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7.2.1 Personally undertaken prior to injury
As a general rule, household services are only provided if the household tasks were personally undertaken by the person prior to their injury or illness. For example:
- if a person paid a lawn mowing contractor to do his/her lawns prior to their injury, he or she would not be eligible for supply of lawn mowing services, regardless of their current capacity to mow their lawn; or
- if a client is living with their partner, who has always been responsible for cleaning the house, prior to the client’s injury, then the client would not be eligible for household services for house cleaning.
Notwithstanding the above, consideration should always be given to the changing nature of a person's individual circumstances. In this context, household services can be considered reasonable if it is likely that that task would have been personally performed by the client, if not for their service injury or disease. Situations where this may occur can include:
- former serving members who were housed in military barracks prior to their injury, therefore the service (for example, gardening) was automatically provided by Defence;
- a client’s spouse, partner, or other household member who generally undertakes a task is no longer able to because of illness, and there is evidence that the client has attempted to assist with the task, within their capacity, but is finding it very difficult to do so; or
- a client has experienced a relationship breakup, and their ex-partner was responsible for certain household tasks, that the client is now unable to undertake due to their accepted conditions.
Further information about how a client’s changing circumstances can impact their eligibility for household services can be found in Chapter 7.2.5 of this guide.