Homecare – The Differences Between complete-Service Agencies, Private Hire & Referral Agencies

Homecare – The Differences Between complete-Service Agencies, Private Hire & Referral Agencies




Homecare, also known as in-home care, provides a caregiver to work in your home and help with activities of daily living (ADLs), instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) and household chores. Some homecare aides accept clients who live in assisted living or skilled nursing facilities, and in those situations they work with their clients in the facility instead of the client’s home.

There are three basic ways to go about hiring a specialized caregiver. First, you need to decide whether to hire a private caregiver or go by an agency. There are two kinds of homecare agencies: referral and complete-service. This article addresses the differences between all three options.

complete-service Agencies

complete-service homecare agencies take care of the major aspects of hiring a caregiver for you. It is in the best interests of these agencies to ensure that their caregivers are experienced, competent and a good fit for you, the client. sets typically include:

* Prescreening employees for a criminal background

* Checking multiple references

* Providing worker’s compensation insurance

* Maintaining specialized liability insurance or bond

* Covering all payroll taxes

* Supplying a caregiver when a hired one will be absent

* Replacing a caregiver who isn’t a good fit

* Supervising caregivers

Before you start your search, read important questions to ask before signing a contract with an agency.

Referral Agencies

Referral agencies provide some initial screening and selection sets, but once you hire a caregiver from a referral agency, your relationship with the agency ends. Referral agencies do not provide supervision of caregivers. Referral agency sets usually include:

* Prescreening employees for a criminal background

* Checking multiple references

Your responsibilities, after finding a caregiver by a referral agency, will include:

* Paying the caregiver directly and covering any related taxes

* Insuring the caregiver and/or your personal items (Contact a local insurance agent to ask what protection an existing homeowner’s policy offers. Ask for information about dishonesty bonds and worker’s compensation.)

* Supervising the caregiver

* Finding a substitute caregiver if needed

Private-hire Caregivers

Private-hire caregivers are often hired by information-of-mouth recommendations. To get started, read tips on how to find, background check and interview a private-hire caregiver, review a downloadable Caregiver Employment Sheet and learn how to avoid fraud and abuse by in-home care employees.

Taxes and Private-hire Caregivers

Private-hire caregivers can work as independent contractors or as your employee. Tax laws change yearly; however, in 2006 any in-home employee who made less than $1,500 for the year is considered a contractor. consequently, a caregiver in this situation would use the IRS’s 1099 form, which method that they are responsible for their own taxes at the end of the year. There is one exception: homecare workers who act as their own business with, for example, business cards, clients or a business license; already if he or she made more than $1,500, a person in this scenario would be considered a contractor. All other workers would be considered your employee and you would be responsible for withholding the proper amount of taxes from each paycheck. There is also a set amount for transportation costs ($105/month in 2006) and live-in costs, which are not calculated into the yearly sum.




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