Occupational Therapists in BC are concerned about the inadequate funding being set aside for clients with severe catastrophic injuries under the new “Enhanced Care” System. The ICBC website advertises the following improvements in benefits for clients needing 24-hour care. Here is what ICBC is offering up for injured parties after May 1, 2021:
Permanent impairment compensation (new) - This benefit provides financial compensation, like the pain and suffering compensation in today’s system, for injuries that result in an impairment that will last your lifetime. For catastrophic injuries, the maximum amount is $250,000. The amount provided depends on the severity and permanence of your injury.
Personal care assistance (increased) - up to $5,700 per month for the catastrophically injured and $10,000 per month for those requiring 24-hour care.
Now let’s do some basic math to make sure our clients with catastrophic injuries have enough care to look after their needs:
$10,000/month X 12 months = $120,000/year
$120,000/year = $328.54/day = $13.69/hour
Does ICBC expect an individual with quadriplegia or severe traumatic brain injury to hire care aides at less than minimum wage to provide this level of care?
The average rate for support workers through most agencies in this province is upwards of $35/hour.
$35/hour X 24 hours/day = $840/day
$840/day X 365.25 days = $306,810/year = $25,567.50/month.
Yes, folks the average monthly cost of 24-hour care in this province is $25,567.50. This does not even cover the GST or the acknowledgment that these hard workers who provide care for our most complex clients should be paid time and half for providing care on statutory holidays.