Michigan no-fault auto insurance policies provide a benefit called "replacement services," also referred to as "household services." These policies also provide a benefit called "attendant care."
What is the difference between attendant care and replacement services?
Replacement services are household chores the injured person used to do for himself or his dependents but can no longer do because of his accident injuries. Replacement services include cleaning the house, laundry, babysitting, lawn care, snow shoveling, taking out the garbage, and grocery shopping. Therefore, if you are performing household chores that your family member used to do before the accident, you are entitled to replacement services benefits.
Replacement services are paid at a maximum rate of $20 per day. This means that you cannot collect more than $20 per day in replacement services no matter how many hours per day you spend performing replacement services.
Attendant care is a service provide to the injured person as a result of the injury. Attendant care is more like nursing care than household chores. Attendant care includes assisting the injured person with bathing, getting dressed, doing transfers, administering medication, and supervising the injured person.
Attendant care is paid by the hour. Currently, there is no limit on the amount of attendant care that the auto insurance carrier must pay. Some brain injured clients require attendant care 24-hours per day, and the law requires the insurance company to pay for all 24 hours. The benefit amount is calculated by the number of attendant hours performed per day times a reasonable hourly rate.
What hourly rate for attendant care is reasonable? That depends on a number of factors, including the geographical area in which the injured person lives, as well as the skill level of the care being provided.