Renae Diggles

July 3, 2024

Government Funded Home Care Services For Retirees

Renae Diggles

July 3, 2024

Nowadays, many ageing people are self-funded when entering into their retirement years. If you’re a self-funded retiree, it does not mean that you are ineligible for government funded home care services. It is a different process than it is for people on a pension. However, the approval process remains the same. The first step to accessing government subsidised services at home is to have an ACAT assessment or RAS assessment (Refer to Home Care Packages for more information).

Income Tested Care Fee Explained

If you are approved for a home care package, then it is important that as a self-funded retiree you obtain an Aged Care Fees Income Assessment through Services Australia. This assessment will determine whether you are required to contribute to your package via an Income Tested Care Fee.

The Income Tested Care fee is based on your individual income. However, if you are a part of a couple, then half of your combined income will be tested to determine the income tested care fee (irrespective of who earned the income).

For those people who are in receipt of a full pension, you will not have to pay an income tested care fee. Furthermore, you do not need to complete the Income Tested Care Fee form. Part-pensioners shouldn’t need to complete the form either, as the Australian government will already have their financial information.

Home Care Package Subsidies

The amount of subsidy that the Government pays to a provider is reduced by the maximum amount of the income-tested care fee that the consumer is charged. You can download the Aged Care Fees Income Assessment (SA456) form, or free call Services Australia. It is worth getting an assessment prior to entering into a home care agreement with a provider so that you know from the onset of the service whether you will need to contribute. It does take a couple of weeks for the assessment letter to arrive, stating the income-tested care fee contribution amount.

Also, there is an annual cap on the maximum amount of income tested care fees for home care that an individual can pay.

Is a Package Worthwhile for Self-Funded Retirees?

Self-funded retirees will have to contribute to their home care packages. Nevertheless, it could still be worth your while to enter into a home care package agreement. Consider the following:

What are your care needs and what are the costs involved in meeting your care needs at home? For individuals with greater care needs, the government subsidies will be greater than the income tested care fee that you’ll need to contribute.

On the other hand, if your care needs are less, you might consider paying for care services privately. Your income tested care fee might be greater than the package subsidy, depending on your assessment. Therefore, you’ll need to consider how much you’ll have to contribute to your package as opposed to how much the government will subsidise.

Consider Your Future Care Needs

Other factors to take into account include the help and support that you’re already receiving at home. For example, do you have a family or friend who takes you to appointments? Do you have somebody to help you with meals, showers, or the cleaning of your home? If your already have help and support in place, look at your potential future needs. Think through the additional services and support that you could need down the track.

Self-funded retirees can benefit from entering into government funded home care services. Take a look at the current daily government subsidy at www.myagedcare.gov.au. This will help you with your decision regarding the in-home care services that are right for you.

Disclaimer: This is intended as a guide only. For accurate, indepth, up-to-date information regarding the home care packages program, please refer to the My Aged Care website.

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