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Part 6: Dependants with special needs

8.6.1 Purpose

The purpose of this Part is to provide support during posting to a member who has a dependant with recognised special needs.

8.6.2 Definition

The following definition applies to this Part.

Definition
Term Definition in this Part
Early Intervention Program A program run by a government organisation, accredited non-government organisation or accredited private provider that provides assistance to promote the development of preschool aged children with special needs.

8.6.3 Member this Part applies to

This Part provides benefits for a member who has a dependant recognised as having special needs under section 1.3.84.

See: Chapter 1 Part 3 Division 2 section 1.3.84, Dependant with special needs

8.6.4 Special needs assistance

  1. This section applies to a member who meets both the following conditions.

    1. The member has a dependant who has been recognised as having special needs under section 1.3.84.

      See:Chapter 1 Part 3 Division 2 section 1.3.84, Dependant with special needs

    2. The member has been granted a removal as a result of a posting.

  2. The member may be eligible for any of the following types of assistance.

    1. A special needs pre-posting visit.

    2. See: Section 8.6.7, Special needs pre-posting visits

    3. Assistance with costs for required services.

    4. See: Section 8.6.9, Assistance with respite, personal care or therapy services

    5. Assistance with the cost of hiring special equipment in the new posting location.

      See: Section 8.6.10, Assistance with equipment hire

    6. Assistance with education for children with special needs.

      See: Section 8.6.11, Education assistance for children with special needs

    7. Special accommodation requirements at the new posting location.

      See: Section 8.6.12, Special housing needs

    8. Special accommodation during removal between the old and new posting locations.

      See: Section 8.6.13, Special assistance during removal

8.6.5 Assessment of assistance on posting

  1. A member, who has been formally recognised as having a dependant with special needs under section 1.3.90, will not be eligible for assistance under this Part for services that are being provided by other Commonwealth, State or Territory Government departments or Government funded agencies.

    See: Chapter 1 Part 3 Division 2 section 1.3.84, Dependant with special needs

  2. Where the spouse or partner of a member with a dependant with special needs is also a Service member, the family only has one benefit to assistance under this Part.

8.6.6 Assessment of assistance on posting

  1. An assessment of assistance by the Defence Community Organisation for a member with a dependant with special needs ensures that the member receives the appropriate level of assistance in the new posting location.

  2. When a member has received a posting order and wishes to seek assistance under this Part, they must apply in writing to the Director General Defence Community Organisation for an assessment of assistance using Form AD355 – Assessment of assistance on posting , and including the relevant supporting paperwork.

    1. When the relevant supporting documentation is less than two years old, no further report is required as a part of the relevant supporting paperwork, unless there has been a change to the original recognised special needs or in the type or level of assistance required.

      See: Chapter 1 Part 3 Division 2 subsection 1.3.84.5, Dependant with special needs

    2. When the relevant supporting paperwork is older than two years, an updated report from an appropriate specialist provider that includes a management and treatment plan is required as a part of the relevant supporting paperwork.

    3. Where the condition has deteriorated and additional assistance is needed, a specialist medical report is required as a part of the relevant supporting paperwork, to verify the change in condition.

  3. When there has been no change in the requirements for the dependant with special needs, and no change in the future is foreseeable, a report that is older than two years but less than five years old may be accepted by the Director General Defence Community Organisation.

  4. If a member does not qualify for assistance under section 8.6.3, the Director General Defence Community Organisation may approve reasonable financial assistance when both of the following apply.

    1. The member does not qualify for assistance because of circumstances beyond their reasonable control.

    2. The financial assistance would be consistent with providing assistance for a dependant with special needs under this Part.

8.6.7 Special needs pre-posting visits

  1. A pre-posting visit allows a member to plan and make arrangements for the dependant with special needs at the new posting location when the arrangements cannot be made from the old posting location.

  2. The member must apply in writing using Form AC834 – Application for special needs pre-posting visit, including all relevant supporting documentation.

  3. The application must be provided to the member's Commanding Officer at the losing location for a pre-posting visit.

  4. The Commanding Officer must assess the application and make a written recommendation to the Director General Defence Community Organisation.

  5. The Director General Defence Community Organisation may approve the application for a special needs pre-posting visit, having regard to the following.

    1. Evidence of recognition as a member with a dependant with special needs.

      See: Chapter 1 Part 3 Division 2 section 1.3.84, Dependant with special needs

    2. Evidence of the requirement for the dependant with special needs to have direct contact with the relevant departments or institutions in the new posting location.

    3. A proposed detailed itinerary for the pre-posting visit.

    4. Any other information to support a pre-posting visit.

  6. Special needs pre-posting visits are separate from, and in addition to, approved househunting trips.

    Relevant information: Chapter 7 Part 1 Division 4, House-hunting trips

  7. When a special needs pre-posting visit has been granted the member, spouse or interdependent partner, and the dependant with special needs are eligible for travel and accommodation at Commonwealth expense at the rates outlined in Annex 9.5.A.

    See: Annex 9.5.A, Amounts for accommodation, meals and incidentals

  8. The Director General Defence Community Organisation may approve additional funding if it is necessary for two people to accompany the dependant with special needs on a pre-posting visit.

  9. Special needs pre-posting visits are to be made using the most economical means of travel. The Director General Defence Community Organisation may grant an alternative means of travel having regards to the needs of the dependant.

    Example: A member has been granted a special needs pre-posting visit between Sydney and Brisbane. The most economical means of travel is by plane. The dependant with special needs is unable to fly due to medical reasons. The member may be granted the use of a private vehicle to drive to Brisbane for the visit.

    See: Chapter 9 Part 1 section 9.1.3, Most economical means of travel

8.6.8 Assistance at the new posting location

  1. All assistance provided under section 8.6.9 and 8.6.10 at the new posting location is for services and equipment that the dependant with special needs is eligible to receive from Government funded agencies but is on a waiting list for.

    See:
    Section 8.6.9, Assistance with respite, personal care or therapy services
    Section 8.6.10, Assistance with equipment hire

  2. If a member is receiving, or starts to receive, services from State or Territory Government agencies, support under this Part for those services will no longer be provided.

    Example: A member is receiving assistance for therapy services for a dependant with special needs in the new posting location while on the waiting list for State funded assistance. The State funded therapy service becomes available to the member's dependant. The member is no longer eligible for assistance for therapy services under this Part.

  3. Assistance under sections 8.6.9 and 8.6.10 may be approved by the Director General Defence Community Organisation. Advice from the State or Territory Government agency will be considered when determining the period of assistance.

  4. The Director General Defence Community Organisation may approve an extended period of assistance on written application from the member, when access to assistance provided by the State or Territory agencies takes a longer period. The member needs to provide advice from the relevant State or Territory agency that the dependant with special needs is still on a waiting list.

  5. Assistance that is approved for a member with a dependant with special needs is paid by the following means.

Assistance
Item If the services were... Defence Community Organisation will...
1. paid for by the member reimburse the cost of the services on presentation of receipts to DCO.
2. provided and an invoice was issued by the service provider pay the service provider on presentation of the invoice.

8.6.9 Assistance with respite, personal care or therapy services

  1. In this section a decision maker means one of the following.

    1. Director General Defence Community Organisation.

    2. Director National Operations Defence Community Organisation.

  2. Members with dependants with special needs may be provided with financial support for the following services when State or Territory assistance is not available or has a waiting period.

    1. Respite care.

    2. Personal care.

    3. Therapy services.

    4. Early intervention programs.

  3. The member must apply in writing for the services listed in subsection 2 to the decision maker using Form AC835 – Application for assistance with respite, personal care, therapy services or equipment hire, including all relevant supporting paperwork.

  4. The decision maker may approve an application for assistance, having regard to the following.

    1. Evidence of recognition as a member with a dependant with special needs.

      See: Chapter 1 Part 3 Division 2 section 1.3.84, Dependant with special needs

    2. Evidence of the placement on a waiting list for therapy and respite services.

    3. Evidence that the assistance applied for was provided in the previous posting location, or that the family was on a waiting list in that location.

  5. Financial assistance is only provided until State or Territory assistance is received by the member.

  6. Respite care at Commonwealth expense will only be provided when no other forms of care are available.

    Example: A member with a dependant with special needs who is eligible to receive respite care through a State or Territory agency may be placed on a waiting list. They may not be able to be provided with the care under formal or informal arrangements. Then respite care will be provided at Commonwealth expense.

8.6.10 Assistance with equipment hire

  1. A member with a dependant with special needs may be provided with financial support to allow them to hire equipment in the new posting location when some or all of the following conditions apply.

    1. Specialist equipment that was used at the old posting location was provided by a local Government service or was not transportable.

    2. The dependant was on a waiting list for the equipment at the old posting location.

    3. The dependant is on a waiting list in the new location.

  2. The member must apply in writing to the Director General Defence Community Organisation using Form AC835 – Application for assistance with respite, personal care, therapy services or equipment hire, including all relevant supporting paperwork for assistance with financial costs for equipment hire.

  3. The Director General Defence Community Organisation may approve the application for financial assistance under this section, having regard to the following.

    1. Evidence of recognition as a member with family with special needs.

      See: Chapter 1 Part 3 Division 2 section 1.3.84, Dependant with special needs

    2. Evidence of an approved application for placement on waiting lists for Government funded services at the new posting location.

    3. Evidence that the type of equipment applied for was provided at the previous posting location, or that the family was on a waiting list in that location.

    4. Evidence that equipment is not transportable or was provided by Government funded services at the previous posting location.

  4. Financial assistance is only provided until State or Territory assistance is received by the member.

8.6.11 Education assistance for children with special needs

Education assistance for children with special needs is provided under section 8.4.14.

See: Part 4 Division 2 section 8.4.14, Children with special needs

8.6.12 Special housing needs

  1. Housing support may be provided to a member with a dependant with special needs at the new posting location if there is a special accommodation requirement.

  2. The support provided is limited to the following.

    1. Consideration of the special needs by Defence Housing Australia when allocating a Service residence.

    2. Modifications that do not significantly alter the structure of the house.

      Example: Some modifications that may be provided include:

      1. Installation of a ramp at the front door and at one other door if the dependant with special needs is in a wheelchair.

      2. Removal of a shower door and replacement with a heavy duty shower curtain.

      3. Modification of taps.

    3. Housing located close to the dependant's school.

    4. Increased rent ceiling for a rental property required to accommodation the special needs.

      See: Chapter 7 Part 8 Division 2 paragraph 7.8.12.2.b, CDF may increase rent ceiling

  3. The CDF may approve any of the following modifications on written application from the member.

    1. Modifications that are similar to those at the member's residence in the previous posting location.

    2. Window mounted air conditioners and heaters that are portable and have been purchased by the member may be installed or removed at Commonwealth expense.

      Note: Split-system air conditions are not classified as portable. Installation and removal costs of these units will not be assisted by the Commonwealth.

      See: Chapter 6 Part 5 Division 2 section 6.5.14, Technical help for dismantling and installing items

    3. Removal of carpets where specialist medical advice based on appropriate allergy testing (for example, skin prick tests), has identified carpet as a trigger for a severe allergic reaction.

    4. Modifications that improve accessibility for the dependant.

      Example: Ramps, alterations to showers and toilets.

  4. Members who have a dependant with special needs and have received a posting order must contact Defence Housing Australia with their requirements, if they would like them taken into account.

  5. A member who has a dependant with special needs, but has not been posted, may apply in writing for housing assistance provided under this section. The CDF may approve the request.

Persons who can make the decisions under subsection 8.6.12.3 and subsection 8.6.12.5 on behalf of the CDF:
Director Relocations and Housing
Contract Manager Services Agreement
Assistant Contract Manager Services Agreement

8.6.13 Special assistance during removal

  1. If a member requires special accommodation during a removal for a dependant with special needs, the CDF will approve additional assistance for the special accommodation.

    Examples: Some of special accommodation requirements can include the following.

    1. Wheelchair accessible shower.

    2. Room with a bath.

    3. Lift access.

  2. Accommodation costs during a removal for a member and their dependants can be found in Annex 9.5.A.

    See: Annex 9.5.A, Amounts for accommodation, meals and incidentals

  3. The Director General Defence Community Organisation may approve unpacking assistance for a member who meets all the following conditions.

    1. The member has applied in writing to the Director General Defence Community Organisation.

      Note: The member does not need to provide copies of the medical or supporting documents used in their application for recognition of a dependant with special needs or assessment of assistance for that dependant. Only any new documents to support the removal assistance conditions set out in paragraphs b, c. and d. below would be needed.

    2. The member is unable to help with the unpacking for either of the following reasons.

      1. The member is absent due to Service reasons.

      2. The member has a medical condition that prevents the member from doing the unpacking.

    3. The member does not have family or friends present to support them in the new location they are moving to.

    4. The Director General Defence Community Organisation believes that one or more of the member's dependants are facing severe medical difficulties, and that this will prevent them from doing their unpacking. The Director General Defence Community Organisation may consider the following factors.

      1. Whether there is evidence provided that the member's adult dependant has a medical condition that prevents them from unpacking.

        Examples: The member's spouse or partner has a medical certificate or physiotherapist advice that states they cannot lift items. For example, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, spinal injury.

      2. Whether there is evidence provided that another dependant has a medical condition so severe it limits the member or their adult dependant from unpacking, as they must provide care.

        Examples: A dependant has severe and challenging behaviours that limit the spouse or partner from unpacking, as the spouse or partner must provide care to prevent injury to the dependant or removalists. For example, throwing glassware, running away, or physical violence.

  4. Unpacking assistance is subject to the following limits.

    1. It is limited to two workers for four hours in duration. The workers are supplied by the Commonwealth removalist as part of the removal package.

    2. It is only available at the time of home contents delivery.

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 8.6.13.1 on behalf of the CDF:
An employee of Toll Transitions who performs the duties of:

  • National Relocations Administration Services Manager
  • Regional Relocations Manager
  • Relocation Administration Services Manager
  • Senior Case Manager

8.6.14 Allowable travel time

A member with a dependant with special needs may be eligible for travel at shorter distances each day when travelling.

See: Chapter 9 Part 6 Division 1 section 9.6.7, Definitions, Allowable travel time, item c

8.6.15 Remote location leave travel

A member with a dependant with special needs living in a remote location, who is eligible for remote location leave travel, may be eligible for an alternate means of travel.

See: Chapter 9 Part 4 Division 4 subsection 9.4.31.3, Scheme B – member with dependants

Application to Reservists: Yes, on continuous full-time service.



Forms

Copies of forms are available on the webforms system or through the Defence Service Centre.

  • AD355, Assessment of assistance on posting
  • AC834, Application for special needs pre-posting visit
  • AC835, Application for assistance with respite, personal care, therapy services or equipment hire

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Defence Family Helpline

1800 624 608

DefenceFamilyHelpline@defence.gov.au

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YourCustomer.Service@defence.gov.au