What You Need To Know

Evaluating Your Needs, Safety and Options


As a Full Service Agency, Apt Home Care provides the full spectrum of private care services, utilizing our own personal care assistants, caregivers, companions and RN-supervised Certified Nurses Aides (CNAs).

Here are a few reasons Apt Home Care is recommended and considered for professional services:

  • When you are unable to meet your own needs due to illness, health, aging, or social problems
  • When you are recovering from hospitalization
  • When you are homebound, lonely, frightened, or feel unsafe at home
  • When you only need a 1-hour visit to assist with bathing, dressing, grooming or other needs
  • When you need wake-up and tuck-in for morning/evening care
  • When you need assistance purchasing groceries or traveling to appointments
  • When you need respite care for a loved one


rivate duty home care provides services to assist people with their personal and home needs. Care may also include skilled nursing by licensed professionals. Private duty is usually a private pay service covered by private funds or long term care insurance, but not by Medicare or Medicaid.

There are three private care hiring options. You may choose from:



  • A Full Service Agency, such as Apt Home Care
  • Employment Agencies
  • Hiring Privately

Full Service Agencies
... typically screen, train, employ and supervise their staff. They withhold taxes and contribute to worker's compensation and unemployment insurance. Most agencies insure and bond their employees. Illinois law requires that home care agencies perform criminal background checks and many do drug screening.

Employment Agencies
...place caregivers with clients and collect a placement fee. To ensure customer satisfaction, some agencies pre-screen and follow up with their placements. In Illinois, employment agencies are not required to conduct criminal background checks. Typically, the agency does not pay worker's compensation insurance or employer/employee payroll taxes. The client must assume those "employer" responsibilities including paying required withholding and taxes, as required by Illinois labor laws.

Hiring Privately
Companions, aides or nurses can always be hired privately by the client. Once a relationship is established, the client becomes responsible for all state and federal payroll requirement, unemployment insurance and worker's compensation costs. There are some instances where the caregiver will be considered an "Independent Contractor" and is then responsible for his or her own taxes and insurance. The IRS has clear guidelines to determine whether a caregiver is an independent contractor or an employee. To avoid unintentional liability, clients should consider these guidelines and their consequences before privately hiring a caregiver.

One should be very careful to only hire people who are in this country on a legal work visa or who are citizens and avoid any ramifications of hiring someone who is not legally able to work here.


Locate, screen, interview, train, check references, verify USA work authorization, withhold payroll taxes, negotiate salary/benefits, and determine work schedule, cover days off and holidays.

  • Apt Home Care, a full service agency, will do all of the above.
  • An employment agency may or may not do one or more of the above, and the client needs to determine the work schedule, covering days off and holidays.
  • When a private hire or independent agency contractor is used, the responsibility of ALL of the above items falls to the client.

Provide professional on-site supervision and replacement of caregiver if necessary.

  • Apt Home Care, a full service agency, will fulfill these tasks.
  • An employment agency may or may not replace the caregiver and all supervision is performed by the client.
  • When a private hire or independent agency contractor is used, the responsibility of ALL of the above items falls to the client.

Take responsibility for workers compensation insurance, social security, payroll tax, unemployment insurance, professional liability insurance or bond.

  • Apt  Home Care, a full service agency will obtain and pay for these items.
  • An employment agency MAY share joint responsibility with the client for one or more of these items or pay for none of it.
  • For a private hire, the responsibility is the client's and an independent agency contractor will be required to provide their own.


When a client lives alone there can be risk factors involved. They may have impaired judgment and be vulnerable.

  • When using a full service agency such as Apt Home Care, risk is reduced by agency supervision.
  • An employment agency will not provide supervision.
  • When a private hire or independent agency contractor is used, the risk is unknown and the responsibility falls to the client and/or the client's family.

Illinois labor laws require employers to pay at least 1 1/2 times the hourly rate of pay for over 40 hours in a work week. Live-in employees must have at least 24 consecutive hours of rest every calendar week.

  • The rates for a full service agency are typically higher than an employment agency, or self hired, or agency independent contractor caregiver, but the risks are reduced, and if problems arise there is somewhere to turn to for help.
  • An employment agency may require a one-time placement fee and may share tax and insurance costs.

Private hire or independent agency contractor use may be a cost effective alternative if client and responsible parties are aware of the risks and payroll/insurance issues. 


Hiring private caregivers may often seem like a less costly alternative, but in reality, you might be putting yourself at far greater risk than you realize. When you are the employer instead of being the client, the risks escalate.

The IRS states that individual employers are liable for:

  • Social Security tax
  • Unemployment compensation tax
  • Payroll tax, including an additional tax assessment of up to 100% of the amount owed to the IRS if the employer is considered to have "willfully" failed to withhold taxes
  • Interest on any owed underpayment
  • Possible civil fines of up to $100,000
  • Possible criminal penalties, including imprisonment for up to five years.

The shortage of qualified applicants, and your immediate needs, may sometimes compromise your hiring procedures. Careful background checks, including the investigation of any criminal misconduct, as well as thorough interviews, are standard procedures of any reputable home care agency. In addition, an outside agency can train and supervise the caregiver to ensure that maximum quality standards are met.

Private caregivers rarely carry general or professional liability insurance. If the caregiver fails to perform his/her duties adequately, you may be subject to a major liability.

Bonding protects your from theft or breakage. Without bonding, you may have limited or no protection.

Let Apt Home Care Be The Employer.


You want the best care service, you deserve the best care service...
know your rights.

  1. You have the right to receive the highest quality care and always receive a timely response from agency to your questions and requests.
  2. You have the right to be informed and notified in writing of your rights, responsibilities and obligations before services begin.
  3. You have the right to expect that all medically related care be provided by appropriately trained caregivers.
  4. You have the right to know any limitations of care provider services.
  5. You have the right to be treated with respect and free from physical and verbal abuse.
  6. You have the right to voice grievences, suggest changes and assert these rights personally without retaliation.
  7. You have the right to protect these rights from becoming conditions of receiving services. A guardian, conservator or a designated person may seek to enforce these rights. A provider must protect and promote these rights.
  8. You have the right to have your property treated with respect.
  9. You have the right to participate in the planning of care and be informed of changes in care and to be advised that you have the right to do so.
  10. You have the right to expect the care provider to release information that you have authorized.
  11. You have the right to receive confidential handling of information about your health, social and financial circumstances.
  12. You have the right to refuse services or request a change of a caregiver without fear of reprisal or discrimination.
  13. You have the right to have access to all bills you have received.
  14. You have the right to accept or refuse medical treatment, even if that treatment is life sustaining subject to laws.
  15. You have the right to know the protocol in case of emergency.
You have the right to have a caregiver relationship that delivers care based on honesty and ethical standards of conduct.

Call for a free consultation!
Apt Home Care
(847) 433-6470

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