With millions of people relying on home care to help senior loved ones age at home, many families have unwittingly taken on the role of employer by directly hiring a homemaker-companion (or other caregiver), often with the assistance of a home care registry or other referral agency. Although the family might consider the caregiver as just another contractor—like a plumber or electrician—Connecticut and federal laws generally regard the caregiver as the family’s employee. Therefore, the family may be liable for taxes, Social Security, unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance and other financial obligations. Not only are most people not aware of this liability, until Oct. 1, state law did not require registries to inform consumers until four days after placing the caregiver with the consumer.
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