Hillary Clinton rolled out another tax break proposal on Sunday, this time for elderly care givers.
At a campaign stop in Iowa, the Democratic frontrunner said that as president she would give a $6,000 tax credit to Americans who tend to the health needs of elderly or disabled parents or grandparents to offset the expense of providing longterm care. She would also offer a credit toward Americans’ Social Security benefits when they drop out of the workforce to act as caregivers. The Social Security benefits of workers take a hit when they take time off to tend to ill or disabled family members because the benefit is based on a person’s top 35 years of annual earnings.
Clinton also proposed the creation of a “caregiver respite program” that will provide temporary relief to a primary caregiver when he or she needs a break. The former Secretary of State plans to invest $100 million in the initiative over 10 years.
The cost of caring for children and the elderly has garnered some attention on the campaign trail, and has frequently been framed as an issue of gender pay equality, since caregiving responsibilities still tend to fall to women and often put a dent in their earning potential and career trajectories.
The Clinton campaign addressed elder care from that angle when introducing the plan Sunday. “Many family members, most often spouses and adult daughters, spend time out of the workforce, cut back on hours, or use personal days, vacation, and family time to provide needed care,” it said. “Providing informal caregiving can strain family finances, with caregivers suffering lost wages, health insurance, and Social Security benefits.”