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Attendant care services

For: Claimants Advocates

You may need help with personal care following a work-related injury or illness.


Before you select a provider

If you want to claim the cost of attendant care services, make sure you get approval before you engage a service provider.


Attendant care services explained

Attendant care services are services for your essential and regular personal care.

Attendant care services assist and support you to carry out daily living activities.

This may include:

  • grooming
  • bathing and toileting
  • dressing
  • eating and drinking
  • using and applying artificial aids and appliances
  • other essential and regular personal care needs.

Attendant care services do not include:

  • medical services
  • surgical services
  • nursing care
  • expenses for incidental travel
  • accommodation
  • meal costs.

Eligibility

You may apply for attendant care services if you have an accepted claim for compensation and the services are required as a result of your compensable injury.

You may be required to be assessed by an occupational therapist or other health professional.

How to make a claim

Employees of an Australian Government agency or statutory authority

  1. You and your general practitioner need to complete the Household or Attendant Care Services application form (PDF, 118.3 KB).
  2. Submit the form to Comcare:

Employees of a self-insured licensee

If you work for an organisation which is a self-insured licensee, a staff member in your organisation or a third-party provider manages your claim. Speak with your human resources team for more information.

See a list of corporations and organisations with a self-insurance licence.

After your claim is received

Your claims manager assesses the claim after they receive your application. Your claims manager may ask you for more information before they make a determination.

Your claims manager will normally arrange an assessment by a suitably qualified professional (usually an occupational therapist) to assist with assessing if and what services are required.

You can engage a provider for attendant care services after your claim is approved.

The attendant care services provided are regularly reviewed to ensure that you are receiving an appropriate level of service and that the type of assistance being provided meets your needs.

We expect the type and frequency of services you require to reduce as you recover and adapt.

If you disagree with the determination

If you disagree with the determination, you can ask your claims manager to reconsider it.

You need to submit an application for reconsideration within 30 days of the determination or apply for an extension of time.

For more information about this process, see Apply for a reconsideration.

Engaging a service provider

You are responsible for engaging the services of an attendant care service provider.

Using an accredited provider

Comcare strongly recommends that attendant care service providers are an accredited Australian Community Industry Alliance (ACIA) provider.

ACIA is the national peak body that accredits community service providers operating across Australia to the industry standard. By choosing an ACIA member, you can be assured that the attendant care service provider delivers high quality, individualised services.

Using an ACIA-approved service provider ensures that:

  • replacement carers will be available in times of sickness or absence at short notice
  • carers have appropriate insurance cover and deliver services that meet work health and safety legislation
  • qualified staff with credentials are available to meet your needs
  • your needs are monitored appropriately and that care plans are put in place to ensure appropriate services are provided.

For more information, see Australian Community Industry Alliance (ACIA).

Questions to ask potential service providers

Asking service providers key questions before you engage them can help ensure you receive quality services that meet your needs and expectations. Some of this information may also be found on a provider’s website.

  • Are you accredited by the Australian Community Industry Alliance (ACIA)?
  • Are you providing attendant care services to people with similar needs to mine?
  • What is the hourly rate? Remember, if the provider’s rate is higher than the statutory rate and you engage them for their services, you are responsible for the payment of any difference.
  • Do you supply your own equipment and products? If you prefer the provider uses your products and/or equipment when they would generally use their own, ask them to adjust their hourly rate to reflect the use of your products and/or equipment.
  • Who will be carrying out the work and is it the same person each time? Having the same worker means the person is familiar with you, your expectations and the work you require.
  • Is there a backup person if the regular person is unwell or unable to make it on the day?
  • What are your emergency procedures? For example, what after-hours contacts are available?
  • What happens if you have a complaint or concern about the services provided?

Use of family members or friends to provide services

Comcare encourages the use of professionally qualified providers to ensure you are receiving high quality, appropriate care.

We do not encourage the use of family members or friends to provide paid attendant care services as it may:

  • cause issues in the relationship
  • create conflicting responsibilities
  • leave you without appropriate support if the family member or friend falls ill or requires leave.

Requests to have a family member will generally only be considered in exceptional circumstances such as where there is limited access to an accredited Australian Community Industry Alliance (ACIA) provider.

You should discuss this with your claims manager before engaging a family member or friend to provide attendant care services. We recommend that family members providing attendant care services are accredited by, and meet the same standards of, ACIA.

Payment for services

Payment limits

Payment for attendant care services is subject to a weekly maximum limit. This limit does not apply to people who have a catastrophic injury.

How a service provider gets paid

There are two ways a service provider can be paid for their services:

  • from the claims manager (preferred method) or
  • directly from you.

Payment from the claim manager

If you are an employee of an Australian Government agency or statutory authority, your service provider can email invoices for approved attendant care services to general.enquiries@comcare.gov.au.

Where your claim is managed by a self-insured licensee, please work directly with your claims manager.

Payment directly from you

The service provider may seek payment directly from you and then you can seek reimbursement.

If you are an employee of an Australian Government agency or statutory authority, email your receipt of payment for approved attendant care services with a Medical Services Claim form (PDF, 95.9 KB) to general.enquiries@comcare.gov.au.

We will usually make payments within 28 days of receiving the invoice.

Where your claim is managed by a self-insured licensee, please work directly with your claims manager.

If you are unsure who your service provider should seek payment from, please call us on 1300 366 979.

If you have a complaint

If you are unhappy with the way a service has been delivered, or with how you have been treated, you have a right to complain and have your concerns addressed.

You can:

  • raise the concerns with your support worker or their employer (your service provider) if you feel comfortable to do so
  • work with your claims manager to change your service provider, if you do not feel comfortable raising your concerns or feel your concerns have not been addressed
  • raise serious or ongoing concerns about a provider’s behaviour with your claims manager and ACIA, where the provider is accredited by them.

More information

If you are a service provider, see Attendant care service providers for information we provide you.

We provide guidance to help decision makers and participants understand particular provisions of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act) and to help ensure they are applied consistently. See Scheme guidance – Compensation for attendant care services.

Page last reviewed: 23 November 2020
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Comcare
GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 | www.comcare.gov.au

Date printed 18 Oct 2021

https://www.comcare.gov.au/claims/supports-benefits/attendant-care