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7.1.3 Household services for serving members

Last amended 
11 April 2023

The household services provisions are contained in the compensation provisions in chapter 4 of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) and in part 2 of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA). This provides the legislative basis for DVA to provide these services to current serving members of the ADF while the Chief of the Defence Force remains their rehabilitation authority. Please refer to section 4.1 of the Rehabilitation Policy Library for specific information about which members the CDF is the rehabilitation authority for.

Consistent with the legislative provisions, household services can be provided where a delegate is satisfied that the services are reasonably required due to a service injury or disease. Please refer to section 7.2 of the Rehabilitation Policy Library for the issues that must be considered before making a determination.  

Before DVA can provide household services to serving members, the following additional criteria must be met:

  • the need for household services is supported by an ADFRP or Rehabilitation for Reservists Program assessment report; and
  • the ADF Regional Rehabilitation Manager requests that DVA provides household services to a client; and
  • DVA has agreed that household services can be provided.

The exception to this general rule is if the serving member approaches DVA directly for household services support. More information about this can be found under the section headed Serving members can approach DVA directly for household services assistance.

This approach ensures that both the ADF’s Rehabilitation Programs and DVA are aware of the client’s needs, circumstances and the range of services that may be provided while they adjust to, and learn to manage, their service related conditions or injuries.

If the ADF Rehabilitation Program assessment report does not provide sufficient information to support the provision of household services by DVA, the Rehabilitation Coordinator must arrange for a follow-up assessment to be undertaken by a qualified Occupational Therapist. DVA is responsible for all costs associated with that assessment.

Serving members can approach DVA directly for household services assistance

Household services are provided through the compensation provisions of the MRCA and the DRCA. This means that there is no barrier to a serving member contacting DVA directly for household services. This applies regardless of whether the serving member is participating in an ADF rehabilitation program.

A requirement for household services may be identified through the needs assessment process, or through a claim for household services submitted to DVA.

In each of these cases, the DVA delegate should consider the person's request for household services using the usual processes. In most circumstances, this will include a home/activities of daily living assessment by an independent and suitably qualified Occupational Therapist. It is important that the Rehabilitation Coordinator does not refer the client back to the ADFRP or the Rehabilitation for Reservists Program for an activities of daily living/home assessment. This is because DVA is responsible for organising the assessment to determine whether household services are reasonably required due to the client’s service injury or disease, and for all costs associated with that assessment.

If the serving member receives a home-based OT assessment which identifies a rehabilitation need, then the ADFRP or Rehabilitation for Reservists Program should be notified of this by sending a referral to the ADFRP or the Rehabilitation for Reservists Program through the appropriate email address. The OT report can only be provided to Defence if the client has provided their explicit consent for this to occur. It is mandatory that R&C ISH standard letters are used when referring clients to the Defence rehabilitation programs. Letters generated from R&C ISH will automatically attach to the client’s UIN folder in TRIM.

Obtaining household services

The serving member should clearly understand that, for the purposes of household services, at all times they are responsible for:

  • choosing a provider;
  • the standard of service provided;
  • arranging the times when the provider can undertake the household services and the conduct of the service provider in the person's home; and
  • any public liability issues arising from having service providers undertake work in and around their home.

The contract is between the person and the provider.

DVA is only responsible for determining:

  • whether household services are reasonably required;
  • the amount of compensation that is payable; and
  • making payments of compensation for household services.

The intent of this approach is to encourage the person to be responsible for self-managing as many aspects of their daily life as possible. However, if the serving member is experiencing major difficulties with managing their household services responsibilities, then it may be beneficial for them to discuss this with their ADFRP or Rehabilitation for Reservists Program Rehabilitation Consultant.