Does the life-sustaining therapy meet all of the following criteria?
- The therapy is needed to support a vital function.
- The therapy is needed at least three times per week.
- The therapy is needed for an average of at least 14 hours per week.
You must dedicate the time to the therapy – that is, you have to take time away from normal, everyday activities to receive it. It includes the time you spend setting up a portable device.
If your therapy requires a regular dosage of medication that needs to be adjusted daily, the time spent on activities directly related to determining and administering the dosage can be counted in the 14 hours per week requirement. For example:
- checking blood glucose levels
- preparing and administering the insulin
- calibrating necessary equipment
- testing ketones
- keeping a log book of blood glucose levels
If a child cannot perform the activities related to the therapy because of their age, the time spent by the child’s primary caregivers to do and supervise these activities can be counted toward the 14 hours per week requirement. For example, for a child with Type 1 diabetes, supervision includes:
- having to wake the child at night to test their blood glucose level
- checking the child to decide if more blood glucose testing is needed (during or after physical activity)
- performing other supervisory activities that can reasonably be considered necessary to adjust the dosage of insulin
However, some activities do not count toward the 14 hours per week requirement, such as:
- the time a portable or implanted device takes to deliver the therapy (such as an insulin pump, a CPAP machine, or a pacemaker)
- activities related to dietary restrictions or regimes, even when these activities are a factor in determining the daily dosage of medication (such as carbohydrate calculation)
- activities related to exercising, even when these activities are a factor in determining the daily dosage of medication
- travel time to receive the therapy
- attending medical appointments (other than appointments where the therapy is received)
- shopping for medication
- recuperation after therapy
Examples of life-sustaining therapy:
- chest physiotherapy to ease breathing
- kidney dialysis to filter blood
- insulin therapy to treat type 1 diabetes
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