COLUMBUS — State Reps. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) and Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) today announced the introduction of House Bill (HB) 79, or the Caregiver Expenses Tax Credit. Previously introduced as HB 454 in the 133rd General Assembly, this legislation would provide a tax credit of up to $1,000 for certain expenses incurred by a family caregiver for the care and support of a qualifying family member. To qualify, the family member must be age 18 or over and require assistance with at least one activity of daily living.
“Putting families first requires us to proactively address the challenges of caring for aging family members and those living with chronic health conditions,” said Rep. Russo. “It is important that we develop ways of relieving the financial burden for families – especially as many Ohioans have struggled to get through the COVID-19 pandemic - so that caregivers can continue to support their loved ones at home and in the community.”
“Most of us will become caregivers to a loved one at some point in our lives. In fact, many of us will also need a loved one to become our caregiver. Caregivers provide necessary healthcare support, companionship and so much more. Our caregivers take time from their other obligations— work, school, perhaps even their own families— to nurture their loved one back to stability,” said Rep. Boyd. “They shouldn’t have to worry about paying their bills or losing their own homes because they’re putting their loved ones first. Who among us would not want our caregivers to be whole?”
Ohio’s population is aging, with more residents aged 60 and over than those under the age of 20. Currently, an estimated 1.7 million Ohioans provide caregiving services for their aging and disabled loved ones. Studies show that an average of 20 percent of a family’s income goes towards paying for caregiving costs, with caregivers contributing almost $7,000 in out-of-pocket costs to their loved one’s care.