The department advises residential care providers that where a residential aged care facility is operating as an approved provider and taking people into aged care respite, the provider can apply for emergency approval under Section 22-5(2) of the Aged Care Act 1997. As per current requirements, the provider will need to submit an Application for Care form to their local ACAT within five business days after the day on which the care started.
The department appreciates that service providers may currently face delays in submitting these applications due to experiencing bush fire related constraints. The department reassures providers that where they are unable to submit the Application for Care form to their local ACAT within five business days, the provider can, as soon as practicable, apply for an extension (as required under Section 22-5(3) of the Act) with the reason for the delay (ie bush fire related emergency ) advised to the ACAT at the time of requesting the extension. The Application for Care form can be submitted at the same time. The department will advise ACATs to expect some delayed emergency approval applications.
It is important to note that payment to the service provider is contingent on the ACAT, through an assessment related engagement with the person, determining that the person is eligible for the type of care being provided and that the person urgently needed the care at the time the care started and it was not practical to apply beforehand.
If service providers need help finding vacancies or resources to manage an emergency, please call the Australian Government Department of Health on the number for your relevant state. These numbers are monitored at all times.