Temporary leave from Home Care Packages

A person receiving home care can take leave from home care services for any reason. How this affects subsidies and fees depends on the type of leave they take, how long the leave is for and when they entered home care.

What is temporary leave?

Temporary leave is when a person stops receiving home care services for a while.

A person can take leave from their Home Care Package for any reason. As a home care provider, you must not provide home care services while a person is on leave.

A person’s leave can affect:

  • the subsidy amount the Australian Government pays you on their behalf
  • the fees that they pay

A person must tell you the date they will start leave. They do not have to do this in writing.

Types of leave

A person can take leave from their Home Care Package for:

Leave balances

A person’s balance for each type of leave resets:

  • on 1 July each year
  • if their package level changes at any time

Leave balances transfer with a person if they change providers.

Hospital leave

Subsidy payments

For up to 28 days in a row for each hospital stay, the Government continues to pay the full subsidy including any supplements that apply.

From day 29 the subsidy reduces. The subsidy:

Fee payments

If a person is on hospital leave, they continue to pay their basic daily fee.

They also continue to pay their income-tested care fee for up to 28 days in a row for each hospital stay. From day 29, the income-tested care fee they pay is the lower amount of either:

Fees are different for people who entered home care before 1 July 2014. If they take hospital leave, they can continue to pay both the basic daily fee and the income tested fee.

Example

See example 1 — hospital leave.

Transition care leave

Subsidy payments

For up to 28 days in a row for each period of transition care leave, the Government continues to pay the full basic subsidy and any supplements that apply.

From day 29 the subsidy reduces. The subsidy:

Fee payments

If a person is on leave for transition care, they do not pay their basic daily fee.

They continue to pay their income-tested care fee for up to 28 days in a row for each period of transition care. From day 29, the income-tested care fee they pay is the lower amount of either:

Fees are different for people who entered home care before 1 July 2014. If they take transition care leave, they do not pay any home care fees.

Residential respite leave

Subsidy payments

For up to 28 days of residential respite leave in a financial year, the Government continues to pay the full basic subsidy and any supplements that apply. The leave days do not have to be taken in a row.

If the person takes more than 28 days of residential respite leave in that financial year, the subsidy reduces. The subsidy:

Fee payments

If a person is on leave for residential respite, they do not pay their basic daily fee.

For up to 28 days of residential respite leave in a financial year, the person continues to pay their income-tested care fee. The leave days do not have to be taken in a row. If the person takes more residential respite leave in that financial year, the income-tested care fee they pay is the lower amount of either:

Fees are different for people who entered home care before 1 July 2014. If they take residential respite leave, they do not pay any home care fees.

Social leave

Subsidy payments

For up to 28 days of social leave in a financial year, the Government continues to pay the full basic subsidy and any supplements that apply. The leave days do not have to be taken in a row.

If the person takes more than 28 days of social leave in that financial year, the subsidy reduces. The subsidy:

Fee payments

If a person is on social leave, they continue to pay their basic daily fee.

For up to 28 days of social leave in a financial year, the person continues to pay their income-tested care fee. The leave days do not have to be taken in a row. If the person takes more social leave in that financial year, the income-tested care fee they pay is the lower amount of either:

Fees are different for people who entered home care before 1 July 2014. If they take social leave, they can continue to pay both the basic daily fee and the income tested fee.

Examples

These examples are for people who entered home care from 1 July 2014.

Example 1 — hospital leave

These numbers are based on 20 September 2019 fee rates and 1 July 2019 subsidy rates.

Your care recipient Sarah is on a level 3 Home Care Package. She is paying a basic daily fee of $10.35 and a maximum income-tested care fee of $30.49 per day.

She is not eligible for supplements.

The basic subsidy for a level 3 package is $92.16. The Government deducts the maximum income-tested care fee from the subsidy. The subsidy you receive on Sarah’s behalf is $61.67 ($92.16 minus $30.49).

Sarah suspends her package to go to hospital for 30 days.

For the first 28 days of Sarah’s hospital leave, you continue to receive her:

  • subsidy of $61.67
  • basic daily fee of $10.35
  • income-tested care fee of $30.49

For days 29 and 30, you:

  • do not receive a subsidy
  • continue to receive her basic daily fee of $10.35
  • receive a reduced income-tested care fee of $23.04

Sarah pays $23.04 because 25% of the basic subsidy ($23.04) is lower than her income-tested care fee ($30.49).

If day 29 was the start of a new financial year (1 July), Sarah’s hospital leave balance would reset. You would continue to receive the basic subsidy, basic daily fee and income-tested care fee for up to another 28 days.

Example 2 — transition care leave after hospital leave

These numbers are based on 20 September 2019 fee rates and 1 July 2019 subsidy rates.

After Sarah takes 30 days of hospital leave — see example 1 — she moves straight into transition care on day 31. She takes transition care leave for 10 days.

Because this is a different type of leave, different rules apply. For the whole 10 days, you receive her:

  • basic subsidy of $61.67
  • income-tested care fee of $30.49

However, you cannot collect the basic daily fee for this leave type.

What you need to do

You must report a person’s leave dates to Services Australia in your monthly claim form.

While they are on leave, you must:

  • continue to include any subsidy, supplements and fees (which may be reduced, as explained) in their monthly statement
  • not provide any services

Legislation

The laws that set out these leave rules are:

Last updated: 
22 January 2020
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