What happens to unspent Home Care Package funds

Unused home care funds can build up over time. Find out everything you need to know about what happens when they do.

By
Haisey Home Care
October 17, 2022
x min read

It is not uncommon for unspent Home Care Package funds to build up, for a number of reasons. What happens to these amounts in the event you change provider, leave the home care scheme or pass away? This article tells you all you need to know.

What are unspent Home Care Package funds?

You are allocated a specific monthly government subsidy based on the level of care you need. At the end of the month, any of this subsidy not used up by your service costs and fees is 'unspent funds'.

Each month any Unspent Funds are carried forward to your next month's balance.

These funds are yours as long as you need them.

Why would you have any unspent Home Care Package fees?

You might ask how and why this can happen, and there are a number of reasons.

  • Your personal situation may have improved, and you no longer use the level of services you did before.
  • You may have left care (either temporarily or permanently).
  • You may be saving some for future events or purchases.
  • You may have been moved onto an upgraded package but have not yet utilised these extra funds.

What happens to unspent Home Care Package funds

If you change your service provider

Any unspent funds are transferred from your old provider to your new one.

If you leave the home care scheme, move into private care or die

Your Home Care Package will be closed and unspent funds transferred back to the government. If you had to contribute your own money to the package (through a Basic Care Fee, Income Tested Care Fee or a Top Up Contribution), the unspent percentage proportion that you contributed is returned to you or, in the event of your death, your estate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an unspent fund?

Unspent funds are amounts left over in your Home Care Package budget from the month (or previous months) before that have not been spent on services or fees.

What can I spend my aged care package on?

Home Care Packages are designed to fund services that are: directly related to your care needs, that will improve your health and well-being, are necessary to enable you to continue living safely in your own home, are considered an acceptable use of government funds, and are not supports that fall under the responsibility of another government agency or scheme.

They DO include things like necessary personal and nursing care, selected household tasks (including meals and food preparation) and transport to appointments and community events.

They DO NOT include things unrelated to your disability or that you would normally be expected to pay for yourself- for example, your rent or groceries.

Can I manage my own Home Care Package?

Yes, you have the choice of a self-managed Home Care Package or a provider-managed package.

Providers charge a fee to cover all the administration of managing your package, including the vetting of suitable support workers and scheduling etc.

Under a self-managed package, you can save some money here by doing it yourself, if you are confident managing the budget and organisation yourself.

How do you calculate unspent funds?

Unspent funds are:

Your allocated monthly subsidy minus your care services and fees for that month.

They will automatically be calculated by your provider, and any unspent fees rolled over onto the Opening Balance for your next month.

What happens to my unspent Home Care Package funds if I change provider?

Any unspent funds are transferred to your new Home Care Package provider.

You need to notify your old provider where you are moving, and then within 56 days of ceasing service they must provide you with written notification of your unspent amount (minus any applicable exit fees); within 70 days of ceasing service, they must have transferred these funds to your new provider.

Can I leave my Unspent Funds to my children when I die?

The Government contributions that were not used for your care with your Home Care Package will be returned to help pay for the care of another older person. If you paid an Income Tested Care fee, then a portion of the Unspent Funds will go back to your estate upon passing.

How do I know how much my Unspent Funds are?

A Monthly Home Care Statement is sent to the care recipient at the beginning of each month, or they can call their care manager to find out what their unspent funds are. The statement includes information on Unspent Funds Opening Balance and Closing Balance from the previous month.

Haisey Home Care is an approved provider of home care services with years of experience.

If you have any more questions about your care needs or your care package, don't hesitate to contact us, where one of our friendly experts will be happy to help!