Can I get paid for taking care of my sister by workers’ comp in Georgia?

We currently have a very sad case in which the injured worker suffered severe brain trauma and is unable to take care of herself without assistance.  So, her younger sister has been kind enough to step into the role of non-medical attendant caregiver during the day to make sure the injured worker can engage in activities of daily living.

The Medical Office Mgmt v. Hardee case offers us some guidance on this issue.  For hourly rates that non-medical attendant caregivers can get paid, see this link to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation medical fee schedule (specifically, this sheet).  Currently, such caregivers–including family members–can get $10.50/hour for up to 12 hours a day for such care.

The attendant care needs to be medically necessary to effect a cure, provide relief, or restore the injured worker to suitable employment under O.C.G.A. 34-9-200(a) and be prescribed by the authorized treating physician in order for the workers’ compensation insurer to cover it, so if you find yourself in a situation where you require such care after an injury at work, or if you’re the person providing such care for a loved one’s injury at work, talk to the treating doctor about making this referral or prescription, so you can cover some of the costs your being out of work for several hours a day to care for your loved one!  Too many folks do not know to utilize this section of the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act and its interpreting case law, and I find many spouses or other family members and friends are providing these services by necessity without getting reimbursed for their time.  Don’t let that be you!

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