Finding the right caregiver seems like a daunting task. You’ll discover you can hire private caregivers through family, friends, neighbors, classifieds, and various online services. You can also obtain a caregiver through agencies. Some agencies act as “clearing house” and offer independent caregivers for hire. Others offer services to the pubic via caregiver employees. Hiring a caregiver from the neighborhood, family friend or a classified ad may seem to like the most cost effective plan, but is it?
When looking at the hourly wage, a Private Caregiver may appear to be a cost effective option, but there is so much more to consider.
Private caregivers are free agents. Very few states have requirements for training, licensing, or certification of Private Caregivers. In most states, all one has to do is declare themselves available for hire. When you hire a Private Caregiver you assume a lot of responsibilities. You have to you to verify their credentials. This includes running background checks, checking references, and immigration status. You must develop a clear legal contract which clarifies their duties, pay, etc. You also are LEGALLY required to collect and file taxes.
Many people believe they can 1099 an independent caregiver. However private caregivers are a W2 employee according to IRS law. This means that in addition to the hourly wage you pay, you must pay the employers percentage of these taxes. These are taxes you owe in addition to the taxes you withhold from the employees paycheck. IRS requires you to pay the employer part of two of these taxes: a 6.2 percent Social Security tax; and. a 1.45 percent Medicare tax or whatever current percentages required by law. There may be other state and federal taxes as the laws change. Hiring a private caregiver means you are taking on responsibilities that most agencies take care of for you.
When choosing an agency, it is important to understand that there are two major types. It can often be difficult to identify one from the other based on their advertising or websites.
The first type of agency is a referral agency. In other words the agency does not have employees. Since they do not have “employee-type” expenses their rates for care are lower. Their purpose it to act as a clearing house. Typically they do not provide workman’s compensation, liability insurance, or training for the caregivers. Some of these agencies will handle things like background checks and payroll for a fee. However, most will still list you as the employer. As the employer, you are the responsible person. If taxes aren’t filed or collected properly you are legally responsible for any errors. A Referral-type agency has fewer expenses than and employee based agency. Like private pay, you assume costs and responsibilities which employee-based agencies absorb for you.
AGENCIES THAT HIRE AND USE ACTUAL EMPLOYEES
The type of agency to look for is one that has actual employees as caregivers. Agencies, such as Covenant Home Care, offer you a complete solution to in-home care. Hiring an agency with actual employees means employee taxes are collected and paid as required by law. You are not responsible for this task, nor must you complete and be responsible for a ton of paperwork.
Covenant Home Care take care of all that paperwork for you. They complete all background checks (nationwide and state). They check DMV records, work history, immigration status, and references. They require random drug tests. Each employee is trained and their experience verified. Employees must follow company policies and procedures that ensure both safety and privacy of the client. Covenant Home Care also carries liability insurance and workman’s comp insurance.
In addition, each employee’s performance is evaluated on a regular basis. Feedback from you is also very important and actionable. You also have other team members that can and will come to your aid when necessary. For example: Should your preferred caregiver need time off, for any reason, Covenant Home Care provides a backup caregiver.
There is a tremendous value and peace of mind that comes from hiring home care services with actual employees. These agencies take care of all employment requirements for you. So it may seem to cost more than other options; in truth you are getting more and having to do less.
When considering in-home care for you or your loved one the bottom line is the safety and privacy of the person receiving care. When you hire the services of an agency, like Covenant Home Care, you can rest assured that all the i(s) were dotted and t(s) were crossed. You can have confidence that only skilled and caring people are coming into your home. You can relax knowing that all the taxes and paperwork are done. You can have peace of mind that responses to your needs will be prompt, knowledgeable, trustworthy, and qualified. Covenant Home Care, Inc., – your first choice for in-home care.