Greetings, one of the elements of the proposed $1.9 Trillion COVID relief bill that is being negotiated in Congress is an increase the in the Federal Minimum wage. Rumor has it is that even if that gets stripped out it of the relief package, it will be a bill on its own.
In Florida, if a family member is providing attendant care, and they are either unemployed or doing so on top of their job, the rate we pay is the FEDERAL minimum wage. Since 2009, that rate has been $7.25 an hour. (Florida’s min wage is $8.65 an hour, and it will go up to $10 in Sept, and will gradually increase to $15 an hour by 2026). Regardless, per 440.13(2)(b)(1), we pay the Federal rate of $7.25.
The proposed Federal bill would also gradually increase the min wage to $15 an hour by 2025. This would double your attendant care exposure on any long term attendant care cases. Perhaps now is the time to explore settlement on these cases knowing the exposure is going to grow over the next 4 years.
A few other A.C. basics as a refresher…
If the family member is employed and misses work, we pay their regular rate of pay at their job, not to exceed the going rate for attendant care professionally. And family members cannot be paid for more than 12 hours a day of attendant care. There must be a prescription for attendant care, but per case law, it can be done after the fact. Watch out for attendant care following an ESI or other procedure in the aftercare instructions.