that include but are not limited to gas, travel, food, water, groceries, and insurance during the term of the contract. This only applies to expenses that directly contribute to the caregiver being able to perform their duties to the satisfaction of the client/beneficiary.
V. SERVICES TO BE CARRIED OUT
The caregiver agrees to perform the following services;
(a) Transportation and Errands (These will need to be more clearly defined, but depend on the situation, so take some time going over this section.)
(b) Meals – List the number of meals as well as whether they are to be prepared or purchased!
(c) Housework – This typically includes cleaning and maintenance. Be sure to list out what the client expects from the caregiver!
(d) Financial – This is only applicable if the caregiver will have to pay bills and utilities on behalf of the client/beneficiary. Again, list out what they will need to do!
(e) Medication – List out what type of medication needs to be provided to the client/beneficiary and a schedule, if applicable.
(f) General Assistance – Here, the client/beneficiary may list any additional, miscellaneous requests they may have. Make sure that you are as clear and detailed as possible when doing so.
VI. ADDITIONAL CLAUSES
Here, either party may insert additional clauses and/or stipulations. This typically includes things like exclusivity, non-disclosure, and confidentiality clauses.
VII. THE AGREEMENT IN ITS ENTIRETY
The agreement explicitly detailed above hereby represents the entirety of the arrangement between the parties. It hereby overrides any previous or existing agreement, contractual or not, that may have been in place before the signing of this contract. No additional clauses will be binding unless agreed upon by both parties.
CAREGIVER NAME ___
CAREGIVER SIGNATURE _ DATE _
CLIENT NAME __
CLIENT SIGNATURE ____ DATE __
BENEFICIARY NAME ___
BENEFICIARY SIGNATURE _ DATE __
Yes! This person will assume the legal role of a caregiver. To enlist their services, you’ll need a caregiver service contract, which offers a number of benefits for all the parties involved. You may also enlist a professional, such as a nurse, as a private caregiver to take care of family members!
Simply put, no. Medicare doesn’t offer many long-term benefits, financial or otherwise, for allowing family members to be legal caregivers. That being said, this may allow for some small tax benefits and write-offs, but that varies from state to state.
Typically, caregivers can withhold federal taxes from their wages, provided they are contracted as independent contractors with a 1099 form. If they are contracted as employees, they will have to submit a W9 form and subsequently pay their federal taxes and declare them at the end of the fiscal year.