Respite Services

Policy

The TAC can fund the reasonable cost of respite services for a TAC client who as a result of transport accident injuries, receives substantial unpaid care and support from a carer, where the client resides within the same household as a family member or carer.

The TAC can fund time-limited respite breaks up to a maximum of 28 days per calendar year, except in exceptional circumstances where additional respite services may be considered.

Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.3 'disability service', s.23 and s.60

Definitions

In this policy:

  • Respite services are:
    • a client service that provides positive short/long-term breaks for a client from his/her regular support routine.
    • intended to support and maintain the continuation of the primary informal support relationship between the carer and the client. 
  • Family or Carer refers to individuals who provide care and support, who are related (family members) or non-related (carers) who reside within the same household as the client.

Guidelines

How is eligibility for respite services determined?

To be eligible to receive respite services, the TAC client must:

  • be eligible to receive disability services
  • receive a significant level of unpaid care and support from a person residing within the same household
  • require a significant amount of ongoing daily/personal support, e.g. hygiene, mobility, supervision, etc.

A TAC client is not precluded from receiving respite services if he/she receives other services such as attendant care as long as eligibility criteria is met for each benefit.

What can the TAC fund as respite services?

The TAC can fund:

  • up to 28 days respite during any one calendar year. If respite services are requested within the year of accident, which does not include a full calendar year then respite services will be approved on a pro rata basis
  • additional respite services beyond 28 days in exceptional circumstances, e.g. if a client is requiring significant daily care and support, which is provided solely by the family/voluntary carer or if a client is cared for by an elderly/infirmed family member/carer
  • additional respite services, if the respite is cost neutral or less costly than the client’s usual formal support program
  • the reasonable cost of additional support for a client who requires a high level of care to attend a day program for the purpose of respite
  • the reasonable cost of a client’s travel to/from an approved respite facility. Refer to the Travel and Accommodation Expenses policy
  • the reasonable cost of a paid carer's travel where additional support is required for a client to attend a day program for the purpose of respite.

Are there any additional costs that the TAC can fund for a client who is receiving respite services?

If a client is receiving respite services in an accommodation facility, e.g. Residential Aged Care Facility, Supported Residential Service (SRS), Shared Supported Accommodations and participating in a day program, the TAC can fund the cost of care support services as well as expenses such as accommodation costs, food, utility costs and room temperature controls.

How is the amount of respite services determined?

The TAC can fund up to 28 days of respite services during a calendar year. The amount of respite services provided is determined after considering each of the following:

  • The hours and duties of unpaid/paid care provided to the client as a result of his/her transport accident needs
  • The ongoing support needs of the client
  • The reasonableness of the amount and type of respite requested, in relation to the ongoing support needs of the client
  • The hours and duties undertaken, within a client’s approved formal support program
  • Who provides both informal and formal care
  • Normal parental responsibilities for parents of a client who is a child.

What type of respite services can be taken?

In order to support a client's existing care program, it is recognised by the TAC that ongoing planned periods of respite may be the most effective option for TAC clients and their families/carers.

Respite services may be taken in the form of:

  • supported accommodation - in a supported accommodation facility or hospital
  • community group programs - participation in a school holiday program, or day program
  • in home respite - one to one support in a client’s home.

All respite services require prior written approval.

In order to support the existing care program, it is recognised by the TAC that ongoing planned periods of respite may be the most effective option for TAC clients and their families/carers.

Can the TAC fund respite services for a child?

The TAC can fund respite services for a client who is a child and requires additional care needs as a result of his/her transport accident injuries.

The TAC will take into consideration the following factors when considering a request for respite services for a client who is a child:

  • The ongoing care and support needs of the client solely as a result of his/her transport accident injuries
  • The ongoing care and support needs of the client as a result of his/her age
  • The reasonableness of the amount and type of respite requested, in relation to the ongoing support needs of the client
  • The normal parental responsibilities in the case of parents of a client who is a child.

For example, if respite services are requested for a school holiday period, it may be necessary to ensure that the request is solely related to the client’s accident-related needs and to explore what other options may have been put in place during school holiday periods had the child not been involved in a transport accident.

The TAC will explore other support options as an alternative to one to one care for a client who is a child in order to maximise age appropriate social interaction.

In relation to respite services, what will the TAC not fund?

The TAC will not fund:

  • respite services for a person other than the injured client
  • respite services in relation to circumstances that existed before a transport accident or that are not a direct result of a transport accident
  • respite services for a client who was receiving this service prior to the transport accident
  • respite services for a client who is permanently residing in an accommodation facility
  • the respite worker to undertake any ‘additional duties’ that are not directly related to the support of the client, e.g. the provision of household tasks or care for other members of the household
  • additional costs incurred as a result of the client, family or carer choosing a respite option which offers a higher level of care and support than is required to meet the client’s accident-related needs. For example, the TAC will not fund the extra cost where a client does not require nursing care and the family choose this option, or similarly, the TAC will not fund the cost of one-to-one care if this is not considered necessary to meet the client's transport accident care needs
  • holidays as respite services, e.g. the TAC will not fund a week at the beach for a client as a respite service. See also the holiday support section of the Attendant Care policy
  • respite services received by the injured person outside the Commonwealth of Australia
  • respite 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.