Managing temporary leave for residential aged care

Residents are entitled to take leave from permanent residential aged care. Residents have unlimited hospital and transition care leave. They can also take leave for social reasons.

What is temporary leave?

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

A person can take leave for any reason. This does not affect their right to residential care services. Their place is secured.

A person’s leave can affect:

  • the subsidy amount you receive on their behalf
  • the fees that you can charge

It depends on the type of leave they take and how long their leave is for.

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

Types of leave

Residents can take leave for:

  • help with moving in
  • a hospital stay
  • transition care
  • social reasons (this includes any reason not listed above)

Pre-entry leave

New and transferring residents can use 7 days of pre-entry leave. Pre-entry leave lets the resident:

  • secure their place in the aged care home
  • prepare for their move

Pre-entry leave is only available if the room is ready for the resident.

How it affects fees and subsidy

You can only charge the basic daily fee to a resident on pre-entry leave. You will not get the residential aged care subsidy while the resident is on pre-entry leave.

Pre-entry leave provisions are in Subsection 42-3(3) of the Aged Care Act 1997.

Hospital leave

Residents who go to hospital are entitled to unlimited days of hospital leave.

How it affects fees and subsidy

While on hospital leave, the resident continues to pay their agreed fees and daily accommodation costs.

The Government will continue to pay the subsidy. The payment will reduce to 50% of the subsidy from day 29 of a resident’s hospital leave.

Once the subsidy has been reduced, the resident will continue to pay their agreed fees and accommodation costs. However, the reduced subsidy may result in a reduction to the resident’s means-tested care fee, if they pay one.

You cannot charge the resident a fee to reserve their place in your service to cover the subsidy reduction.

Hospital leave details are in:

  • Section 42-2 of the Aged Care Act 1997
  • Section 9 of the Aged Care (Subsidy, Fees and Payments) Determination 2014

Transition care leave

Residents who go into transition care after being in hospital can access transition care leave.

How it affects fees and subsidy

While on transition care leave, the resident continues to pay fees and daily accommodation costs. This might have an impact on their ability to pay transition care fees.

Social leave (all other types of leave)

Residents are entitled to 52 days of social leave in a financial year. Residents can also take extra social leave. However, the Government will not pay the subsidy for those days.

To count as social leave, the resident must stay overnight somewhere else. A resident can spend every weekend in a year on social leave.

How it affects fees and subsidy

During social leave, the Government will continue to pay the subsidy to you on behalf of the resident.

The resident will continue to pay agreed fees and daily accommodation costs.

If the resident goes over their 52 days of leave, the Government won’t pay the subsidy for those days.

This means you can now ask the resident to pay a fee to reserve their place in your service. This fee is in addition to their agreed fees and daily accommodation costs.

Social leave details are in Section 42-2 and Section 52C-5 of the Aged Care Act 1997.

Leave balances

A person’s leave balance resets on 1 July each year.

Leave balances transfer with a person if they change providers.

What you need to do

When a resident goes on leave, you must record the leave dates in the monthly claim form you submit to Services Australia.

While they’re on leave, you must not provide any services to that resident.

Contact

Residential aged care and home care fees contact

Contact us about fees for residential respite care, home care (basic daily fee, income-tested care fee) and residential aged care (means-tested care fee, income tested fee, additional service fees, time extensions to enter into accommodation agreements, accommodation payments, bonds and charges).

FPLBFeesandPayments [at] health.gov.au

View contact

Aged care subsidies and supplements contact

Email us if you have questions about aged care subsidies or supplements for approved providers.

subsidiesandsupplements [at] health.gov.au

View contact

Last updated: 
22 January 2020
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