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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 Act 1988 (SRCA). 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.
When determining whether a person reasonably requires household services, sections 29(2) of SRCA and 215 of MRCA require a delegate to consider 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 and the need to avoid substantial disruption to the work or other activities of the household members.
Expectation of household members with external commitments
It is not considered reasonable that household members be required to give up employment, educational, sporting, recreational or community commitments in order to provide additional household support to a client. Delegates are expected to be sensitive to each client's individual circumstances when making decisions about what it is reasonable to expect family members to contribute to helping with the proper running and maintenance of their household.
For clients who hold a DVA Health Card, asssistance to live independently in the community can be provided through the Veterans' Home Care (VHC) Program.
VHC Services include:
Generally, household services should only be provided by a professional service provider who has:
The delegate should be satisfied that the person's injury prevents him/her from undertaking the requested household services.
Two AAT cases, Keefe and Dept of Defence (1988) and Ryan v Telstra (1995) have specifically dealt with lawn mowing request from client living on rural and semi rural properties. The AAT found that a household service (such as lawn mowing and gardening) should be reasonably construed as referring to the entire domestic establishment, comprising both the house and curtilage.