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How Do U.S. States Rank in Caregiver Support Policies?

According to a 2020 report, an estimated 22-26 million adults provide unpaid care to a family member or friend, helping with daily activities, personal and medical care, as well as daily chores. Interestingly, an expansion of medical care at home and the complexity of the healthcare system itself means family caregivers pick up the role of care coordinators, overseeing their loved one’s medical care. Sixty percent of these caregivers were employed and provided over 20 hours of care on a weekly basis.

caregiver support doesn’t match caregiver effort

A deeper dive into caregiver policies found that while federal policies remain a work-in-progress, states are coming up with their own policies to support caregivers, but these policies are patchy at best.

  • 18% of states offer paid family leave
  • 20% of states have policies that exceed the federal Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Most states have not improved spousal impoverishment protections for Medicaid beneficiaries
  • Eligibility and scope of services vary by state 
  • Few states provide financial support to caregivers
  • Benefit restrictions hinder access for family caregivers

Researchers of this report ranked the 50 U.S. states and D.C. based on their alignment with recommendations to support family caregivers. Their findings are reflected in the map below.

Click on the map below to open a PDF — a link to state resources for family caregivers is embedded in each state’s abbreviation.


Surabhi Dangi Garamella

Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, Ph.D. is a biologist with academic research experience, who brings her skills and knowledge to the health care communications world. She provides writing and strategic support to non-profit groups via her consultancy, SDG AdvoHealth, LLC.

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