Can my Home Care Package pay for respite? 

Find out if your Home Care Package can cover respite care and the rules around it.

By
Haisey Home Care
January 31, 2023
x min read

Respite offers support and relief for carers so they can go on holidays or pursue their interests, safe in the knowledge that the person they care for is being looked after. This may be on a planned basis or in an emergency.

This article tells you how it relates to your Home Care Package and the rules surrounding it.

Residential respite care

Can a Home Care Package pay for residential respite?

Residential respite care is where an Aged Care home delivers your temporary care. Yes, you may use your Home Care Package funds to pay for respite care, so long as you meet a few criteria:

  1. You need to have enough funds in your package to cover the cost of the care.
  2. You can only use funds to pay for respite at available facilities with private beds.

Australian government funding also pays a respite subsidy and supplement to suppliers for your respite care cost.

If you are planning respite, there are different types available, so it is worth speaking to your provider to find the best one.

Your Home Care Package will be temporarily suspended if a residential care home assumes responsibility for your care. 

Fees while on leave from your Home Care Package 

You will still be responsible for paying some fees while your Home Care Package is suspended- namely, any income-tested fee..

Income Tested Care Fee 

Even if your Home Care Package is suspended for respite, you still need to pay your normal income-tested fee.

  • If your leave is shorter than 28 days, you will pay the fee, regardless of whether you use the services.
  • For leave longer than 28 days, you pay the full fee for the first 28 days, then 25% of the fee after that.

Basic Daily Fee 

If you suspend your Home Care Package due to residential respite care (or transition care), your Home Care Package providers can not charge your daily fee. If your leave is for a holiday or you need to go to the hospital, they still have the option to charge it.

How many respite days are allowed?

You can receive up to 63 days of respite care every year (or nine weeks). This may be extended by a further 21 days/three weeks with the authorisation of the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the local authority pay for respite care?

Yes, you can use your Government-subsidised Home Care Package to pay for your residential respite care. Your local authority will also pay a subsidy to your residential care provider.

Do you have to pay for respite in a care home?

While you can use your Home Care plan for respite care in a care home, you will continue to pay your income-tested fee, but your normal service provider can not charge you the daily fee.

How many weeks of respite care are you allowed?

Home care participants are entitled to 63 days of respite care a year- or nine weeks. This can be extended by a further 21 days/three weeks with the authorisation of the Aged Care Assessment Team.

What should I pack for respite?

When you’re coming for a respite stay, bring:

  • At least three sets of clothes labelled with your name or initials.
  • Any prescription medications you need.
  • Any books or magazines that you enjoy.
  • Some photos of friends or family to help you feel more at home.
  • A small amount of money in case you want to go on a trip or buy something for yourself.
  • A mobile phone, laptop or tablet (if you have them)
  • Contact numbers of family and friends
  • Any specific equipment that you use, such as a walking stick.
  • Linen and bedding are typically provided, but some prefer to bring their own.
Aged care home

Takeaways:

  1. You can use your Home Care Package to pay for respite care. 
  2. Your Home Care Package will be temporarily suspended while you do.
  3. You will still need to pay your income-tested fee but not your daily one.
  4. You can have up to nine weeks of respite care every year (with an extra three weeks if authorised by ACAT)

If you have any more questions about respite care, your Home Care Packages or our service, Haisey Home Care is only ever a phone call away!