4.5.45 Respite care

Respite care services are services provided to assist workers with a work-related An injury/disease is work related if it arose out of or in the course of employment and the scope of employment. injury or illness who are being cared for at their place of residence (eg by family or household members) by giving workers and carers a short-term break from their regular support routine.

Respite care can be provided within a worker’s place of residence (eg by an attendant carer) or externally (eg accommodation facility such as an aged care facility, supported residential services, shared community housing or a day program).

A referral is required from a medical practitioner.

See: Cost of services


To be eligible for consideration of respite care services, a worker as a result of their injury or illness must:

  • have substantial physical, psychological, cognitive or sensory disability which was sustained as a result of a work-related injury or illness
  • require a significant level of ongoing daily/personal support such as hygiene, mobility or supervision
  • have a family or household member who provides to the worker a significant level of ongoing daily/personal support
  • have been assessed by an occupational therapist and/or multi-disciplinary team, as requiring respite care.

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WorkSafe will pay for

Upon request by a medical practitioner, WorkSafe will consider paying the reasonable cost of respite care services as follows:

  • up to a maximum of 28 days of respite care during any one calendar year
  • additional respite care beyond 28 days in exceptional circumstances (eg for a worker requiring significant daily support provided solely by family or voluntary carers or where the carer is elderly/infirm)
  • to enable the worker to attend an accommodation facility (eg group home, aged care facility) or day program. Consider the type of activities undertaken within a workers approved support program or individual plan if participating in the Community Integration Program
  • additional support required to facilitate attendance at external respite care including travel and attendant carer costs
  • attendant care to be provided to a worker in their usual residence.

WorkSafe may consider authorising payment of the cost of attendant care services as well as the accommodation costs.

WorkSafe will not pay for
  • the respite carer undertaking additional duties not directly related to the support of the worker eg household tasks or care of other family members Family member means a partner, parent, grandparent, sibling or child of the worker or of the worker's partner
  • normal daily living costs incurred whilst the worker receives external respite care such as accommodation costs (rent, utilities payments) and food additional to that provided as part of the respite care
  • additional costs incurred as a result of the worker, family or carer choosing a respite care option which offers a higher level of support than is required to meet the worker’s needs eg a worker who required low-level support (group home) wanting high-level support (nursing home)
  • respite care provided by a family or household member residing in the same household as the worker.

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