At Home Personal Care > Blog > Risks of Hiring Private Caregivers

Consumer Beware. Know Your Options Before Hiring Privately.


Private hire caregivers can be found advertising their services in classified ads in newspapers, online websites such as Craigslist, and even through word-of-mouth from a “friend of a friend”. You are responsible for finding an honest, dependable, caring and qualified caregiver or “independent contractor” to provide assistance to your loved one. You are solely responsible for checking this person’s credentials, training, references, experience, and background investigation.


When you hire a private caregiver, it puts you in charge of reporting wages, filing tax forms, and paying payroll taxes. If you even pay a mere $1,700 or more in one calendar year, you are classified as a household employer. You will need to withhold federal tax, social security, state and Medicare taxes. You will need to maintain employment forms and verify your private caregiver is legal to work in the US. You will need to file quarterly and annual tax forms with government tax agencies. You will need insurance to cover the caregiver in case they are injured or become ill while working. There are a whole other set of tax laws that your private caregiver or “independent contractor” must adhere to.


Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of not fulfilling their obligations as a household employer, and choose to pay their private caregiver “under the table” by personal check or cash. This is illegal. Would you risk getting caught paying a private caregiver under the table and being charged with tax evasion or perjury, and face paying back taxes, monetary penalties, and interest?


What happens when a private caregiver misses a shift or calls in sick? Who replaces them? What do you do if you want to terminate the private caregiver?


The safest and most cost effective option is to work with a reputable home care agency to provide your loved one’s care.


Through At Home Personal Care:


  • Background investigations are conducted
  • Driving record must be clean
  • 2 years minimum of hands on experience is required
  • Certification required
  • CPR and First Aid required
  • Fingerprint clearance card required
  • Must be legal to work in the United States and speak clear English
  • Provides workers compensation insurance
  • Bonded against theft
  • Conduct regular supervisory visits and case management
  • Ongoing management support and caregiver training
  • Caregivers are our employees, not contractors
  • 24/7 on call


Please consider the safety and well being of your loved one before taking a risk and hiring privately. Contact us with any concerns.

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