Attendant Care Services: What is it and am I entitled to it under Workers’ Compensation?

Attendant care helps disabled workers perform the day-to-day tasks that they would normally perform if not for their disability. Some examples of what attendant care provides include cleaning, bathing, laundry and cooking. Attendant care also functions to teach the disabled person how to perform day-to-day tasks independently.  Attendant care can be 24-hour care, for the seriously disabled, or for sporadic periods throughout the day.

To qualify for attendant care services, a disabled worker must not be able to perform day-to-day tasks independently. The disabled worker either requires assistance in performing these tasks or needs someone to perform the task for them. Asking the disabled worker’s medical provider if they need attendant care is the best way to know if a disabled worker needs that type of assistance.

Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina compensates for attendant care services. But as with all medical treatment in Workers’ Compensation, it must be approved by the insurance company representing the employer. Insurance companies are reluctant to pay for attendant care. Many times, companies will not freely offer it because of the high cost. Hiring an attorney is critical, in many cases, for the disabled worker to receive attendant care. Having the disabled worker’s treating physician prescribe attendant care is the best way to get the cost of care covered by the insurance company.

A licensed healthcare professional is not necessary to perform attend care. While a licensed professional may be desirable, sometimes insurance companies will drag their feet or flat out deny a disabled worker attendant care. Family members then fill the shoes of those licensed professionals providing attendant care to their loved one. 

Several cases have ruled that family members can be compensated for time spent providing attendant care. The amount of compensation largely depends upon the market price of attendant care services in the disabled worker’s area.  If the average cost of attendant care in his area is $15/hour, then the family members providing attendant care should be compensated the same. 

Workers’ Compensation will even cover attendant care services that were performed by family members in the past. In Chandler v. Atlantic Scrap & Processing, the disabled worker was able to recover compensation for attendant care services provided by his wife going back as far as 4 years. His wife was paid $15/hour for the time spent providing attendant care to her husband.

Obtaining compensation for attendant care provided by family members in the past is extremely difficult for a disabled worker and his or her family to do on their own. Insurance companies are extremely reluctant to pay. Fortunately, we can help. If you have questions about attendant care services, please give us a call or text at (336)333-2244 or email us at info@wardblacklaw.com. Speaking with us is always free. We look forward to helping you. 

About the Author

Attorney Gabriel Snyder

Attorney Gabriel Snyder is a NC licensed attorney at Ward Black Law where he represents individuals who have been hurt at work. Gabe earned his undergraduate degree from Campbell University and his law degree from Campbell School of Law. He received the Millie Wiggins Scholarship and the Howard Memorial Christian Citizenship Award during his time at Campbell Law.

Snyder met his wife, Audrey, during undergraduate school at Campbell and then they attended Campbell Law together. After they were married, they returned to Gabe’s hometown of Greensboro to pursue their legal careers.

After graduating law school, Gabe Snyder joined Snyder Law where he worked alongside his father, Barry Snyder, practicing personal injury, family and criminal law. Now Gabe and Audrey Snyder are a husband and wife team of lawyers, both practicing at Ward Black Law.