Hiring In-Home Help: What You Should Know


Get smart! Know your options.

Should I hire a Homecare Organization or an Independent Home Care Aide?

Homecare Organization:

Even though the benefits of having help are clear, the idea of inviting a stranger into your home can make many people feel uncomfortable. If you plan to use your long term care insurance policy to cover some of your home care costs, you must assure you are using an agency that has the professional standards required by the carrier for your reimbursement.

Look for a licensed California Homecare Organization that has at least ten years’ experience and meets all the states licensing laws. Be sure they have a clear agreement for services to sign before starting services.

The Homecare Organization is responsible for:


  • Verification of eligibility to work in the U.S.

  • Determine salary & benefits

  • Fingerprinting and background checks

  • License verification

  • Reference checks

  • Establish job description/schedule

  • Register with the State of California


  • Handles all payroll requirements including State and Federal Taxes, Social Security, Disability Insurance, Medicare, and Unemployment insurance

  • Assurance compliance with labor laws regarding overtime pay

  • Provides Worker’s Compensation Insurance

  • Provides Professional Liability insurance and Fidelity Bonding

  • Verifies Automobile Liability Insurance.

Management & Supervision:

  • Assistance with Long Term Care Insurance Billing

  • Case Management by a professional

  • On site supervision

  • 24 hour Scheduling/On-Call Emergency Coordinator

  • Manage personnel concerns; replace care aide as needed for sick days or vacation etc.

Registry or Domestic Referral Agency:

  • The registry charges fees to help you find a caregiver. They may do pre-screening and background checks.

  • The caregivers they send are independent contractors-you are the employer and are responsible for following labor laws regarding overtime, registering with the CA EDD and IRS, withholding state and federal taxes.

  • You must consider additional insurance/Workers’ Compensation.

  • Registries have little responsibility or liability that may occur during the course of services.

Private Caregiver (Hired by you)

YOU are the employer and are in charge of all recruiting, interviewing, screening, background check etc. As the employer you are required by law to register with the CA EDD and the IRS, and withhold and pay all State and Federal income taxes, State Disability insurance tax, Social Security and Medicare taxes, and contribute to State and Federal Unemployment funds.

YOU must calculate and assure overtime is paid at overtime rates required by law. YOU must also obtain Worker’s Compensation insurance or plan for the contingency of the worker getting injured while working with you. If things don’t work out with the first person you hire, you must start the process from scratch. YOU also must manage your aides, and have alternatives if they cannot work. Many Long Term Care Insurance Providers will not reimburse for private caregivers.

Hiring a private caregiver who is registered with the California Homecare Aide Registry will confirm background clearance for that individual. For more information contact the Home Care Services Bureau at HCSB@dss.ca.gov or by telephone at 916-657-2592.

#inhomehelp #homecare #caregiving

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