3.6.12 Disability Care Load Assessment (Child) (DCLA)

Introduction

This section details the application of the DCLA (Child) (1.1.D.170) for CP (child) and CA (child) for child care receivers (under 16 years of age).

The DCLA is contained in the Secretary's Determination known as the Disability Care Load Assessment (Child) Determination 2010, which is a legislative instrument. The legislative instrument contains the rating method, a carer questionnaire (the ACL questionnaire), a THP (1.1.T.170) questionnaire (the professional questionnaire), the scoring method for each questionnaire, the minimum scores required for each questionnaire to contribute to a qualifying rating, and the minimum total scores for each questionnaire to achieve a qualifying rating for CP (child) and CA (child).

The DCLA enables an assessment of the functional ability, behaviour and special care needs of a child to determine a qualifying rating, which is the rating a claimant must achieve to be qualified to receive CP or CA under the SSAct for the care of a child aged under 16 years.

The instrument specifies that the Secretary must be satisfied that both the ACL questionnaire and the professional questionnaire is an accurate reflection of the functional ability, behaviour and special care needs of the child to whom it relates.

If the Secretary is not satisfied that the completed ACL questionnaire is an accurate reflection of the child's functional ability, behaviour and special care needs, the Secretary may request further information to correct any parts of the ACL questionnaire the Secretary believes are incomplete or inaccurate.

If the Secretary is not satisfied that the completed professional questionnaire is an accurate reflection of the child's functional ability, behaviour and special care needs, the Secretary may request a replacement professional questionnaire that is completed by a different THP.

Note: If the THP who completes the professional questionnaire is a close relative (parent, child, sibling or grandparent) of the carer or care receiver, there may be a conflict of interest because a relative may benefit financially from the THP assessment. Discretion should be exercised in determining whether the Secretary's delegate accepts that the assessment is an accurate reflection of the functional ability, behaviour and special care needs of a child.

An assessment under the DCLA is current for the period that the carer receives CP (child) or CA (child) in respect of the child to whom the assessment applies, providing the delegate remains satisfied it is an accurate reflection of the functional ability, behaviour and special care needs of the child.

Note: Special consideration must be given by the delegate that the assessment is an accurate reflection of the functional ability, behaviour and special care needs of a child where the child has reached a new developmental milestone used in the DCLA or the claim is made within 6 months of the next medical review of entitlement or there is a reason to believe the care receiver's medical condition has changed.

What is the DCLA

The DCLA contains 2 questionnaires, one to be completed by the carer, and another to be completed by the THP, about the child's:

The carer is required to complete the ACL questionnaire and a THP must complete the professional questionnaire.

To achieve a qualifying rating on the DCLA, a minimum qualifying score must be achieved on the ACL questionnaire as well as a minimum qualifying score on the professional questionnaire, for each care receiver under the age of 16 in respect of whom CP (child) or CA (child) is claimed.

The list of approved THPs who may complete the professional questionnaire is contained within the Social Security (Treating Health Professionals) Determination 2010.

Note: The questionnaires completed by the THP and the carer may list functional domains in a different order, or with different numbering, to the legislative instrument. The order in the legislative instrument is the order used in the SS Guide.

Act reference: SSAct section 38E Disability Care Load Assessment (Child) Determination, section 38F Treating health professional, section 197B Qualification-child with a severe disability or severe medical condition, section 197C Qualification-2 or more children each with a disability or medical condition, section 197D Qualification-disabled adult and one or more children each with a disability or medical condition, section 953 Qualification for CA-caring for either 1 or 2 disabled children

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.2.5.20 Carer Payment (CP) - Description, 1.2.5.50 Carer Allowance (CA) - Description, 3.6.4.10 Qualification for CP, 3.6.7.30 Qualification for CA, 3.6.12.320 Validation of the Disability Care Load Assessment (Child) - CP (child), CA (child), 3.6.12.220 Referrals to the Carer Specialised Assessment Team (CSAT)

Professional questionnaire score from the CDAT used for CP & CA (child)

When a person receiving CA for a child on the basis of a CDAT score, i.e. the condition is not on the list of recognised disabilities subsequently applies for CP for that same child, the professional questionnaire score from the CDAT used to qualify the carer for CA may be used for the CP claim, if the delegate is satisfied that the existing professional questionnaire is an accurate reflection of the child's current functional ability, behaviour and special care needs.

When a person receiving CP (child) loses qualification for CP and ceases to be qualified for CA automatically (3.6.7.35), then subsequently applies for CA for that same child (whose condition is not on the list of recognised disabilities), the professional questionnaire score that already exists for the CP claim may be used for the CA claim, if the delegate is satisfied that the existing professional questionnaire is an accurate reflection of the child's current functional ability, behaviour and special care needs.

In this section

This section contains the following topics:
Last reviewed: 2 January 2015