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3/19/2024 Rep. Donovan, Sen. Ujifusa propose tax credit for family caregivers
STATE HOUSE – Providing care to an aging or disabled family member is a duty that many Rhode Islanders do out of love and devotion, often at great personal cost.

While no one could put a price on the care they provide, Sen. Linda L. Ujifusa and Rep. Susan R. Donovan have introduced legislation that would help defray some of the monetary expenses faced by family caregivers.

The legislation (2024-S 2375, 2024-H 7490) would allow eligible Rhode Islanders who live with and care for an elderly or disabled family member to receive an income tax credit equal to 50% of the eligible costs that they incur, with a maximum credit of $1,000.

“Taking care of a family member who needs assistance is an act of love, but it can be as financially draining as it can be physically exhausting. Many of those doing this important work struggle with the added expense. It’s our hope that this tax break eases the strain on their families’ budgets and helps them to continue providing this essential care,” said Representative Donovan (D-Dist. 69, Bristol, Portsmouth), who is chairwoman of the House Health and Human Services Committee.

Said Senator Ujifusa (D-Dist. 11, Portsmouth, Bristol), “The contributions of family caregivers benefit not only their family members, but our greater community as well. They are enabling their loved one to live at home instead of in a more expensive institutional setting, and by sharing their home, in many cases they are freeing up desperately needed housing in our communities, too. This credit is a very modest recognition of their work and the sacrifices they make, and it will help provide support for them and their families.”

Under the legislation, the credit would be available to Rhode Island residents with an annual adjusted gross income of less than $50,000 for an individual or $100,000 for couples filing jointly. The family member for whom they are caring must be 65 or older or qualified for Social Security disability benefits, live with them at least six months of the year and require assistance with at least two activities of daily living. Expenses that could be claimed include home health care equipment, any improvements made to the home to enable the family member to live there safely, the costs of home care aides or personal care attendants, adult day care and more, as long as the costs are not reimbursable by the family member’s health insurance.

The legislation is supported by the Senior Agenda Coalition.

“Thousands of unpaid Rhode Island family caregivers are providing crucial supports to keep their loved ones healthy and living at home. Many provide care for older family members or adults with disabilities who need help with personal care and mobility,” said Senior Agenda Coalition Policy Advisor Maureen Maigret. “While these caregivers may get great satisfaction from this care, they often incur physical and financial stresses. And their work is not always recognized and valued by society. By providing a state tax credit for a family caregiver’s out-of-pocket expenditures, this bill would help relieve some of the financial burden many face and show that their work is valued by society.”'

For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-1923