Taking a break from aged care

As the coronavirus pandemic has wrought havoc through aged care facilities, many Australians are wanting to remove their loved ones from residential aged care.

The federal government made provision for this situation back in May when it introduced ‘emergency leave’ for people who want to leave an aged care facility but wish to return at a later date.

This emergency leave is available up until 30 September and was backdated to cover all leave from 1 April 2020.

If you choose to take emergency leave, you must continue to pay basic daily fees, means-tested care fees and daily accommodation payments, which is the same situation as taking social leave.

During this time, the government will continue to pay the aged care subsidy to the aged care provider and you won’t pay any further fees to retain your place at the aged care facility.

The emergency leave does not cover any hospital stays. If you or your loved one in aged care is admitted to hospital during the emergency leave period, hospital leave must be taken instead.

When the emergency leave period ends on 30 September, all residents will have a full 52-day social leave balance for the 202021 financial year.

If you exceeded your 52-day social leave days during the pandemic last financial year and paid any fees to retain your place in the aged care facility, the aged care home must reimburse you for any fees paid after 1 April.

Have you taken advantage of the emergency leave aged care provisions to take a break from aged care during the pandemic? Were you aware of these changes?

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Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking is a skilled writer and editor with interests and expertise in politics, government, Centrelink, finance, health, retirement income, superannuation, Wordle and sports.
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