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7.5 Veterans' Home Care program
The Veterans' Home Care Program (VHC) provides a small amount of assistance to support veterans to continue to live independently in the community.
Clients who hold a Veteran Gold Card or Veteran White Card for an accepted service-related injury or condition may be eligible for support through the Veterans' Home Care Program.
VHC Services include:
- domestic assistance - includes assistance with domestic chores, including help with internal household cleaning, dish washing, washing and ironing and bed making. It may also include help with some meal preparation. In rural and remote areas, it may include activities such as collecting firewood.
- home and garden maintenance - includes assistance with tasks such as replacing light bulbs, cleaning gutters, cleaning windows, cleaning ceiling fans and lawn mowing. It may also include maintenance or repair work that can be carried out by a tradesperson where an environmental or safety risk exists. Home and garden maintenance does not include routine garden maintenance tasks such as weeding, pruning or maintenance of flower beds unless there is a safety hazard. Home and garden maintenance does not include the provision of materials.
- respite care – provides relief for a carer who has responsibility for the ongoing care, attention and support of another person who is in ill health or incapacitated. It provides an alternative form of care and enables carers to have a break. Respite care services may be provided in an appropriate accommodation setting or at home (including overnight or emergency care), or a combination of these.
Co-payments apply to VHC services, except for respite care services.
The VHC program also provides personal care services. Information about this can be found in section 8.9 of this Guide.
The MRCA treatment principles prevent veterans being able to access the same type of services through the household services provisions, and through VHC. For consistency, the same principle should be applied to veterans with conditions accepted under the DRCA.
As a general principle, where household services are required due to an accepted condition under the MRCA or the DRCA the household services provisions in the appropriate Act should be used instead of the VHC Program. This is because a wider ranges of services are available through these provisions, than through the VHC. Additionally, no co-payments are required.
Respite care services can only be accessed through the VHC program.
Referrals to VHC
When a request for household services is received, VHC can be considered to fill any gaps in service provision when:
- the client holds a Veteran Gold Card or Veteran White Card for an accepted service-related injury or condition;
- a VHC assessment confirms that the services can be provided; and
- the required services cannot be provided using the MRCA or SRCA household services provisions.
Clients who hold a Veteran Gold Card or Veteran White Card for an accepted service-related condition may be referred to a VHC assessment agency for consideration of their respite care needs.
Wholly dependent partners and eligible young persons do not have access to the household services provisions in Chapter 4 of the MRCA. Therefore, domestic assistance or home and garden maintenance services can only be accessed through the VHC program.
Carers and family members of Veteran Gold Card and Veteran White Card holders with an accepted service-related condition may also be eligible for an assessment to determine eligibility for VHC services.