Home care, other businesses impacted by gas prices
March 01, 2012
In Orange County, California, gas prices have hiked up by about 57 cents in a month, reaching an average of $4.35 per gallon, according to The Orange County Register. This can potentially pose difficulties for people who need to use a vehicle for work, including home care workers.
One agency owner told the news source that the business does its best to assign caregivers to clients who live within five miles of their home, a task that is completed with the help of home care software. However, the firm itself does not add a fuel surcharge.
If a caregiver needs to use her car to drive clients around for errands or medical appointments, the client pays 55.5 cents a mile. This is the allowance given by the Internal Revenue Service for the use of a personal vehicle for work-related purposes, the news source said.
These extra expenses can be hard for some caregivers to absorb. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 40 percent of home care workers rely on public benefits such as food stamps or Medicaid.
Other businesses are having a hard time with the hike in gas prices, according to the news source. These include online retailers who need to pay for deliveries, caterers who deliver food and security systems agencies that own the vehicles that drive to clients' homes.