Do you need your caregiver with you?
If you have a disability and need to go to the hospital, the law gives you certain rights, including equal access to health care. Some people need a caregiver with them to be able to have equal access. For instance, you may need help communicating with hospital staff, or advocating for medical treatment.
If you need help at the hospital because of your disability, you may have the right to bring your helper with you. Depending on your disability, the hospital might need to change the rules for you.
Visitors in hospitals during COVID-19
Some hospitals do not allow visitors at this time. If you need your helper with you because of your disability, tell hospital workers. The hospital might need to make an exception to this rule for you. This is called a reasonable accommodation.
Things to know:
- It may help to take a letter from your doctor that says why you need your helper. The letter should say why your caregiver’s presence is “medically necessary” for you.
- Your helper cannot stay with you if they are sick.
- They may need to take extra precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Reasons you may need your caregiver with you
You may be able to request a reasonable accommodation to the hospital visitor policy if you need your caregiver to:
- Communicate effectively with hospital staff about your medical needs.
- Ensure equal access to treatment.
- Access disability-related services the hospital can’t provide.
If your helper is not allowed to stay with you, or for more information about your rights in the hospital setting, contact us (919) 856-2195.
Other things you can do
- File a Civil Rights Complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- File an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Grievance with the NC Department of Health and Human Services.
In a Civil Rights Complaint or ADA Grievance, be sure to include any other disability-related issues and concerns you have about the hospital.