Ageing does not discriminate. This means the ageing population of Australia is a mix of people with diverse needs–Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, people with disabilities, those with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and members of the LGBTI community.
And then there are people who are financially disadvantaged and have difficulty accessing aged care services.
Because their needs are the same as those with a financial advantage, the Australian Government has set measures in place to ensure that they will never be denied an aged care service, whether residential or home cares. There is a range of senior care services that the government subsidises to ensure fair access to aged care.
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Home care subsidy, for example, is given to eligible approved providers for each allocated place on a particular day.
Care supplements that aged residents need, on the other hand, are paid monthly by the government under the residential care subsidy. Recipients can access them from eligible approved providers.
Is there financial assistance available?
The Department of Human Services helps people who are financially disadvantaged through a variety of payment options.
- Aged Pension provides income support for eligible older Australians as well as access to a range of concessions.
- Disability support pension takes care of your finances if you can’t work due to a permanent physical, intellectual, or psychiatric condition. This also applies to someone who is permanently blind.
- Mobility allowance takes care of your transportation needs if you must travel to do an approved activity but can’t take public transport due to your disability, injury, or illness.
Financial assistance also extends to carers through Carer Payment and Carer Allowance. Since care providers need more than just respite care, access to financial help is a huge bonus.
What if you can’t afford aged care costs?
You can apply for financial hardship assistance.
This is one solution to pay for your aged care fees when you can’t afford to or when you have difficulty settling your bills for reasons beyond your control. In this option, the Australian government will pay some or all of your care fees and charges.
There is a financial hardship assistance for residential respite care and permanent residential care.
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However, you need to pass the assessment before you are approved of financial assistance. This is usually done on an individual basis and will look into different issues relevant to your current situation.
For instance, if your asset value is more than $35,396.40, you will not be eligible for financial hardship assistance. If these assets are unrealisable, such as a property that has been on the market for half a year or more, you may pass the assessment.
What are the costs of residential care?
Part of the assessment is to determine if you can afford the essential expenses in aged care. You will need to calculate how much you have to pay for resident fees, medical expenses, private health insurance, transport costs, wheelchair and mobility aids, and many others.
Search for providers that offer home care packages
If you know where to look, you will find a provider of age care Melbourne has that offers government-funded home care packages. Although you still need to pass the eligibility test, there is an opportunity to receive better-quality aged care services.
Contact in-home services and support for more information on care packages and other related details.