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14.5.3 Household Assistance

Household assistance under the Acute Support Package (the Package) is intended to support families to adjust to new and challenging life circumstances by providing practical support in and around the home. The family’s capacity to complete household tasks may be reduced during periods of crisis or vulnerability. If the family reasonably believes the services being requested are outside of their capacity to complete due to their circumstances, they may be considered for payment under household assistance, even in not expressly listed below.

Household assistance under the Package is not administered in the same way as household assistance for veterans on a rehabilitation plan.

Household assistance may include but is not limited to the following:

  • meal preparation;
  • cooking and dish washing;
  • assistance with grocery shopping;
  • making beds and general tidying;
  • laundry and ironing;
  • lawn mowing and gardening;
  • cleaning of gutters;
  • cleaning of solar panels;
  • wood chopping and stacking;
  • dusting and vacuuming;
  • internal window cleaning;
  • external window cleaning;
  • emergency repairs (for example plumbing);
  • cleaning mould from the exterior of a home; and
  • cleaning associated with moving house.

Household assistance does not include the following:

  • renovations;
  • landscaping;
  • car servicing or repairs; and
  • activities to improve the value of the house.

Availability through Rehabilitation program

There may be circumstances where the veteran family may have multiple streams of eligibility where they are able to receive the same, or similar, supports to household assistance. Key examples include NDIS supports and household services under DVA’s Rehabilitation Programs. The delegate should encourage the person to access these similar services provided under other programs prior to providing them under the Package. This is because the Package has capped funding and a limited 2‑year window for access. This would promote the best value for the veteran and their family.

See 7.1 Household Services and Rehabilitation Policy Library.

Reasonable ‘level’ or frequency/duration of service

There are no prescribed limits under the Package in relation to how often a particular type of household assistance may be provided or the duration per occasion of service. What is a reasonable level of service will depend on individual circumstances, and each case must be considered on its own merits with the primary consideration being what will help the family in crisis as identified by them. Other factors may be considered, including geographical and environmental factors, as where a family lives and the nature of their home may mean a need for certain types, or a greater regularity, of household assistance. For example, a more frequent or greater level of service may be considered reasonable:

  • in tropical areas where it is consistently warm and grass grows quickly;
  • where a recipient lives in a rural location with a very large front and back yard;
  • if a recipient lives next to the ocean and their home has increased salt spray on their windows.

Service provider requirements

  • appropriate insurance coverage to provide professional indemnity;
  • proper systems to ensure accountability for their services;
  • professional provision of services and correct mechanisms for payment of taxation and superannuation, where appropriate;
  • the necessary accreditation to be able to provide the services, which includes passing a Working with Children or other equivalent state or territory check if the provider will be supplying services around children; and
  • necessary back-up in cases of sickness.