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7.2 Criteria for assessing what is reasonable
The key concept in considering any proposal for the provision of household services is whether or not the person reasonably requires the services, and that requirement is as a result of their service injury or disease.
Household services can only be provided when a formal determination has been made by a DVA delegate that the services are reasonably required. The determination to accept or reject a claim for household services must be based on evidence from an assessment of the person's ability to undertake tasks which are required for the proper running and maintenance of their household. For all new claims and renewals, this assessment would generally be conducted by a suitably qualified and experienced Occupational Therapist* (OT).
* OTs undertaking an assessment for household services do not need to be DVA accredited rehabilitation service providers. However, they must be appropriately qualified and experienced.
In determining the reasonable requirement for provision of household services, the delegate must consider the criteria in section 215 of the MRCA and subsection 29(2) of DRCA and address all of the matters relevant to the client's circumstances in the determination letter. These criteria are:
(a) the extent to which household services were provided by the person before the service injury or disease;
(b) the extent to which he or she is able to provide those services after the service injury or disease;
(c) the number of other persons (household members) living with that person as members of his or her household;
(d) the age of the household members and their need for household services;
(e) the extent to which household services were provided by household members before the service injury or disease;
(f) the extent to which household members, or any other relatives of the person, might reasonably be expected to provide household services for themselves and for the person after the service injury or disease;
(g) the need to avoid substantial disruption to the work or other activities of the household members; and
(h) any other matter that the Commission considers relevant.
Further details about these criteria are explained in the following subsections of this topic and must be used to guide decision making.