Oklahomans who provide care for veterans spend on average $11,500 of their personal income on out-of-pocket costs related to caregiving each year—1.5 times higher than what other family caregivers spend ($7,242), according to AARP data. And 43 percent of veteran and military caregivers experienced at least one financial setback, such as having to take on more debt or dip into personal savings, according to research from AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving.
“Oklahomans caring for our veterans should not have to worry about finances on top of their caregiving responsibilities, yet many do,” said AARP Oklahoma State Director Sean Voskuhl. “AARP Oklahoma’s free resources, such as the AARP Oklahoma Caregiver Kit, can help these hidden heroes build a more secure financial future.”
Across the country, more than 6.5 million veteran and military caregivers provide $14 billion in unpaid labor for America’s wounded warriors every year— putting their own financial well-being aside— and at risk.
AARP Oklahoma successfully advocated for a tax credit to support family caregivers during the 2023 legislative session. Thanks to the leadership of Rep. Tammy West and Sen. Roger Thompson, the Caring for Caregivers tax credit will become available during the 2024 tax year. The tax credit must be directly related to assisting the family caregiver in providing care to an eligible family member. Individuals caring for veterans or those with a dementia-related diagnosis will receive up to $3,000. The tax credit is capped at $2,000 annually for family caregivers not caring for veterans or those with dementia.