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Study Finds Federal Disability Payments Encourage More Family Caregiving

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Study Finds Federal Disability Payments Encourage More Family Caregiving


According to a new RAND Corporation study, in-kind assistance from adult children can become more prevalent because of an initial federal disability benefits claim. The study concluded that if someone claims federal disability benefits then it is more likely that younger people, often a close family member, are also paid for their assistance. Adult children, with disabled parents who received benefits, are empowered to work less because the benefit is passed through the parent.


The Journal of Health Economics was the first publication to run with these findings. They tend to cautiously suggest that adult children caregivers are being paid and financially compensated by the recipients of disability benefits. The findings tend to go some way to suggest that an entire family unit is affected financially by disability. “It is not just the person in the wheelchair or the person with a medical ailment that struggles to cope. The entire family is affected, including those individuals who provide care to the disability benefit recipient,” says William M. Kuntz, a Social Security Benefits Attorney in California. A disability benefit doesn’t always support the sole recipient. This benefit can be redistributed through the family to ensure everyone is financially stable.


Family units that have a disability benefit claimant within them are understudied. This new RAND Corporation study focuses more on family support mechanisms, the emotive aspects of disability and financial remuneration.


The Health and Retirement Study was used to focus on informal caregiving advice that was given to respondents of a survey. They then married these details to Social Security Administration disability benefits records. This allowed trends in income, finances, benefits and caregiving to be analyzed and over three thousand individuals could be considered.


If an individual had received a disability benefit, their informal care plans were looked at. This could range from family caregivers to daily visits to meals on wheels. They also looked at their peers who had a need for care, but whose claim for disability benefits were denied. It was clear to see that those people who were able to claim disability benefit had a greater chance of receiving care from their own offspring. This infers that the financial remuneration of benefits made the family unit more capable of providing care in a meaningful way. Children can then be paid for their care informally. This also means that those children providing the care aren’t working full time because they don’t have the time to do so. The data suggested that those individuals from a lower income background were more likely to fit into this results bracket. Disability benefit acceptance also reduced the chances of a spouse working full time. It’s worth noting that for those who feel they were wrongly denied benefits, it is recommended that they consult with a social security attorney who will be able to effectively present their benefits claim in court.


There is no right or wrong way to spend disability benefit payments as this is not legislated, and nor should it be. This way of spending payments can see a stronger family unit develop. Being financially capable to care for parents can be the deciding factor for many as to whether they need to work or not. Having the choice makes caregiving more informal and meaningful. The holistic approach to caregiving is the most beneficial aspect of disability benefit payments.