I am currently receiving Workers Compensation from an accident that I received whilst at work, it was a back injury and I have to have on-going treatment. However, the pain is now affecting my legs and is making it very hard for me to get around. I will soon need more help around the house and to get out and do shopping etc. My compensation doesn’t cover this. Am I able to go back and make a further claim?


Yes, you are able to receive compensation for the domestic assistance you require on account of your workplace injury.


The Workers Compensation Act states that if, as a result of your workplace injury, it is reasonably necessary for you to have domestic assistance then your employer is liable to pay the cost of that assistance if certain conditions are met.


What is Domestic Assistance?


Domestic assistance can include assistance with household cleaning, meal preparation, laundry, shopping, gardening, child care and basic home maintenance.


What conditions do I need to meet to obtain Domestic Assistance?


To be eligible to receive Domestic Assistance you need to satisfy the following requirements:


– A medical practitioner has certified, based on an assessment of your functionality, that it is reasonably necessary that the Domestic Assistance be provided and that the necessity for the Domestic Assistance to be provided arises as a direct result of your workplace injury; and

– The Domestic Assistance is required because of your injury as you provided the Domestic Assistance prior to your injury; and

– Your workplace injury has resulted in a degree of permanent impairment of at least 15% or you require the Domestic Assistance only on a temporary basis; and

– The assistance is provided in accordance with a care plan established by your insurer in accordance with the WorkCover Guidelines.


When is Domestic Assistance provided on a temporary basis?


In the event that your workplace injury has not resulted in a permanent impairment of at least 15% you may still be entitled to receive Domestic Assistance on a temporary basis.


A temporary basis is when:


– The Domestic Assistance is for no more than six hours per week; and

– The Domestic Assistance is for a period, or periods, that total no longer than three months; and

– The Domestic Assistance is provided under the requirements of your injury management plan.


What is Gratuitous Domestic Assistance?


Gratuitous Domestic Assistance means Domestic Assistance that is provided to you and for which you are not required to pay. For example, assistance provided by your spouse taking over the domestic chores that you are no longer able to perform such as gardening.


As a general rule compensation is not payable for Gratuitous Domestic Assistance unless, the person who is providing the Domestic Assistance has lost income or employment as a result of providing the Domestic Assistance to you.  For example, your spouse has moved from full-time to part-time work in order to provide the Domestic Assistance.


How is Domestic Assistance paid for by the insurer?


The insurer will generally pay the costs of the Domestic Assistance as they are incurred. Prior to any payments for Domestic Services it is necessary for the Domestic Assistance to be verified.

If you have suffered a workplace injury and need Domestic Assistance you need to speak to Frank Boitano, an expert in workers compensation law. Call Barwick Boitano today on (02) 9630 0444 or email on for an appointment.

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