Wisconsin Senator's bill would ease burden on caregivers

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) A bipartisan bill co-authored by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) would give financial relief to the country's 40 million unpaid family caregivers who tend to an ill, aging or disabled loved one.

There are about 578,000 people caring for loved ones in Wisconsin alone.

The 'Credit for Caring Act' would create up to a $3,000 non-refundable tax credit to help with out-of-pocket expenses incurred by caregivers. The tax could be used for costs like transportation, home modifications to help a family member, medication management services, and training for the caregiver.

A loved suffering from a sudden illness, dementia or diseases like Alzheimer's can often leave people financially vulnerable while trying to care for them.

"Often our caregivers are unprepared for these roles and we do far too little, I think, to support them in what they do," said Baldwin.

Caregivers spent an average of about $7,000 on related expenses in 2016, according to the AARP.