If you’re a participant with icare lifetime care, a worker in the icare Workers Care program, or you’re receiving benefits through icare dust diseases care and you have difficulties accessing your home, we can pay for the modifications that you need because of your injury or illness.
Modifications can make a big difference to living at home. Changing a home’s access points, kitchen or bathroom can significantly impact your safety and independence, and may even reduce your need for attendant care.
Home modifications can be ‘minor’ or ‘major’. Minor home modifications are defined as costing less than $25,000. They don’t usually require structural changes or council approval. Generally, major home modifications are for people with more severe injuries who have more accessibility needs.
What we can pay for depends on your needs, the nature of your injury or illness, your personal circumstances and which scheme you are receiving services through.
In consultation with you, an occupational therapist will identify the home modifications best suited to your circumstances. From there, the process of requesting home modifications is slightly different for each care scheme.
Make a request
We can pay for home modifications for injured workers living with a compensable dust disease under the Workers Compensation (Dust Diseases) Act.Modifications can only be provided to injured workers who have been accepted as suffering from a compensable dust disease by icare dust diseases care. Only modifications that are considered ‘reasonably necessary’ to managing your dust disease can be paid for.
If you are currently receiving a dust disease benefit, we can arrange for an occupational therapist to complete an assessment of your needs. If they recommend home modifications to help manage your dust disease, we can arrange for the build work to be completed.
Contact us to arrange an assessment of your needs.
Types of modifications
We can pay for home modifications including hand rails and access ramps to help improve your mobility at home.
All modifications must be reasonably necessary as a result of your dust disease.
Home modifications with icare dust diseases care
Minor home modifications
Minor home modifications are modifications that cost less than $25,000.
Minor home modifications include rails, ramps and other minor changes like removing a shower hob.
If you need minor home modifications, talk to your icare coordinator or case manager and they can help you find an occupational therapist.
The occupational therapist will meet with you, assess your home and develop recommendations for home modifications in consultation with you and your family.
Once you agree with the recommendations, the occupational therapist will submit a request to us with quotes.
The modifications requested must be required because of the needs related to your injury and be considered ‘reasonable and necessary’ (for icare lifetime care) or ‘reasonably necessary’ (for the icare workers care program).
Major home modifications
Major home modifications are modifications that cost more than $25,000.
They usually involve changes to both the inside and the outside of your home and may require council approval.
Your need for home modifications may be identified when you are still in hospital after your injury. Your icare coordinator and a home modifications officer will meet with you, your family and your treating team to identify what kind of modifications may be needed to help you gain access to your home and support your participation in life at home. They’ll also explain how icare can assist and what we can pay for.
If it seems like your home needs major home modifications, a team of specialists will then meet with you and your family and complete an assessment of your home.
Your team consists of a building modifications occupational therapist and building modifications project manager who are selected from an icare panel, as well as an icare home modifications officer.
The occupational therapist will assess your needs for home modifications and recommend specific types of modifications for you and your family to consider.
Once you agree with the recommendations, the occupational therapist will complete a report and the project manager will develop a scope of works with estimated costings. These are sent to icare to make a decision.
The modifications requested must be required because of your needs related to your injury and be considered ‘reasonable and necessary’ (for icare lifetime care) or ‘reasonably necessary’ (for the icare workers care program).
Once the recommendations are approved, the project manager will organise quotes from builders to complete the modifications which will be sent to us for final approval.
Our home modifications officer will meet with you, your family and the project manager and builder during the build to ensure the work is progressing to standard.
When the modifications are complete, an occupational therapist will meet with you, your family and the project manager to check the work has been completed as expected, and that the changes will meet your needs.
Types of modifications
For participants and workers
Major home modifications are intended to improve accessibility and enable a greater overall ability for participation in your home and community.
This may include modifications to the entry of your home, such as access ramps or widened doorways, or internal changes to the size and layout of the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen.
Specific requirements will be identified by your occupational therapist, and will depend on what is needed because of your injury to help you achieve your goals for life at home.
The modifications requested must be considered ‘reasonable and necessary’ (for icare lifetime care) or ‘reasonably necessary’ (for the icare workers care program). All home modifications must be approved by us before commencing.
For attendant care workersThe modifications may or may not include space for attendant care workers, such as overnight facilities at the homes of participants or workers needing overnight care.
Making major changes to your home is a big decision that you or your family may not feel ready to undertake in the early stages following an injury.
Given the unpredictable nature of some injuries, we also know that what’s recommended today might not be right for you in 12 months’ time.
Depending on your needs, and based on the recommendations of the building modifications occupational therapist, we can offer temporary solutions such as ramps, minor modifications and portable shower and bathroom units to enable you to live in your home while you decide on the rest of the modifications to be completed at a later date, or while the modifications are being completed.
Alternatives to home modifications
There are some scenarios when major home modifications may not be possible, or they may not be considered reasonable for your circumstances.
For example, when there are complex and multiple access problems (such as multi story homes), when a property is an illegal dwelling or when the cost of modifications are likely to exceed the value of the home.
We also can’t complete major modifications on rental properties unless you have a lease agreement of greater than two years.
If it’s not considered reasonable to modify your home, we’ll work closely with you to find the best alternative. We can support you in finding somewhere else to live, and cover certain costs involved in selling and buying your home.
In addition to that, we’ll also consider paying for home modifications to your new home.