Frequently Asked Questions
Life Care Planning Services | Vocational Services?
Below we list our most frequently asked questions about life care planning.
What is a Life Care Plan?
A Life Care Plan is a dynamic document based on published standards of practice, comprehensive assessment, data analysis and research, which provides an organized, concise plan for current and future needs with associated cost, for individuals who experienced catastrophic injury or have chronic health care needs. Definition from "Life Care Planning and Case Management Handbook", Roger O. Weed, Ph.D (Ed.), CRC Press, 1998.
Who Can Use a Life Care Plan?
Individuals who experienced catastrophic injury or have chronic health care needs. Some examples include young children brain damaged at birth, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, traumatic amputees, and individuals with developmental disabilities, severe burns, and chronic pain patients.
How is a Life Care Plan Developed?
The Life Care Planner reviews all of the available medical records. In cases of TBI it is also important to review the pre-injury records such as school and/or employment records, and interview family members, to understand how the person was before the injury. The most thorough and individualized plan can be formulated with an in-person assessment visit. When both parties, plaintiff and defense, retain a Life Care Planner, it is beneficial for the defense Life Care Planner to also have the opportunity to evaluate and interview the injured party. In order to prepare a Life Care Plan and foster a thorough understanding of the injured party and his future needs, the Care Planner solicits the input of family caregivers, and physicians, therapists, and school professionals who have been involved in the treatment, rehabilitation, and day-to-day care of the injured/ill party.
How is a Life Care Plan Used?
Plaintiff and Defense Attorneys:
In cases of litigation this document is used as a tool to determine the monetary value of lifetime medical and disability-related needs. Following mediation, arbitration, or trial, an agreed upon value of dollars occurs and money is put into a structured settlement or set in reserves so that the finances are available as needs arise.
A Life Care Plan can be requested to help establish short and long-term reserves for future care. They may also request this document as a tool for ongoing case management.
These professionals may recommend to attorneys this document to give them the preliminary data necessary to formulate the present value cost of lifetime care. Economists rely upon Life Care Planners to identify specific damages such as disability-related expenses and lost wages.
Trust Managers of Estates:
Individuals in the role of overseeing the lifetime finances of disabled individuals rely on professional Life Care Planners to identify a schedule of when needs will occur, determine when a plan may need to be adjusted, and help in determining when treatments and therapies are indicated for appropriation of funds