If you’re at the stage of your life where you are considering whether to remain at home or to move into an aged care facility, it’s important to know what choices you have available to you, particularly in regards to government funds.
The older we become, the harder it is for us to take care of ourselves and the more help we need from others. Considering our families can only do so much, we often need to call on the help of care providers. Should you want to receive support while staying at home, then in home care services is what you should be looking into.
How much help will you get from the government for services you need? Well, that will depend on a number of factors. The first thing that will happen is your service provider will work with you to develop an individual budget to fund your care package.
What the government provides to each person will be different, because it is based on the following:
- Income-tested care fee
The government will assess how much income you have and, according to the package you need, will work out how much you can afford to contribute. For example, if the package you choose has a fee of $40,000 and it is worked out that you can afford to pay $10,000, then the government will subsidise the remaining amount by paying your service provider $30,000. The subsidy that you are provided with may have daily, annual or lifetime limits, and if you are part of a couple living at home, the income-tested care fee will be based on half of your combined income.
- Exempt fee payers
There are those who are exempt from the income-tested fee due to their particular circumstances where they may be receiving funding from the Department of Human Services (DHS) or Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA). These include people who are blind, disabled, carers, have a DVA Disability Pension without income support, or a DVA War Widow’s Pension without income support. These people will not have to undergo the income-test to determine what fee they should contribute towards the package they select.
- Find out how to arrange an income assessment
If you are a retiree and have never had your income-tested care fee determined, you can easily find out what it will be by contacting the DHS and asking for a copy of the Aged Care Fees Income Assessment-SA456 form. Should you want assistance with this process, a Care Connect advisor will be able to help you navigate this step.
- If you cannot afford home care
If you are in dire straits and cannot afford the life you want to live at home, but still require the care and assistance from a service provider, you can contact the DHS to apply for a financial hardship grant.
With this valuable information at hand, you can now make the choice yourself on which plan you want to choose and which service provider offers you the best flexibility with home care packages.
If you need extra help, or if you are ready to receive in home care assistance, contact Care Connect, Australia’s biggest independent provider for home care services on 1800MYCHOICE.