20. Can I take leave from my Home Care Package?
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The Aged Care Act 1997 and Aged Care (Transitional Provisions) Act 1997 allows a client to temporarily suspend their Home Care Package. This is commonly known as ‘taking leave’, for example:
- A hospital stay;
- Transition care, which may follow a hospital stay;
- To receive respite care in a Nursing Home; or
- For social reasons, including a short holiday.
A client’s security of tenure in their Home Care Package is not affected while they are on leave.
To take leave, clients must:
- Notify Daughterly Care Community Services leave is being taken from a Home Care Package;
- Specify the date the leave commences and finishes; and
- Ensure no service or goods are purchased during the leave period.
Impact of leave on the Home Care Package subsidy and supplements
The amount of home care subsidy paid is dependent on the type of leave taken.
|Type of leave||Impact on payment of subsidy and eligible supplements* to provider|
|Hospital and Transition care||Home care subsidy is payable (at the full basic subsidy rate) for up to 28 consecutive days in a financial year, for each episode of hospitalisation or transition care at each particular package level.
|Residential respite care and social leave||
^Primary supplements are oxygen, enteral feeding, dementia and cognition, and veterans’.
*Eligible supplements (such as the viability and hardship supplements) continue to be paid during periods of leave.
Impact of leave on client fees
The Government rule is that clients are required to pay ongoing home care fees to the Approved Provider such as Daughterly Care Community Services while they are on leave. The home care fees that the client may be charged are dependent upon whether the client entered care before or after 1 July 2014. The amount and type of fee that can be charged while a client is on leave from their package is set out below:
|Leave type||Entered Home Care Package Pre 1 July 2014||Entered Home Care Package Post 1 July 2014|
|Income-tested fee||Management Fee||Income-tested fee||Management Fee|
|Residential respite care||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Social leave (package suspended for any other reason)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
# Remains payable for up to 28 consecutive days in a financial year at a particular package level, after which the client can be asked to pay the lesser of their income-tested care fee (as previously advised) or 25% of the basic subsidy rate.
+ Remains payable for up to 28 cumulative days in a financial year at a particular package level, after which the client can be asked to pay the lesser of their income-tested care fee (as previously advised) or 25% of the basic subsidy rate.
Home Care Package leave balances
Your leave balance resets at two specific events:
- On 1 July each year; and
- If your Home Care Package level changes at any time, e.g. you upgraded from a Level 2 to Level 3 the unused leave balances are reported on your Monthly Home Care Package Statement so you can manage your leave taken.
Key points to remember
- A client may take temporary leave from their Home Care Package;
- A client’s security of tenure is not affected while they are on leave;
- Services must not be delivered when a client is on leave from their Home Care Package;
- Leave arrangements are the same for each leave type across all four Home Care Package levels;
- A client’s Home Care Package leave balance resets at two specific events: on 1 July each year; and if their package level changes at any time.