Unrecognized Sacrifices: The Impact of Unfair Attendant Care Compensation within SABS

Joel Paquette
Joel Paquette
August 14, 2023
Reading Time: 3 min
Unfair Attendant Care Compensation within SABS, Advocacy, Attendant Care, Awareness, Care, Client Care, Compensation, Family, Family Support, SABS, Social Work, Spark Updates

Our team wants to bring light to an issue that affects not only accident victims but also their families and the critical role they play in providing care and support. Let’s discuss the concerning compensation practices within the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS), specifically related to attendant care and the implications this has on clients’ ability to receive adequate care and families’ struggles to be fairly compensated for their selfless dedication.

It is disheartening to learn that within the SABS framework, some levels of attendant care compensation continue to fall below minimum wage and below market rate, failing to recognize the value and significance of the services provided. Moreover, the system often disregards the invaluable support offered by families, as they are predominantly ineligible to obtain the attendant care funds deemed appropriate for the client’s needs. This discrepancy not only affects the client’s ability to receive the care they require but also places families in a challenging and unfair position.

Attendants who dedicate their time and energy to support accident victims deserve fair compensation that reflects the skill, effort, and commitment required.

The Effects of Unfair Compensation for Attendant Care

When the compensation for attendant care falls below market rate or even minimum wage, it undermines the dignity and worth of the individuals providing these essential services. Attendants who dedicate their time and energy to support accident victims deserve fair compensation that reflects the skill, effort, and commitment required for this crucial role. The limits of attendant care should align with competitive compensation for attendant care workers, such that community-healthcare teams are utilizing established limits to maximize support for clients instead of trying to do so with extreme limits to available funding.

For example, if someone needs 24/7 supervision, they would be limited to 6000.00 per month of attendant care funds based on rates dictated by the SABS, equating to about 40 hours per week of attendant care coverage based on a competitive market rate. This leaves ⅔ of the required coverage to be completed by the families without compensation for the same. Compensation and limits in their current structure diminish the motivation for skilled individuals to enter or remain in the attendant care sector and leave families requiring higher levels of care out-of-pocket to fund support or provide care themselves. 

The Unrecognized Sacrifices of Families

The insufficient recognition of families and their pivotal role in providing care is equally as concerning as the discrepancy between identified and competitive rates. Often, family members step up to support their loved ones during the recovery process, dedicating countless hours and emotional energy to making significant lifestyle adjustments. However, due to the eligibility restrictions within the SABS, families are often unable to receive appropriate compensation for their sacrifices, even if they are providing the exact care identified as appropriate within the SABS and an attendant care assessment of needs.

African American couple and family worried over finances
When clients and families are left unsupported by the system, it can take a financial and emotional toll.

This places a significant burden on families, forcing them to juggle caregiving responsibilities while potentially sacrificing their own financial stability, careers, and overall well-being. They are often required to utilize external service providers to access funding for support for their loved one or forgo access to that funding altogether. 

These shortcomings within the SABS system have severe implications for clients and their families. When clients are unable to receive adequate attendant care or when families are left unsupported, the consequences are far-reaching. Clients may experience delays in their recovery, diminished quality of life, and increased reliance on an already overwhelmed healthcare system. Families face financial strain, emotional toll, and a diminished ability to maintain their well-being and livelihoods.

Addressing the Systematic Inequities

To rectify this situation, it is imperative for regulatory bodies, policymakers, and stakeholders to address these systemic inequities within the SABS. Fair limits that align with competitive compensation for attendant care must be established, ensuring that it aligns with the skills, responsibilities, and economic realities of those providing these vital services. Additionally, recognizing and appropriately compensating families for their unwavering support is crucial to acknowledge their sacrifices and alleviate their financial burdens.

By advocating for fair and just compensation practices within the SABS, we can foster an environment that supports accident victims and their families. Let us work together to ensure clients receive the necessary care they deserve while empowering families to provide support without enduring undue financial and emotional strain.



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