All about TAC home services
If you have an accepted TAC claim after a transport accident, you may be entitled to have the TAC pay for a number of home services to help you.
Keep in mind though that there are some things the TAC won’t pay for.
And, there are a set of guidelines that will help you determine whether the TAC is likely to pay for the service.
What home services will the TAC pay for?
The TAC in can pay for the cost of gardening, house cleaning and childcare services.
When will the TAC pay for these services?
The TAC will consider paying for home help services if you were responsible for the particular task before the accident happened, and you struggle to perform the particular task now.
For example: if you were responsible for mowing the lawns prior to the accident, the TAC would consider paying for this.
The TAC will consider whether there is anyone else in the home to assist you with a service before approval.
For example: if you live in a house with other adults, the TAC would consider whether any of those people could perform the task you are trying to claim.
TAC can help pay the cost of domestic and gardening services where there’s regular routine essential house work such as cleaning dusting mopping and vacuuming or essential gardening such as mowing weeding raking leaves and clipping hedges.
How do I make a claim for home help services?
You will need your treating health practitioner to support the need for the requested service.
This could be a doctor or a physiotherapist or a chiropractor or a number of other health practitioners responsible for your medical treatment.
You should discuss your needs with the health practitioner and then ask them to write a short letter supporting why you might need help.
This letter should then be sent off to the TAC with a request that they pay for the service.
You should give the TAC a couple of weeks to process your request.
If you haven’t heard from them within a couple of weeks you should following them up.
With any organisation, sometimes things can take longer to process than they should and given the importance of home services such as gardening and cleaning services, if you don’t hear from the TAC within a reasonable amount of time you should contact them and follow up.
If the TAC approve payment for a service, how is payment made?
Payment is made usually in one of two ways.
The first way is from you to pay for the service in the TAC can reimburse you after you submit a receipt/invoice to them.
The second way is that the provider sends their account to that TAC directly, referencing your TAC claim number.
If the TAC reject payment for the service, what happens then?
If the TAC rejects payment for a service, then there are appeal avenues open to you.
If you do not have a lawyer representing you then you should ask the TAC to conduct an internal review.
This involves someone from the TAC (a person that wasn’t involved in the original decision) reviewing the decision to reject payment for the service.
They will then either uphold the original decision to reject payment, or they will change the decision and payment will be approved.
This process is generally fairly quick and usually takes a few weeks.
It can however take longer if the TAC requires more material.
In cases involving the rejection of a service, usually if there is further material requested, it is medical material from your treating practitioner at is required, justifying the need for the particular service.
If you have a lawyer, rather then going through the internal review process, they may instead issue what’s called a dispute application.
This is an application that initiates a conference with the TAC.
At this conference, the decision to reject the service will be discussed between your lawyer and the TAC (or their lawyers).
If the TAC requires further information to make a decision, then they will let your lawyer know.
If the matter does not resolve either by way of internal review or via the dispute application process, you can issue VCAT proceedings.
If your matter is heard before VCAT, it will be the responsibility of a the VCAT member to make a decision on the matter.
Keep in mind however, that is is possible for your matter to resolve before it reaches hearing stage.
It could resolve by way of negotiation between the parties.
What cleaning services will the TAC pay for?
As mentioned above, the guidelines the TAC use are:
- Did you perform the task prior to the transport accident?
- Are you restricted from performing the cleaning tasks now?
- Is there anyone else in your household that can perform the cleaning tasks?
The TAC will pay for housework that is regular and routine.
Common examples are: vacuuming, dusting, cleaning, mopping, clothes washing.
The TAC won’t pay for cleaning products or equipment that might be required.
Many cleaners won’t bill you extra for these things, but if the cleaner you hire does, then keep in mind that you’ll need to foot the bill.
If you’re in a residential facility, the TAC won’t pay for domestic services.
They also won’t pay for services if you’re not at your primary residence (for reasons other than admission to hospital relating to the transport accident).
How do I find a TAC approved cleaner?
You could contact the TAC and ask them.
Alternatively, you could contact a cleaner and ask them whether they do cleaning for TAC recipients.
Many cleaners will advertise that they are TAC approved in their promotional material.
Even if a cleaner isn’t a TAC approved cleaner, you are still able to engage them. Just make sure that you get approval from the TAC first.
And if you use a cleaner that’s not TAC approved, make sure to ask the cleaner what their hourly rate is (keeping in mind the hourly rate that the TAC will pay).
What gardening services will the TAC pay for?
Keep in mind the guidelines referred to above (under the cleaning services heading).
Common examples of gardening services claimed are: mowing and whipper snippering, trimming hedges and pruning trees, raking leaves, killing weeds.
The gardening service you’re claiming should be essential.
So for example, you might have trouble getting the TAC to pay for the planting of new plants by a gardener.
Also keep in mind that they won’t pay for the cost of any tip fees or waste removal fees.
This is only an issue if your gardening provider bills you extra for these things.
How do I find a TAC approved gardener?
Please refer to the section above regarding finding a cleaner.
What rates will the TAC pay for home services?
|Service||Rate (per hour)|
The rates above are current rates (from 1 July 2021).
When the TAC are invoiced, each invoice should state the duration each task was performed.
For example, an acceptable invoice may look like this:
Mowing lawn: 30 minutes.
Raking leaves: 30 minutes.
Pruning hedges: 45 minutes.
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes.
Total cost: $109.77
What if the service provider bills more than the TAC fees?
If for example a provider bills you $40 per hour for garden maintenance work, given the TAC will only pay $36.59 per hour, you will need to pay the difference.
Does the TAC pay for firewood?
Generally speaking, the TAC will not pay for the cost of heating materials such as firewood.
Will the TAC pay for window cleaning?
Yes, you should submit a quote to the TAC for approval before getting someone in to perform the service.
Will the TAC pay for my gutter cleaning?
Yes, however given this is a seasonal service (and not something you’ll be receiving every week or fortnight, for example), you should submit a quote to the TAC for approval before getting someone in to perform the service.
It would also help to have a letter from your doctor saying that you need the service because you’re not able to do it yourself because of an injury (or injuries) suffered in the accident.
Will the TAC pay for carpet cleaning?
See the answers for window cleaning and gutter cleaning above.
You should obtain a quote and submit that to the TAC before organising someone to perform the service.
How long will the TAC pay for home services?
The TAC will work with your treating health practitioners to determine how long you should receive payment for a particular health service.
If you have the support from your health providers (or even just one of them), you stand a good chance of continuing to have the treatment provided to you.
The TAC however will review your entitlement to the payment of a service as you go along.
And, they may contact your GP or other health provider to see how you’re progressing and whether you still need the service, and if you do, whether you still need the same amount of help.
You may also be asked to undergo a medical assessment to determine your needs.