Brain Injury Awareness Day With Unique Options

While we've been celebrating and promoting brain injuries all month long, March 18th was the official day for brain injury awareness! Unique Options has been actively engaging with the traumatic brain injury community, in order to shed more light on these invisible injuries and create positive change for the future. Wondering what we've been up to?

Spreading Awareness About Traumatic Brain Injuries By Educating Others

Kim Goodwin & Tim Hoste of Unique Options visited the CW50 to talk about employment opportunities that Unique Options hosts for the traumatic brain injury community. Click the picture below to watch their segment that discusses how we provide high level vocational training to all levels and abilities for the TBI community.

Spreading Awareness About Traumatic Brain Injuries By Contacting State Representatives

Everyone at Unique Options are actively engaged in helping push policies and proactive changes that would benefit the traumatic brain injury community. This month, we focused on writing to our state representatives in support of Senate Bill 41, otherwise known as the Michigan Brain Injury Law. With help from both staff and clients at Unique Options, who continuously voice their support for Senate Bill 41, we hope to truly make an impact on our state representatives and their decisions. Click here to contact your state senator and representatives, and show your support towards positive legislation for the TBI community! 

Spreading Awareness About Traumatic Brain Injuries By Wearing Green!

Everyone at Unique Options has been sporting new green bracelets with our motto: Keep Calm & Work On! In support of Brain Injury Awareness month, Unique Options will be giving away hundreds of our green bracelets at the Carnival of Care conference on 3/22/15. Stop by our booth, play some games, and show your support all year long! 

Spreading Awareness About Traumatic Brain Injuries By Sharing Personal Experiences & Support

We've shared tips and suggestions on how to spread awareness about traumatic brain injuries all month long on our Facebook page, but also wanted to hear from you! Our staff and clients shared their personal experiences, either from living with a brain injury or supporting the community, and how they help make a difference in lives every day. How are you helping promote brain injury awareness? Let us know in the comments below!

The Real Facts on Auto No-Fault

by Tim Hoste

In the January 22, 2015 Detroit Free Press, readers were greeted by a full page advertisement about the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA).  In what appears to be nothing more than a poor attempt to gain attention for a new radio program on a small time, low end of the dial radio station, this sub par attempt at "informing" the public is missing one important element...fact.

The first glaring statement that proves this advertisement is nothing more than a poorly worded opinion piece is the reference to the MCCA having $20 billion in the fund.  The total amount of money in the MCCA's fund has been at the forefront of many auto no-fault related discussions for a number of years now, and even after numerous Freedom of Information Act requests and court battles, no definitive number has ever been presented.  There has long been speculation as to the amount of money in this fund, as well as its overall sustainability, but as described in numerous independent audits of the MCCA, the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association uses accounting practices which differ from accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.[i]  This statement alone proves that before any statement can be made as to the financial status of the MCCA, further information is needed to truly understand the viability of the fund.

The second statement that shows whoever authored the advertisement does not have a strong understanding of how the MCCA operates in the sentence that reads, the MCCA reimburses a very small percentage of those not playing by the rules, meanwhile, a high percentage of people who play by the rules are paying for all of this.  The MCCA is simply a re-insurer for any insurance company that writes auto insurance policies in the State of Michigan.  While the responsibility of each claim falls on the various insurance companies, the MCCA will reimburse them for every dollar spent beyond the first $530,000.  The purpose of the MCCA was to even the playing field for all auto insurers, and help ensure that the smaller companies could still write policies in Michigan, which requires all reasonable charges incurred for reasonably necessary products, services, and accommodations for an injured person’s care, recovery or rehabilitation be covered for the accident victims lifetime.  That was and is all the MCCA does, so it is unclear as to how they only reimburse a very small percentage, when they reimburse ALL auto claims that exceed $530,000.

The third statement that continues to show the lack of knowledge from the people behind this advertisement is the one line that reads, We are for everyone who legitimately need assistance from this fund! (not the lowlifes who take advantage).  Once you look past the unnecessary use of slanderous rhetoric, this statement contradicts their text box on the right side of the page that says, Place a $500,000 cap on current and future claimants.  The reality is that anyone who sustains a catastrophic injury (such as a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury), $500,000 will not even come close to covering the appropriate levels of care and rehabilitation they will require throughout their lifetime. 

It is my sincere hope that whoever is responsible for this advertisement truly takes the time to learn the facts of Michigan's Auto No-Fault Insurance and the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Associations.  All Michigan residents are fortunate to live in a state that allows all accident victims the chance to have a good quality of life post injury.  In other states, the sad reality is that if you get injured in an auto accident, financial ruin for you and your family occurs, followed up by the remainder of your life is spent in a state-run nursing home. 

If the "Ask Detroit" radio show and the staff at 680AM WNZK really want to delve into this topic, the focus should be on the MCCA and their refusal to present the real financial data that is needed to truly understand the status of that fund.  Or, they can focus on why the State of Michigan allows your credit score, occupation, level of education, and residential address to factor into to how much your pay in auto insurance premiums.  Better yet, I urge the hosts of "Ask Detroit" to spend some time learning the truth about Michigan Auto No-Fault Insurance, and witness firsthand some of the therapies and rehabilitation that are quintessential to the recovery and well being of auto accident victims. 

If the hosts of "Ask Detroit" or any other media member would like to learn more about Auto No-Fault, please do not hesitate to contact me at thoste@uniqueoptionsllc.com.  It is my goal to help everyone understand just how critical Michigan's Auto No-Fault System is to not only those who currently need it, but to anyone who might need it in the future. 

In a split second an auto accident can change someone's life forever, it could be yours.  What type of auto insurance coverage would you want?

[i] Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association: Financial Statements and Supplemental Schedules Statutory Basis of Accounting. June 30, 2014 and 2013. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

See Unique on CBS Eye On Detroit!

On Monday, January 5th, 2015, we were fortunate to have the opportunity to invite the CBS morning show, Eye on Detroit, into our facility. We toured them through our warehouses to watch how our clients work and what type of production we complete in-house. Our featured segment aired on January 8th, between 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. We thank CBS for taking the time to showcase our program! We know the segment was short, so here is a short list of some of the most pertinent questions you may have...

  • Who can work at Unique Options, LLC? We are a State of Michigan approved vocational rehabilitation facility for individuals who have sustained traumatic brain injuries. While many of our clients have sustained their injuries due to motor vehicle accidents, others have received theirs while on the job.
  • What type of work can clients participate in at Unique Options, LLC?  Our program allows the clients to work on vocational skills that are required in today's workplace environments. We offer training and work in areas such as data entry, small package assembly, custodial programs, retail training, woodworking, and the list goes on! We are continuously expanding and adapting the work that is offered in our warehouse facilities, in order to maximize the potential of each individual client.
  • Do clients get paid to work at Unique Options, LLC? We offer a real paycheck for real work. All clients receive minimum wage, or higher, while working at Unique Options, LLC. We offer flexible schedules and accessible accommodations, as recommended by our staff Occupational Therapist.

If you are interested in learning more about Unique Options, LLC please call us and schedule a tour. We believe our program is unique to the traumatic brain injury community! If you have any other questions please let us know in the comments below. We look forward to growing our program in 2015 and hope that you can join us!