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Factsheet MRC41 - Attendant Care

Purpose

This Factsheet explains attendant care services that may be available to you if you are eligible for compensation under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA) or under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA).

Who is entitled to attendant care services?

Attendant care services are provided to assist members and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) who have incapacitating DRCA or MRCA accepted conditions, which make it difficult for them to manage their own personal care.

Attendant care services cannot be provided if you are receiving care in a hospital, a care facility or a similar institution. For example, if you are in hospital or respite care, then you will not be eligible to receive attendant care services for this time.

Why are attendant care services provided?

Attendant care services are services that are required for your essential and regular personal care. They are provided to minimise the impact of your accepted service injury, disease or illness.

What are attendant care services?

Attendant care services can include assistance with personal hygiene (bathing and toileting), grooming, dressing, feeding, and depending on your requirements, assistance with living as full a life as possible after a severe injury.

Attendant care services are generally provided to meet an ongoing need as recommended by your GP or treating specialist. Attendant care services are separate to household services, respite care under the Veterans’ Home Care Program, medical or surgical services (including convalescent care) and nursing care. 

Short term attendant care to recover from an acute injury or surgery can be considered where alternate care services are not available.  

Who can provide attendant care services?

DVA encourages the use of service providers who are experienced in providing attendant or personal care services to people with disabilities. Using professionally qualified providers helps to ensure that clients are receiving high quality care in line with industry standards. The use of professionally qualified providers may also reduce the risk of carer burnout for family members.

Approval may be given for a partner or relative to provide attendant care services, where there is evidence that exceptional circumstances apply. Where a partner or relative is the carer, an annual review of attendant care services is required. A partner or relative should only provide simple services, such as assistance with feeding or drinking, or dressing. For more information, please contact your local DVA office.

How do I seek assistance with attendant care services?

Please complete DVA form D1351 Attendant Care Services in conjunction with your treating doctor.  Forms are available from your nearest DVA Office or the DVA Website.

Once the form is complete, email it to HHS@dva.gov.au  Alternatively, you can post it to the Household Services Team, GPO Box 9998, Brisbane Qld 4001.

If you require additional assistance, or would like further information before you submit a claim, please contact the Household Services team on 1800 555 254.

How are my reasonable requirements for attendant care services determined?

An assessment by a suitably qualified professional (most often an Occupational Therapist) is usually required, in addition to the information provided on your claim form.

Any assessment will be discussed with you and, with your permission, with your family or friends. When determining your reasonable requirements, the following issues are among those considered:

  • the nature of your accepted injury, disease or illness;
  • your ability to care for yourself;
  • the extent to which any disability, home care, medical or nursing care service you already receive meets your personal care requirements; and
  • the extent to which a relative might reasonably be expected to provide attendant care services for you.

DVA will make a decision approving the number of hours of attendant care after considering the report from the assessor.

What if I have ongoing requirements for attendant care services?

The provision of attendant care services is periodically reviewed, even when an accepted condition is considered to be long-term or permanent. This is to ensure that you are receiving an appropriate level of service and that the type of assistance provided is appropriate to your requirements.  Should your needs change within an approval period, please contact your nearest DVA office. 

Who manages attendant care service arrangements?

If approval is given to receive attendant care service you will be responsible for:

  • choosing a suitable service provider;
  • ensuring that the attendant care provider has the training to meet your requirements
  • ensuring standards of services are maintained
  • arranging suitable times for the services to be delivered
  • submitting receipts for reimbursement (if you have paid) or tax invoices for DVA to directly pay the provider, and
  • ensuring the provider has current checks and clearances where appropriate, including public liability insurance, police checks, working with vulnerable people and working with children checks.

You will have a direct employer/employee relationship with the attendant care provider. There is no relationship between DVA and the attendant care service provider.

If you need assistance to manage your attendant care arrangements, your family or friends may assist you.

DVA is responsible for:

  • assessing and reviewing your requirement for attendant care services;
  • determining the level of service that you can receive; and
  • making payments for attendant care services, to you or to the provider, up to the statutory limit.

How much compensation can be paid for attendant care services?

The amount of compensation payable for attendant care services is capped by a statutory limit which is increased periodically in line with the Consumer Price Index.

For the maximum amount payable under the DRCA for attendant care services, please see DVA Factsheet MRC43.

For the maximum amount payable under the MRCA for attendant care services, please see DVA Factsheet MRC04.

How is compensation for attendant care paid?

Payment for attendant care services is normally made by reimbursement to you as the person who incurs the cost of obtaining the necessary services. You should keep receipts from service providers and seek reimbursement from DVA.

However, if you require long term care or if you are unable to meet the necessary costs before seeking reimbursement, arrangements may be made for the provider of the services to invoice DVA directly.

It is important that you inform us if there is a change in your circumstances, e.g. you are going into hospital or respite care, so that we can ensure that the attendant care payments that you receive are correct.

If your attendant care is approved to be provided by a partner or relative, you must complete DVA Form D1353 Confirmation of attendant care services when seeking reimbursement from DVA.

Can I receive attendant care services if I am receiving care through the Veterans' Home Care Program?

You are not able to access similar services from multiple sources. DVA will determine which source is the most appropriate for you to access the attendant care services you require.

More Information

DVA General Enquiries

Phone: 1800 555 254 *

Email: GeneralEnquiries@dva.gov.au

DVA Website: www.dva.gov.au

Factsheet Website: www.dva.gov.au/factsheets

* Calls from mobile phones and pay phones may incur additional charges.

Related Factsheets

Related Forms

Disclaimer

The information contained in this Factsheet is general in nature and does not take into account individual circumstances. You should not make important decisions, such as those that affect your financial or lifestyle position on the basis of information contained in this Factsheet. Where you are required to lodge a written claim for a benefit, you must take full responsibility for your decisions prior to the written claim being determined. You should seek confirmation in writing of any oral advice you receive from DVA.

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10 January 2020