Home care services mostly cater to the elderly, but over 37% of patients receiving long term care are under age 64. These individuals are unable to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) due to injury, disability, chronic illness, or during rehabilitation and recovery from major surgery. While senior citizens (age 65+) are eligible for benefits like Medicare, Social Security, and plan for their futures by considering long term care insurance, most other individuals may not be prepared for the cost of care resulting from an unexpected injury.
What Legal Options do I Have to Help Pay for Care?
The legal system in the United States holds accountable individuals responsible for causing you physical harm or disability, rewarding you monetarily to help pay for immediate medical care and subsequent home or long term care that may be necessary. Personal injury, most commonly caused by the neglect of another driver or a property owner, usually manifest in an immediate need for medical attention, but often result in an extended recovery period during which you are unable to earn a salary or function independently. In the legal realm, a personal injury claim is brought forth against the liable party who, if found guilty of negligence, will be held financially responsible. Injuries resulting in disfigurement, disability, an inability to work, or other hardships often recoup payment based on the following legal claims:
- Current & Future Medical Expenses
- Household Services (including non-medical home care aides)
- Loss of Consortium (if the injury interfered with a marital relationship)
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Loss of Society and Companionship
- Lost Wages
- Lost Earning Capacity
- Mental Anguish; Pain & Suffering
- Permanent Disability
If you believe you are entitled to a claim of personal injury, consult a qualified attorney to help understand your rights and take action.
What Other Benefits are Available if I’m Injured or Disabled?
While legal action can award you with the greatest monetary gain for your injuries, lawsuits are complicated and it may be months, even years, before you are awarded money. Fortunately, there are other options to help pay for your care. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is available for injured or disabled individuals who meet the criteria for years of previous work experience and medically qualify as unable to work. Learn about SSDI benefits as administered by the Social Security Administration here.
Once qualified for SSDI, you are automatically eligible for Medicare Parts A and B which cover your immediate medical needs in the form of hospital and acute care. While Medicare does not cover the costs of long term care, you may also be eligible for Medicaid if deemed permanently disabled by the SSA. The Medicaid program will not only assist you in paying for general and ongoing medical care, but long term, home, and rehabilitative care as well. Medicaid, a federal program in conjunction with state compliance, varies by state; check Medicaid.gov for more information about your state’s benefits. Each state also has individual programs to help its residents; the State of Illinois, for example, provides assistance for disabled individuals in need of home health care, brain injury (BI) and cognitive therapy (which are not commonly covered by insurance or federal programs on an extended basis), respite care, and assistive equipment.
Depending on how and where your injury, fall, slip, or accident occurred, you may also be eligible for Workers’ Compensation (for injuries in the workplace), Homeowner’s Insurance (for slips and falls in your own or another’s home), and Auto Insurance (for injuries resulting from car accidents and crashes) benefits for non-permanent disabilities.
Receiving benefits on the federal, state, and legal level are subject to lengthy applications, thorough reviews, and assessments of your medical history and condition. Work with someone you trust, whether a family member, a case worker, or an attorney to help complete and submit forms so you can get the assistance you need and deserve. Learn more about available government benefits and find out for which you qualify by visiting Benefits.gov.