What we can pay for during COVID-19

Can the TAC pay for providers to participate in client planning meetings via teleconference or phone conferencing?

Yes. The TAC will  continue to pay for providers to participate in client planning meetings/conversations taking place by teleconferencing or phone conferencing.  This is not considered a telehealth service.

Will the TAC fund attendant care agencies overtime costs when a client requests one worker?

No, the payment of overtime is a provider management responsibility and decision. Providers should take into account staff OH&S arranging staff overtime.

The TAC has introduced two financial support measures to help Attendant Care and Shared Supported Accommodation providers remain viable and retain staff during the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • bringing forward the 2020-21 indexation of 3.91% to 6 April from 1 July, and
  • a 5% temporary loading to 30 June 2020.

These additional supports are able to be applied flexibly by providers in supporting continued service delivery to TAC clients.

Will the TAC pay for my agency to set up and facilitate online Community Group Programs in response to COVID-19?

No. TAC Community Group Program (CGP) Guidelines state that CGPs are required to be delivered in community-based facilities. If a TAC client would like to attend an online CGP they can do so at their own cost, similar to the client being responsible for paying for their own movie ticket when attending a CGP face to face.

If you have concerns about a client being increasingly isolated because of COVID-19 you should ensure the client has access to the right professionals by working with the client and claims manager. It is also important to discuss alternative support options with the client (e.g. family and friends). If you have concerns about a client’s safety due to isolation resulting from the pandemic you should discuss this with the client and their assigned TAC claims manager.

Will the TAC pay for my agency to undertake online Community Access Planning in response to COVID-19?

No. Community Access Planning comes under the same policy and legislation as Community Group Programs. The TAC Community Group Program (CGP) Guidelines state that CGPs are required to be delivered in community-based facilities.

If you have concerns about a client being increasingly isolated because of COVID-19 you should ensure the client has access to the right professionals by working with the client and claims manager. It is also important to discuss alternative support options with the client (e.g. family and friends). If you have concerns about a client’s safety due to isolation resulting from the pandemic you should discuss this with the client and their assigned TAC claims manager.

Will the TAC extend treatment or service approvals due to the coronavirus situation?

As is our current practice for all TAC funded treatment and services, we will consider requests to extend a treatment or service approval based on a client's individual circumstances.

If you believe a client will require a reasonable extension to their current approval period, the client or their provider should contact us to discuss their needs.

There are currently different options for how to contact us. We will respond to all queries as quickly as possible, however you may experience delays given the current situation.

Will the TAC fund health provider home visits to TAC clients?

The TAC will consider requests to fund home visits if a TAC client needs to access essential health services, but is isolating themselves at home on advice from a medical practitioner, or they are a patient in a vulnerable group*.

As is our current practice for all TAC funded treatment and services, the need for a home visit must:

  • relate to the TAC client’s transport accident injuries
  • be reasonable, according to the Transport Accident Act, 1986
  • be clinically justified and outcome focussed.

*Vulnerable groups are people aged over 70, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 50, people with chronic health conditions or those who are immunocompromised

What happens if a TAC client cancels an appointment because of the coronavirus?

There is no provision in our legislation to pay for services that aren’t provided. This includes appointments cancelled due to the coronavirus.

You can find this information under what we cannot pay for.

Please see your relevant provider guideline for more information about what the TAC can and can’t pay for.

Does the TAC pay for rubber gloves and hand disinfectants?

The TAC cannot pay for rubber gloves and hand disinfectants. For most health providers, these items belong to consumables that should be provided as part of in-rooms treatment. See our Equipment guidelines. For attendant care agencies and accommodation facilities, these items are expected to be provided as part of the provider's Occupational Health and Safety requirements as part of regular infection control practice

Does the TAC pay for face masks?

No, the TAC cannot pay for face masks or other items unrelated to a client's transport accident. Please refer to the DHHS website for up to date recommendations on the use of face masks.

Will the TAC pay for the delivery of pharmacy items?

The TAC can pay for medication to be delivered to a client’s home if the client is unable to attend a pharmacy due to their transport accident injuries.

If a client is cannot visit a pharmacy because they are self-isolating due to COVID-19, they should consider home delivery options through local pharmacies or the government's Home Medicines Service.

Can the TAC help clients with the purchase or delivery of groceries?

The TAC cannot pay for a client’s groceries during the pandemic.

We can consider paying for the delivery of groceries if the need is related to the client's transport accident injuries. We cannot pay for the delivery of groceries if the need is only related to COVID-19.

Client are encouraged to get support from their family and friends during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If the client does not have any supports available, the Victorian Government is working with supermarkets to ensure vulnerable community members have access to food and other essential items during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More information about the measures in place to assist people with priority access and delivery services is on the DHHS Access to Food and Other Essential Items webpage.

Can home services (child care, cleaning, gardening) still be funded during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The TAC approves home services based upon recommendations of health professionals. At present home services are considered an essential service. Therefore, the TAC will continue to fund home services, unless government guidelines change, when they are approved for clients to meet their health, safety and recovery and/or support needs as a direct result of their transport accident.

Home services providers need to follow Commonwealth Government and respective State Government guidelines while working with TAC clients during the pandemic, including adhering to social distancing while delivering services.

The TAC does not issue worker permits for those impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. Please visit the DHHS website for the latest government advice and information about worker permits and permitted workplaces and services.

Can the TAC fund taxis instead of public transport for clients who are worried about contracting COVID-19?

The TAC will not fund taxis in place of public transport if a client is concerned they will contract COVID-19. Clients are encouraged to practice social distancing on public transport and follow government guidelines around the need to leave home and hygiene practices.

Can the TAC fund thermometers for clients to screen TAC-funded service providers for COVID-19 before entering client homes?

As thermometers are not directly linked to a motor vehicle related claim, the TAC cannot fund them. If you have reason to believe the client’s TAC-funded service is at risk of instability, you should discuss this with the claims manager.

Can providers, such as exercise physiologists or physiotherapists, invoice equipment items for home gyms due to gym closures?

If a client has had a long term TAC funded gym membership* due to a transport accident the TAC may consider paying or hiring equipment in place of the client’s usual gym membership. Any gym equipment requests will be considered on a case by case basis and will be considered temporary until the threat of COVID-19 passes.

  • The provider must have approval from the TAC claims manager before purchasing any equipment for the client.
  • Prior to making a request the provider must have explored other exercise options with the client (e.g. walking, functional strengthening, body weight exercises, etc.), ensure the request is clinically justified, will assist the client in reaching their rehabilitation goals and have regular outcome assessments.
  • Depending on the nature of the request it may be approved, denied or another option by the TAC may be offered.
  • If gym equipment is purchased, it may not be necessary for a client to resume a gym membership when gyms reopen.

*A gym membership is considered long term if it has been approved for at least the past six months and has approval for at least the next six months.