Ask the Orange County Workers Comp Lawyers:
Can Family Caregivers be Paid by Workers Comp?
If you were injured at work and a family member or loved one is now taking care of you, they may be able to receive compensation for their caregiving from your Workers’ Comp benefits.
Under Workers’ Comp laws, insurers must pay for living-assistance care when a worker has been so severely injured that they can’t take care of themselves. In many instances the family member(s) who are providing the care may be entitled to compensation – just as if they were an independent healthcare worker or “attendant care giver”.
But this is one of the best-kept secrets of workers’ compensation insurers! Of course, the insurance company is not going to recommend or suggest that your family member be paid. The way they see it: why would they want to offer to pay your caregiver, if they are already performing these duties out of love, for free.
While workers’ compensation laws do vary from state to state, payment for “attendant care” is available in all 50 states, including California. And it does not matter whether the “attendant care” is provided by a professional caregiver, a spouse, an adult child, a fiancé or even a friend. Anyone who is an attendant caregiver to an injured worker who cannot take care of themselves, is entitled to be paid under workers compensation.
In other word, the workers comp insurer is not compensating the caregiver as a spouse, but as an employee who is providing caregiving service.
Most family caregivers will never be told about the possibility of payment by the Workers Comp insurer – and in fact, may caregivers have even reported to us that their loved one’s insurer has even flat-out denied that family caregiver compensation is an option.
Workers Comp for Family Caregivers is Not Automatic
Remember that paid attendant care is only prescribed for injuries that cause the disabled worker to lose the ability to perform activities of daily living, including: eating, walking, dressing, bathing, getting in and out of bed and using the bathroom. Keep in mind that in the majority of workers’ compensation cases, attendant care is not necessary.
And, payment for attendant care is almost never “automatic” and typically has to be approved by the court. Also, the hourly rate paid to the family is NOT based on any wages that they “gave up” to be a caregiver. Caregiver compensation will be calculated based on the cost of hiring a professional attendant to do the same work in the same geographic area. This can be anywhere from $10 to $40 an hour, depending on the type of the care provided, and the location.
Orange County Workers Comp Lawyers Can Help
If you are caring for a disabled worker who is collecting Workers Compensation, do not rely on the information you get from the insurance company. Get the help you need to protect your rights and collect the compensation you deserve from an experienced Orange County lawyer.
We will give you the information you need to understand your rights and we will fight aggressively for you – so you obtain the maximum Workers Compensation benefits for which you qualify!