Emergency leave for aged care residents extended to 30 June 2022

The Australian Government has extended the emergency leave arrangements for people living permanently in residential aged care.

Date published:
Subscriber announcement
Health sector

Minister Colbeck has announced an extension to the emergency leave provision for permanent aged care residents for a further 12 months, until 30 June 2022.

This will allow aged care residents to continue to take emergency leave during unpredictable COVID-19 outbreaks, rather than using and potentially exhausting their social leave entitlements. The continued availability of emergency leave will provide certainty and reassurance to residents who wish to temporarily relocate to stay with family at these times.

Aged care homes will continue to be paid residential care subsidy when residents are on emergency leave, ensuring neither residents nor providers are disadvantaged.

Support for residents on emergency leave

A national model of emergency support is available to aged care residents who choose to take Emergency Leave and temporarily move out of residential care due to COVID‑19. Support is available through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) for up to eight weeks.

Tier 1 support is available for residents who temporarily re-locate from an aged care home that is significantly impacted by COVID-19. This support covers personal care and nursing services equivalent to a Level 4 Home Care Package. To access this support, residents or their family in significantly affected aged care homes can contact the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) on 1800 700 600 to discuss their care needs. OPAN will then arrange a referral to a suitable CHSP provider to deliver clinical services in the family home for up to eight weeks. Residents receiving Tier 1 will also need to contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to obtain the additional Tier 2 supports detailed below.

Tier 2 support is available for all people who decide to temporarily return to the community from their aged care home during the pandemic. This support covers meals, transport, individual social support, unaccompanied shopping, allied health and therapy services, and lower level nursing and personal care.

To access this support, residents or their family can contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422. They will arrange a referral to access entry-level home support services through the CHSP for up to eight weeks. This support is available to all people across Australia who choose to return to the community from an aged care home during the pandemic, regardless of whether their aged care home is significantly impacted by COVID-19. Clients accessing Tier 1 support can access Tier 2 support, excluding nursing and personal care.

Aged care homes should liaise with residents, families and their new CHSP provider about the residents' care needs. No fees will be charged for Tier 1 CHSP supports. Client contributions may apply for Tier 2 support where clients can afford to pay, consistent with normal arrangements under the CHSP. More information on these supports are available CHSP Supports for Residents on Emergency Leave.

Please note that residents who take Emergency Leave must continue to pay their:

  • basic daily fees
  • means tested care fees
  • daily accommodation payments.

This is the same arrangement as when a resident takes social leave.

Updated resources on Emergency Leave are now available in a fact sheet for residents and a fact sheet for providers.

Emergency leave claiming

Services Australia has deployed the payment system functionality for Emergency Leave, which includes suspending the social leave count during the emergency leave period. Service providers should continue to enter claimable social leave events for a resident who is on Emergency Leave, as per the current process. No additional leave coding is required. Further information is available from Services Australia: