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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 we receive your claim

If Comcare manages your claim, your claims manager assesses the claim after we receive your application. We may ask you for more information before we can make a determination.

Your claims manager will generally arrange an assessment by a suitably qualified professional (most often 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 is 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 Comcare manages your claim, and you disagree with our determination, you can ask us to reconsider it.

You need to submit an application for reconsideration within 30 days of our 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).

Other considerations when choosing a provider

Before you engage a provider to perform a service you should exercise due diligence and find out information on their quality and safety (see considerations in Table 1).

You may be able to gather information by reviewing their website or you can contact the provider directly.

Table 1: A list of considerations to take into account when choosing a provider
What to considerWhy

The values of the provider

Consider what values are important to you, such as honesty, quality of service, to be treated with dignity and respect. If you are researching the company on the internet, you will generally find the values under the heading ‘about us’.

Their hourly rate

Confirm the provider’s hourly rate. 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.

Whether the provider supplies their own equipment

Some providers use their own equipment and supplies; others only bring their own equipment and as you to provide supplies.

If you are unhappy with a provider’s supplies, you should be able to substitute you own. If you provide your own supplies, make sure this is accounted for when the provider sets their hourly rate.

Who will be carrying out the work

Will the same person be attending all the time? Having the same person will ensure consistency in the work as the person already knows your expectations.

Is there a backup person if the regular person is unwell or able to make it on the day?

Whether the service provider has a complaints process

Find out if the provider has a process if you need to lodge a complaint.

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

Questions you may consider asking a service provider

You may like to ask potential providers the following questions:

  • Do you have attendant care workers who are experienced working with people with similar needs to mine?
  • What are your emergency procedures? For example what after-hours contacts are available?
  • What are the working hours? For example what is the latest or earliest time a carer can come to my home?

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 (our 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.


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: 11 November 2019
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Comcare
GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 | www.comcare.gov.au

Date printed 09 Aug 2020

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