Attendant Care - Overseas

POLICY

The TAC can reimburse the reasonable costs of overseas attendant care when required as the result of a transport accident injury if the injured person receives those services while travelling overseas for a period of not more than eight weeks in any year under section 23 & 60(2)(b) of the Transport Accident Act 1986 (the Act).

The reasonable maximum costs which can be reimbursed will be based upon the amount and cost of care if the injured person had received those services in Australia. Attendant care must be performed by a registered attendant carer.

Clients and/or therapists are expected to arrange travel and attendant care needs prior to travelling. The TAC cannot organise or arrange overseas attendant care or travel for clients.

Overseas attendant care is the only service that the TAC can pay for outside of Australia.

This policy must be read in conjunction with the Attendant Care policy.

BACKGROUND

The Transport Accident Act 1986 was amended in 2001 to allow the TAC to pay for overseas attendant care. Prior to this amendment the Transport Accident Act 1986 did not allow the TAC to pay for attendant care outside of Australia.

GUIDELINES

What can the TAC pay for in relation to attendant care?

The TAC can only reimburse a client for overseas attendant care. The TAC cannot pay for overseas attendant care up-front or pay a provider directly.

The TAC can reimburse a client for the reasonable cost of:

  • attendant care assistance in the overseas destination for a period of no more than eight weeks in any year
  • attendant care assistance while travelling to the destination only when the client actually requires the care while travelling
  • the reasonable difference in costs between standard accommodation costs and any reasonable extra accommodation costs as a result of the need for attendant care. For example, a client would normally require a standard single room but because of their need for attendant care, now requires a double room to accommodate the attendant carer. In this situation the TAC will pay for the difference between the standard single room and a twin room.

Who can provide overseas attendant care?

Attendant care while overseas should be provided by an attendant care agency in the country which the client is travelling to. TAC clients are expected to source and arrange overseas attendant care before departing Australia.

The TAC will only consider reimbursing Australian attendant carers to travel with a client to the destination when the client can show that every effort has been made to source care overseas and that those efforts have failed for justifiable reasons.

The TAC will consider any requests for family members to provide attendant care overseas in line with the criteria in 'Who can provide attendant care services?' and 'Requests for a family member or friend to provide attendant care services' in the Attendant Care Policy. The TAC will only consider reimbursing a family member for providing overseas attendant care when a client has exhausted all reasonable options for attendant care provided by an overseas attendant care agency and the family member providing the care is registered with an attendant care agency.

What information does the TAC need to consider reimbursing overseas attendant care?

A request for overseas attendant care must be submitted by the client's treating occupational therapist on the TAC's Overseas Attendant Care Request Form at least 4 weeks prior to the travel taking place.

The TAC also requires the following information:

  • For Australian attendant carers, confirmation that the carer has employer-funded travel insurance, WorkSafe insurance, a Visa and any required immunisations
  • A quote for both the travel and accommodation costs from either the client or the treating occupational therapist
  • If a client has funds that are managed by the Senior Masters Office (SMO), the client and/or the treating occupational therapist need to advise the TAC if the SMO are paying for any part of the overseas trip.

What information does the TAC require to reimburse a client for overseas attendant care?

Evidence must be provided to the TAC substantiating the overseas travel and the costs of attendant care, which may include:

  • airline or cruise ship tickets in the client's name; passport entries or other such evidence of dates of overseas travel, and
  • invoices and receipts from attendant care agencies detailing the name and location of the agency, contact details, hours, rates and total costs incurred.

In relation to overseas attendant care, what won't the TAC pay for?

The TAC will not pay for:

  • treatment or services for a person other than the client
  • overseas attendant care provided by Australian attendant carers where the Australian Government travel advice is not to travel to that destination and where the australian care agency will not allow the carer to travel to the destination for safety reasons
  • overseas attendant care for a client who has not received attendant care services in Australia
  • overseas attendant care that exceeds the cost of up to eight weeks of attendant care that the client would have received had they travelled in Australia
  • costs incurred by the client in employing an attendant care worker or for adverse exchange rates differences
  • personal costs incurred by the client, e.g. accommodation, travel insurance, entry to tourist attractions, participation in holiday activities, meals and food costs, incidental or any other expenses
  • personal costs incurred by the attendant care worker, e.g. entry to tourist attractions, participation in holiday activities, meals, incidental or any other expenses
  • costs associated with alteration or cancellation of travel arrangements/accommodation for the client or attendant care worker
  • overseas attendant care costs to assist a client with other than attendant care tasks, e.g. a need for assistance with mobility where this could be achieved with an appropriate wheelchair rather than attendant care
  • overseas attendant care for a condition that existed before the transport accident or that is not related to the transport accident
  • overseas attendant care where written approval was not provided by the TAC or where attendant care service commenced prior to the client receiving written approval from the TAC
  • insurance and WorkSafe for overseas and Australian attendant carers
  • visa and passport costs for the client and the attendant carer
  • immunisation costs for the client and attendant carer
  • transportation or hire of equipment outside of the Commonwealth of Australia. Refer to the Equipment policy.
  • the purchase of attendant care in advance, as the Transport Accident Act 1986 obliges the TAC to pay the reasonable costs of care as compensation once the costs have been incurred
  • treatment or services provided more than two years prior to the request for funding except where the request for payment is made within three years of the transport accident. Refer to the Time Limit to Apply for the Payment of Medical and Like Expenses policy.  

View Overseas Attendant Care Request form (for Provider use only)

Overseas Attendant Care Request form (for Provider use only)

Summary:

Our attendant care providers support clients to achieve their independence goals in daily living activities, therapy support, personal and domestic skills retraining and community access skills.