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Factsheet MRC42 - Household Services

Purpose

This Factsheet explains household services that may be available to you if you are eligible for compensation for household services 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 household services?

Household services are provided to members and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) who have incapacitating DRCA or MRCA accepted medical conditions which means they are unable to manage household tasks themselves.

Why are household services provided?

Household services are provided to minimise the impact of injury, disease and illness on your ability to manage and maintain your household.

Household services can be provided on a short-term basis, for example, while you are recovering from surgery, or for a longer period to support your ongoing requirements.

What are household services?

Household services are those services which are reasonably required for the proper running and maintenance of your household and may include meal preparation, cooking, cleaning, laundry, ironing, shopping, lawn mowing and gardening. Requests for any other similar services can also be considered. Child care support can only be provided to address short term/crisis care, when usual child care arrangements are disrupted due to unexpected circumstances.

What types of services cannot be provided?

Home maintenance services, such as painting, decorating, repairs, plumbing and electrical work, cannot be provided. Other services, such as car cleaning, and packing and unpacking boxes as part of moving house, are not considered household services.

How do I seek assistance with household services?

Please contact your nearest DVA office if you are experiencing difficulties in maintaining your household. DVA will assess whether you have a reasonable requirement for household services.

How are my reasonable requirements for household services determined?

In deciding whether you have a reasonable requirement for household services, a home assessment by a suitably qualified professional (most often an Occupational Therapist) is usually obtained.

When determining your reasonable requirements, the following issues are among those considered:

  • the extent to which you performed various household tasks before your injury was sustained (or a disease or illness became apparent) and the extent to which you are able to perform those tasks at the time your claim for household services is made;
  • the number of people in your household, their ages and their need for the household services;
  • the extent to which members of your household might reasonably be expected to perform necessary tasks for themselves and for you; and
  • the need to avoid substantial disruption to the employment or other activities of family members.

Household services can only be provided for periods when you actually require assistance. This means that if you are in hospital, or respite care, or away from home on holidays, you are not eligible to receive household services.

What if I have ongoing needs for household services?

The provision of household services is regularly reviewed, even when a medical 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 suitable for your requirements.

In order to be considered for ongoing assistance, your treating doctor, specialist or an allied health professional will be expected to provide DVA with information about your requirements.

Can I access household services outside of Australia?

You may still be eligible for household services if you reside outside of Australia. The same application and assessment processes apply, including providing documentation from your treating doctor, specialist or allied health provider, and evidence about the size and type of the house and property to be maintained.

How much compensation can be paid for household services?

The amount of compensation payable for household 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 household services, please see DVA Factsheet MRC43.

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

How is compensation for household services paid?

Payment for household services is normally made by reimbursement to you. 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 household 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 on holidays, or into hospital or respite care, so that we can ensure that the household services payments you receive are correct.

Can I receive household services if I am receiving domestic assistance through the Veterans' Home Care Program?

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

Who manages household service arrangements?

DVA is responsible for:

  • assessing and reviewing your requirement for household services;
  • determining the level of service that you can receive; and
  • making payments for household services.

If approval is given for you to receive household services you will be responsible for:

  • choosing a suitable provider to deliver the services;
  • ensuring standards of services are maintained;
  • arranging suitable times for the services to be delivered; and
  • ensuring public liability issues, arising from having a provider undertake work in and around your home, are covered.

More Information

DVA General Enquiries

Metro Phone: 133 254 *  

Regional 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

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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12 October 2017