Jimmy Carter and his family have made the decision for him to remain at home in hospice care. What does that mean exactly? Hospice care is for any person who has a life-threatening or terminal illness. For those people, and for the elderly, with a prognosis of just a few months to live, many choose to rest at home with loved-ones and pets, away from a medical environment to spend their time without dramatic medical interventions that will no longer extend their lives.
During this time a team with special skills will help prepare the family, the home, the medication regimen and the therapies to keep the patient comfortable. Your loved one can be comforted in their familiar spaces by spiritual advisors, social workers, and friends. The team, on rare occasions can provide round the clock care, but the greatest burden usually falls on a partner, child or friend to man the helm. There is a lot of information to relay from one team member to the next. Medications change often. There may be a number of dietary changes as the weeks pass and someone has to grocery shop. Someone walks the dog. Someone opens the bills, the explanations of benefits, and the loving notes that arrive in sheaves. Someone navigates the health insurance or Medicare that pays for hospice. Someone does the laundry.
If the primary caregiver has a full-time job these responsibilities can be relentless. California allows paid time off from work in this situation. As of January 1, 2023, wage replacement payments are up to 70% of the caregivers income for up to 8 weeks per 12 month period. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) offers eligible workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per 12 month period, guaranteeing their job security and medical benefits.
California Paid Family Leave (PFL) provides partial wage-replacement benefits to California workers who take time off from work for what matters most – caring for your family. If you pay into State Disability Insurance (CASDI on your paystub) and have earned at least $300 in the 12 month base period of the claim or pay into the Disability Insurance Elective Coverage program as self-employed or as an independent contractor, you may be eligible.
You can apply online or by mail at SDI Online or call 1.877.238.4373 to request a Claim for Paid Family Leave Benefits form.
If you believe you are eligible and your employer refuses to allow you the time off you require to assist in the care of your loved one, contact our experienced attorneys who will stand with you during this trying time.