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7.3.2 Provision of household services outside Australia
When a person moves overseas and requests assistance with household services, the same decision making principles for those who reside in Australia should be followed. This means the Rehabilitation Coordinator will need to be satisfied that a person has a reasonable requirement for household services.
Where a client has never received household services in Australia prior to moving overseas, it may be difficult for an Activities of Daily Living assessment with a suitably qualified and experienced Occupational Therapist* (OT) to take place in their overseas location. Therefore, the Rehabilitation Coordinator will need to see whether there is any information on the client’s file about the client’s accepted condition(s) and the impact this has on their ability to undertake household services. This information may include medical reports, assessments for Permanent Impairment etc.
If the client has received household services prior to moving overseas, any previous assessments should be used to determine whether the person will have an ongoing requirement for services.
If the client has not requested household services prior to moving overseas, they will need to provide supporting documentation from their treating doctor, specialist or allied health provider, that the household services they are requesting, are reasonably required due to their accepted condition(s). Where possible, a functional capacity evaluation (FCE) should be undertaken by the client’s treating doctor to assess their physical abilities and limitations. If the delegate has any concerns about any of the issues raised in the assessment, a Departmental OT adviser should also be consulted to determine the reasonableness of the services being requested with respect to the client’s accepted condition(s).
In addition, evidence of the client’s residence, including outside areas is required. This evidence should include photos and information about the size and type of their residence, including for example, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Where gardening or lawn mowing services are requested, the size and characteristics of the garden such as whether the garden is sloped, the size of the grassed areas as compared to garden beds is required.
If there is no relevant and relatively current information on file, or provided by the client from their treating doctor or specialist, that would enable a Rehabilitation Coordinator to be satisfied that a person has a reasonable requirement for household services, then the services cannot be approved. In this situaiton, aa option that may enable this evidence to be gathered, is for the client to undertake a FCE if they are visiting Australia, as this will provide information about their abilities and limitations.
The approval period for clients residing overseas should be the same approval period that would be used if the person resided in Australia. Further information about the approval and review procedures for household services can be found in section 7.4 of this Guide.
Information about reimbursements for household services payments for clients living overseas can be found in section 7.3.1 of this Guide.