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Home Care - Consumer Alert

If you or your family member is considering hiring someone to help with services in your home, please make sure you are a fully informed consumer. Knowing the issues and the facts can actually save you money and prevent possible legal problems.


Hiring by yourself or through a registry*

Interim HealthCare

Services You are responsible for knowing what services are needed. Since 1966, Interim has been helping people in their homes and making sure they get the right services for the right reason.
Hiring and Scheduling You are responsible for the hiring process from advertising to interviewing to separating the employment relationship. You are also responsible for scheduling. This means making all the phone calls and worrying about someone actually showing up to work. We use a hiring process refined through 40 years of experience and we are responsible for all scheduling.
Supervision You are the boss and responsible for managing performance and discipline. Our employees are trained and supervised.
Back Up You are the back up for services. If the person is sick or on vacation, it is up to you to find a replacement. This can take both time and money to advertise. We are responsible for finding other employees to meet your needs.
Background You are responsible for criminal background checks. You could be placing your loved one in danger. Our employees are screened with criminal background and license checks as required by state laws.
Taxes You are responsible for withholding taxes and social security, filing appropriate reports and paying employer and employee taxes in a timely manner. Penalties are severe and could result in large fines. We handle all aspects of employment, including all employer taxes and reporting.
Malpractice You are responsbile if your employee does something wrong and injures the person receiving services. We carry professional liability insurance and are responsible as the employer.

Employee Injuries
You are responsible if there is an injury in your home. This could result in medical bills or even a major lawsuit. Our employees are insured and covered by workers compensation as required by state law.
Theft You are responsible if an employee takes something from you. Our employees are bonded.

*Some registries may offer payroll services, scheduling, limited screening and match caregivers with clients but there is no employee-employer relationship.

Pitfalls of Hiring On Your Own

Sarah's Story
Sarah hired a home health aide for her mother based on a recommendation from a co-worker who had previously employed the individual. Sarah's mother needed help around the house because her arthritis was getting progressively worse and she was having some problems with her vision. Sarah's mother only needed 10 hours of service a week to help her with shopping, light housework and meal preparation. Unfortunately Sarah's mother took a turn for the worse when she fell and needed minor surgery. At that point, the family decided to ask the aide to live in full time and take care of Sarah's mother. The relationship seemed quite good and lasted until Sarah's mother unexpectedly passed away eight months later. Because the aide had given up all her clients to care for Sarah's mother, she decided to file for unemployment benefits. It was at that point the IRS became aware of Sarah's family as the employer and filed a lawsuit for back unemployment taxes, penalties and a fine. Sarah and her family were in disbelief and caught totally unaware of their responsibilities. They became involved in legal action that took over a year to resolve and many thousands of dollars in legal fees.

Tom's Story
Tom's father needed some help with his activities of daily living. Tom knew how important it was for his father to stay in his home so he looked in the local newspaper for someone who could help. He found Cassandra's advertisement and scheduled an interview. He was very impressed with Cassandra and hired her on the spot. Cassandra and Tom's father seemed to get along fine and everything seemed to be going well. About a month later Tom received a phone call from his father. He couldn't find his coin collection and the money he kept in a small dresser was missing. Tom immediately came home and found several other items missing. He called Cassandra but her phone was disconnected. He called the police and several months later they found Cassandra but unfortunately all of Tom's father's money and personal items were gone. Tom was shocked to learn that Cassandra had a record of stealing and drug abuse.

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