Family Counselling – information for clients and family members

If you have claimed family counselling before and would like more information, please see the Family Counselling policy.

Will the TAC pay for family counselling?

The TAC can pay for family counselling for any member of the immediate family of a person who is severely injured or dies in a transport accident.

For the TAC to pay for your family counselling, the person who is injured or dies in the accident must have an accepted TAC claim.

How much family counselling will the TAC pay for?

The total amount the TAC can pay for family counselling is capped. This amount changes each financial year.

A list of total amounts for recent financial years is available on the Indexation of Benefits Schedule on our website.

How the bills are paid

  • In most cases your counsellor will bill the TAC directly for your counselling
  • If you have paid a bill yourself, keep the receipt and send the original to the TAC for reimbursement
  • We suggest that you keep a copy of your receipts for your own records.
  • There is a limit to how much the TAC will pay for each family counselling service. If your counsellor charges more than the TAC maximum you will need to pay the difference. This is known as paying the 'gap'.

Who can provide family counselling?

Family counselling can only be provided by a:

  • Medical practitioner, such as a GP
  • Psychologist
  • Qualified social worker.

Can I choose my own family counsellor, or will the TAC choose one for me?

  • You must choose your own family counsellor, the TAC can't choose one for you
  • You need to call the TAC before your first appointment to confirm we can pay family counselling for you
  • You do not need to fill out any forms.

Can the TAC provide any other support to family members?

  • If you have suffered a mental or physical injury as the result of the accident, you may be eligible to make your own TAC claim
  • To find out more about lodging your own TAC claim, please call us on 1300 654 329.

Exclusions

The TAC can't pay for:

  • The counsellor's travel costs
  • Your travel costs to attend counselling
  • Reports about your counselling
Medications prescribed by the counsellor.

Policy

The TAC can pay the reasonable costs of family counselling under section 60(2A) of the Transport Accident Act 1986 (the Act), for any member of the immediate family of the person who dies or who is severely injured in a transport accident. The total amount that TAC can pay for family counselling on a claim cannot exceed a maximum amount of $16,160 (as of 1 July 2017).

Please note, family counselling is paid as part of the claim of the person who dies or is severely injured as a result of the transport accident. A person who receives family counselling therefore does not have a claim for compensation with the TAC in their own right. In certain circumstances, if a person is diagnosed with a mental or physical injury as a result of a transport accident, they may be eligible to make a claim for compensation for their own personal injury. Specific time-limits apply regarding lodgement of a separate claim for compensation. Refer to the Making a Claim for Compensation policy and the Eligibility for Benefits policy.

Definitions

In this policy:

  • Family counselling refers to the provision of counselling for family members of a client who dies or who is severely injured as a result of a transport accident.
  • Family member refers to any member of the immediate family, i.e. partner, parent, sibling or child of the person who dies or is severely injured as a result of a transport accident.
    Note: a parent of a dependent child includes:
    • a person who has day-to-day care and control of the child and with whom the child is normally resident;
    • a guardian of the child.
  • Severely injured refers to suffering a severe injury as defined in the Transport Accident Act 1986.
  • the family counselling allowance is the maximum amount the TAC can pay for family counselling. It is set out in the Act and is indexed annually. The Family Counselling Allowance applies per claim regardless of how many eligible family members access this service. The applicable amount for each claim is dependent on when a family member first accessed the service

Guidelines

What can the TAC pay for in relation to family counselling?

The TAC can pay the reasonable costs of family counselling up to the applicable family counselling allowance, when required for a family member of a person who is severely injured or dies in a transport accident.

From 20 November 2013, all eligible claims will be able to access an increased family counselling allowance of $15,000. The increased allowance includes any amounts previously used.

For new claims made after 1 July 2015 the allowance will be $15,630, claims made after 1 July 2016 will have an allowance of $15,920 and claims made after 1 July 2017 will have an allowance of $16,160.

Please note that the TAC cannot pay for:

  • private travel costs incurred by the family counselling provider in the event where the services are performed out of rooms
  • travel costs incurred by a client's family members to travel to the destination where the family counselling services will be undertaken
  • reports/assessments in relation to family counselling as these are not required by the TAC.

Who may provide family counselling?

Family counselling can be provided by a:

  • medical practitioner
  • psychologist
  • qualified social worker who is eligible for full membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers.

What fees are payable for family counselling?

Consultations are paid in accordance with the relevant fee schedule for the treating provider. Refer to the Medical Practitioner, Psychology or Social Work fee schedule.

In relation to family counselling services what will the TAC not pay for?

The TAC will not pay for:

  • medications prescribed by the family counselling provider
  • family counselling, where the cost of treatment is incurred in the hospital bed fee
  • fees associated with non-attendance
  • the cost of telephone calls and telephone consultations between providers and clients, and between other providers, including hospitals
  • treatment or services provided by medical practitioners or psychologists who are not registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law or are registered as students under that Law
  • treatment or services provided to the family member outside the Commonwealth of Australia
  • treatment or services provided more than 2 years prior to the request for funding except where the request for payment is made within 3 years of the transport accident. Refer to the Time Limit to Apply for the Payment of Medical and Like Expenses policy.

Family Counselling fees

Consultations for family counselling are paid in accordance with the relevant fee schedule for the treating provider. 

Refer to the Medical Practitioner, Psychology or Social Work fee schedule below.

Medical Services Reimbursement Rates

The TAC has adopted the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items, explanations, definitions, rules and conditions for services provided by medical practitioners.  When invoicing for medical services, medical practitioners are expected to adhere to the MBS rules unless otherwise specified by the TAC in the Reimbursement Rates for Medical Services booklet or its medical policies.

The Reimbursement Rates for Medical Services booklet below must be read in conjunction with:

Current Rates

Previous Rates

At the time of production this publication contained up to date information as released by Medicare Australia (Medicare).  The relevant publication will be updated to reflect any further changes that are implemented by Medicare each year.  Please check our website for the latest version.

If you have any questions about these publications or the reimbursement rates, please contact the TAC on 1300 654 329. Alternatively, e-mail info@tac.vic.gov.au.

Psychology Services

Effective 1 July 2017

Registered for GSTNot Registered for GST
Service DescriptionTAC Item Number2017/18 Maximum Payment Rate2016/17
Maximum
Payment
Rate
TAC Item Number2017/18 Maximum Payment Rate2016/17
Maximum Payment Rate
Hourly Rate
Pro rata in units of 15 minutes to a maximum of one hour.
Any consultations greater than one hour will require pre-approval  from TAC.
90000$159.31$156.99   
Group Rate (per person, up to 10 persons)90007$41.09$40.49   
Family Counselling (To a maximum of $15,000)90001$159.31$156.99   
Travelling for treatment
(prior approval required).
Pro-Rata rates in units of
15 minutes apply
.
90010$159.31$156.99   
Travel time claimed in association to an assessment of a client which is carried out at TAC's request. 
Pro-rata rates in units of 15 minutes apply.
90011*$175.34$172.789GF011$159.39$157.07
Psychologist Standard ReportTSP010*$263.00$259.16   
Mental Health (Psychology) Treatment Plan90050*$131.49$129.579GF050$119.54$117.80
Mental Health (Neuropsychology) Treatment Plan90060*$175.34$172.789GF060$159.39$157.07
Mental Health (Psychology) Treatment Review90055*$131.49$129.579GF055$119.54$117.80
Mental Health (Neuropsychology) Treatment Review90065*$131.49$129.579GF065$119.54$117.80
Mental Health
(e-Therapy)
This Way Up Clinic package
90070$57.67$56.83N/A  

Fees for psychology services performed within a public hospital will be based on the Department of Human Services schedule of fees and charges for acute health services in Victoria. Refer to www.health.vic.gov.au/feesman.

For information about our invoicing requirements, please see How to invoice the TAC.

GST

*The TAC maximum fee includes a 10% allowance for GST for items which TAC believes are taxable supplies.  If you are a provider not registered for GST:

  • You are not legally permitted to charge GST
  • You should indicate on all invoices submitted your status as 'not registered for GST purposes'
  • The TAC will only reimburse you an amount which excludes the GST component for items billed where the maximum fee includes a 10% allowance for GST

If you are not registered for GST please state on all invoices the TAC item number listed for providers not registered.

Social Work Services

Effective 1 July 2017

Registered for GST Not Registered for GST
Service Description TAC Item Number 2017/18 Maximum Payment Rate2016/17 Maximum Payment RateTAC Item Number 2017/18 Maximum Payment Rate2016/17 Maximum Payment Rate
Individual Treatment
Initial Consultation SW600 $58.15$57.30   
Standard Consultation: 
up to 30 minutes
SW602 $46.53$45.85   
Long Consultation: 
> 30 minutes < 45 minutes
SW604 $69.54$68.53   
Prolonged Consultation: 
> 45 minutes < 60 minutes
SW606 $92.93$91.57   
Group Consultation: 
up to 30 minutes 
      
Group Treatment
Group Consultation
(per person)
SW602G $27.99$27.58   
Travel (with prior approval) SW630 $92.93$91.57   
All travel is to be separately billed in blocks of 15 minutes.    
Reports
Report
When submitting an account for payment, details of the time taken to complete the report must be recorded on the account.
SW640* $102.22$100.73SW640F $92.93$91.57
Travel claimed in relation
to providing a report for management-type services such as reviews undertaken at the TAC's specific request, will incur a GST on the applicable TAC maximum fee. 
SW641* $102.22$100.73SW641F $92.93$91.57
Travel time can be claimed only for travel to and from the practitioner's practice address and the TAC client's residence.  Where more than one client is visited in a single travel period, total travel costs should be apportioned equally between those clients to whom services have been provided.

Fees for social work services performed within a public hospital will be based on the Department of Human Services schedule of fees and charges for acute health services in Victoria. Refer to www.health.vic.gov.au/feesman.

GST

*The TAC maximum fee includes a 10% allowance for GST for items which TAC believes are taxable supplies.  If you are a provider not registered for GST:

  • You are not legally permitted to charge GST
  • You should indicate on all invoices submitted your status as 'not registered for GST purposes'
  • The TAC will only reimburse you an amount which excludes the GST component for items billed where the maximum fee includes a 10% allowance for GST

If you are not registered for GST please state on all invoices the TAC item number listed for providers not registered.


View Support when a person dies

Support when a person dies

Summary:

This brochure is helpful for people whose loved one has died in a transport accident in explaining what benefits and services the TAC can provide, including payment of burial or cremation costs and income support.