In two previous articles we discussed some of the dangers of private or independent caregivers. In this article we will cover independent caregiver insurance and liability.
It is important that you know all of the legal ramifications before you make a decision on who will care for your elderly loved one when the time comes.
Independent Caregiver Insurance
The majority of caregivers are relatives.
We all want our parents and loved ones to be able to stay in their own homes as long as possible. When health and cognitive abilities start to decline, having to hire a caregiver is a high probability.
Caregivers make it possible for your loved one to stay in their home and not have to receive care in a care facility. Services include:
- Meal prep
- Assistance with dressing
- Medication management
- Basic exercise
When you make the decision to hire an independent caregiver, you will now be considered the employer and the caregiver is your employee. At the very least you will need to provide workers compensation insurance in the state of Utah.
If you pay your caregiver more than $1,000 in a calendar quarter, you are required to provide workers comp insurance.
This can be added to your homeowners insurance in case the caregiver is injured on the job and requires treatment. These costs can be significant. The important thing to remember is that an employee who accepts insurance, gives up their rights to sue an employer.
It is also a good idea to write up some kind of employment contract which covers things like how many hours the caregiver will work, amount they will get paid, what days they will have off, and how the taxes will be handled.
In the state of Utah, domestic employees are protected by overtime laws. Overtime must be payed if an individual works more than 40 hours in a 7 day period. For all hours worked over 40, employees will be paid 1.5 times their hourly wage.
In Utah, employees who use their own vehicle for work use, are entitled to 54.5 cents per mile. This is a federal guideline. This is not a taxable compensation so neither the employer or the employee are required to pay taxes on mileage.
Caregiver employers have four primary tax responsibilities.
- Social Security and Medicare taxes to be withheld from employees paycheck
- Pay employers portion of Social Security and Medicare and federal and stage unemployment insurance
- File tax forms with state of Utah and Utah Department of Workforce Services on a quarterly basis
- At years end, prepare a W-2 form and give to employee. File all forms appropriately
Please refer to Dunn Law Firm in St. George for any legal counsel if desired. http://dunnfirm.com/
At Golden Heart Senior Care Southern Utah in St. George, we provide superior caregivers who are certified, licensed, bonded and insured. Your loved one will receive the care they need while we take all of the responsibilities so you don’t have to worry. Care will be uninterrupted. You’re in good hands with Golden Heart. Call today (435) 669-3704.
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