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AARP AARP States New Jersey

Family Caregivers Need Financial Relief. Support the Caregiver’s Assistance Act A1802/S2021.

Dear Governor Murphy:

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, representing over 2 million New Jerseyans, we are writing to urge you to include the Caregiver’s Assistance Act (A1802/S2021) in your Fiscal Year 2024 budget proposal to provide family caregivers with much needed financial relief through a fully refundable income tax credit of up to $675.

Right here in New Jersey, 1.1 million family caregivers work tirelessly without pay to keep their parents, spouses, and other loved ones at home, and out of costly taxpayer-funded nursing homes – and it isn’t easy. If you’re a family caregiver or know someone who is, then you know it bears a significant financial burden along with the emotional toll we lovingly take on.

On average, family caregivers in the U.S. spend 26% of their income on caregiving activities. They sacrifice income, job security, and their savings. With the COVID-19 pandemic exposing serious problems in our long-term care system, and inflation driving prices for gas, food and housing even higher, family caregiving has become more stressful and an even greater financial burden. Nearly four in ten family caregivers who provided care during the pandemic say they are in a worse financial situation than before the pandemic.

Family caregivers are the bedrock of our system of long-term care. Family caregivers who assume these personal financial burdens, save our state - and all taxpayers - money by keeping their loved ones out of taxpayer-funded nursing homes. The annual economic value of unpaid care provided by family caregivers in New Jersey is approximately $13 billion. To put this in perspective, the state’s entire Medicaid budget is $16 billion.

Many family caregivers cut back their work hours or even leave the workforce to care for loved ones, creating a huge loss in income over and above any existing financial challenges related to caregiving expenses. Family caregiving also puts one’s career advancement and retirement savings at risk.

Family caregivers 50 and older who leave the workforce to care for a parent lose nearly $304,000, on average, in income and benefits over their lifetime. This expensive care and personal sacrifice helps older loved ones remain safely at home – where they want to be.

The need to address the financial burden faced by family caregivers is an issue that transcends party lines. Among New Jersey voters 50 and older, there is overwhelming support (84%) for the state to expand the current state tax credit for caregivers supporting Wounded Warriors to all family caregivers who provide care for older loved ones.

The recently released report of the statutorily enacted New Jersey Caregiver Task Force reinforced that “providing financial relief and infrastructural support for New Jersey’s caregivers is imperative.” The report recommends that the Governor and Legislature develop strategies to provide financial relief to households that pay or incur expenses for the care and support of a care recipient. A caregiver tax credit is identified as one such strategy – and which can reap long-term benefits for the state and caregivers.

Unpaid family caregivers are often the most critical and the most cost-effective member of a person’s care team. Providing this modest income tax credit to family caregivers is a smart investment. Supporting older residents at home is significantly less expensive than institutional care and saves all tax-payers money by reducing Medicaid costs. A $675 tax credit is good fiscal policy considering the alternative is an increased need for expensive, state-funded institutional care.

The NJ Caregiver Task Force survey found that 1 in 5 caregivers throughout the state reported medications, supplies, care or treatments that the care recipients should have, but can’t afford. Over 70% of survey respondents reported spending personal funds on items related to caregiving and nearly 1 in 3 reported losing pay due to caregiving responsibilities. More than half of caregivers reported that it is difficult to take care of their own health (63%) and household (56%).

The Caregiver’s Assistance Act A1802/S2021 recognizes the value of our family caregivers while providing meaningful financial support to help families afford their caregiving responsibilities.

We can never repay our family caregivers for all they do, but we can start by giving them a modest tax credit. We urge you to invest in New Jersey’s family caregivers and in the dignity and resiliency of our state’s system of long-term care. Enact the Caregiver’s Assistance Act A1802/S2021.


Crystal McDonald
Associate State Director - Advocacy
AARP New Jersey

Gwen Orlowski
Executive Director
Disability Rights New Jersey

Cheryl Ricci-Francione
Executive Director
Alzheimer’s Association – Greater NJ Chapter

Marian Garber Marlowe
Planning and Allocations Manager/
CARES Coordinator
Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ

Janet Sharma
Age Friendly Englewood

Nancy Fitterer
President and CEO
Home Care & Hospice Association of New Jersey

Beth Abott and Sheila Brogan
Age Friendly Ridgewood

Meredith Masin Blount
Executive Director
National Alliance on Mental Illness New Jersey

Brandon Eldershaw
Supervisor of Community Wellness
CentraState Healthcare System

Cathy Rowe, DrPH
Executive Director
New Jersey Advocates for Aging Well

Reva Foster
New Jersey Black Issues Convention

Reva Foster
Executive Director
Community Affairs
Senior Services
Veterans Affairs
Reva Foster Senior Center

Yarrow Willman-Cole
Workplace Justice Program Director
NJ Citizen Action

Robin Ennis
Manager, Caregivers Coalition
United Way of Northern New Jersey

Christine Stearns
Chief Government Relations Officer
New Jersey Hospital Association

Robin Ennis
Manager, Caregivers Coalition
United Way of Northern New Jersey

Nicole Rodriguez
New Jersey Policy Perspective

Christopher Rinn
Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey
Community Health Center, Inc.

The Honorable Elizabeth Maher Muoio, New Jersey State Treasurer
The Honorable Sarah Adelman, Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Human Services
George Helmy, Chief of Staff, Office of Governor Phil Murphy
Parimal Garg, Chief Counsel, Office of Governor Phil Murphy
Dennis Zeveloff, Chief Policy Advisor, Office of Governor Phil Murphy
Brianna Earle, Acting Deputy Chief of Staff for Outreach, Office of Governor Phil Murphy
Tim Hillman, Deputy Chief of Staff for Government Affairs, Office of Governor Phil Murphy


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