Michigan lawyer discusses attendant care services under Michigan workers’ compensation and how to make sure the maximum amount is paid.
Michigan passed its first workers’ compensation law in 1912. It was designed as a compromise between employer and employee interests. Benefits were guaranteed regardless of fault but extremely limited. Today it pays wage loss to employees who cannot work. Medical treatment is also covered under Michigan workers’ compensation without any copays or deductibles and this includes attendant care services.
Insurance companies do not always tell people about their legal rights under workers’ compensation. These services are one of those hidden benefits that are frequently ignored. These services are supposed to help a person with activities of daily living. Here are what disabled employees should know about this important benefit.
What attendant care services are covered under Michigan workers’ compensation?
Michigan workers’ compensation is supposed to pay for attendant care services. This is to help a disabled employee with activities of daily living. Examples include eating, dressing, using the bathroom, showering, personal hygiene, walking, taking medications, wound care, and supervision. It does not cover ordinary household tasks like grocery shopping, taking out the trash, lawn care, or walking the dog.
What are the maximum hours per week for these services?
Family members can get up to 56 hours per week for providing care. This includes spouses, brothers, sisters, children, parents or any combination of these individuals. A professional can also be hired if 24/7 care is needed. Our experience shows that people do not want strangers in the home and would prefer a family member to assist if possible. Sometimes this can be overwhelming, and a professional is needed to provide respite care, so family members can get a break.
How much is the hourly rate for these services?
Insurance companies should pay market rates for these services. A family member should receive the same hourly rate as a professional would charge. The amount paid will vary depending upon the type of services provided. Skilled nursing tasks should be billed at a higher rate than general assistance.
What is required to make a claim?
Many of our Michigan workers’ compensation clients need these attendant care services immediately following a surgical procedure and for weeks or months afterwards. A doctor should prescribe these services and define the needed hours. We recommend family members keep a log of hours and specific activities performed. Insurance companies always try to low-ball the hourly rate. It is a good idea to get an estimate from a professional agency and crosscheck it with data posted by the U.S. Department of Labor. Watch out for insurance companies who cap hourly rates and/or pay too little. An experienced lawyer can maximize how much the insurance company must pay for these services. Penalties can be sought if services are not paid timely.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 201-9497 for a free consultation today.
Minimum wage increased to $9.45 per hour on 03/29/19 and so should attendant care rates