According to recent statistics compiled by the Illinois Department of Public Health, more than 10,000 Illinois residents currently live in continuing care facilities. These facilities are valuable resources for employees who are no longer able to work because of injury, disease or aging. In some cases, workers’ compensation benefits may be available for continuing care.
What is continuing care?
A continuing care facility is a living community that is designed to provide for different levels of disability and functionality. Most continuing care communities include all of the following provisions:
- Independent living facilities for people who can still take care of all functions of daily living, including cooking, hygiene and recreation
- Assisted living facilities for people who are unable to perform some daily tasks
- Nursing home care for residents who need more intensive medical care and supervision
Residents of a continuing care facility can move between levels when their needs change, as a Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer knows.
When do injured workers need continuing care?
Some injured workers require continuing care in the aftermath of severe injuries or illnesses suffered on the job. Blunt force trauma to the head often results in traumatic brain injury. Injuries to the brain can be permanently disabling, even for young people who were previously vigorous and healthy.
Spinal cord injuries are also a major cause of permanent work-related disability that may require a move to a continuing care facility. Many quadriplegics and paraplegics are able to enjoy long and productive lives with medical help. Continuing care is often a valuable tool in maintaining independence. If a medical crisis occurs or the disabled worker’s condition suddenly degenerates, a Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer is aware that a higher level of care is easily available within the facility.
Workers’ compensation and continuing care
If an injured worker requires long-term residence in a continuing care facility after an injury, Illinois workers’ compensation law can provide for this need. Permanent total disability or partial disability benefits can be used to cover the costs of continuing care. In cases of severe disability, benefits are paid until Social Security becomes operative.
Residential care is an important piece of the puzzle
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, there are currently more than 400 licensed and certified long term care facilities in the state. Residential and continuing care is an important piece of the health care puzzle in Illinois. Permanently injured employees have options for long term residence. People who have become disabled after a work accident should consider talking with an Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer.