New aged care sector funding
The National Cabinet agreed on temporary funding to support Aged Care providers, residents, staff and families, on 20 March.
Building on the package of measures announced last week, additional funding of $444.6 million with specific mechanisms to reinforce the aged care workforce.
The package of funding will include:
- $234.9 million for a COVID-19 ‘retention bonus’ to ensure the continuity of the workforce for aged care workers in both residential and home care.
- This will mean a payment of up to $800 after tax per quarter – paid for two quarters – for direct care workers.
- Two payments of up to $600 after tax per quarter – for two quarters – for those who provide care in the home.
- Payments will be delivered to providers to pay their workers and part-time workers will be paid a pro-rata rate.
- $78.3 million in additional funding for residential care to support continuity of workforce supply.
- $26.9 million for a temporary 30 per cent increase to the Residential and Home Care Viability Supplements and the Homeless Supplement. This includes equivalent viability funding increases for National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program providers, Multi-Purpose Services and homeless providers.
- $92.2 million in additional support to home care providers and organisations which deliver the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, operating services including meals on wheels. This will include services for people in self-isolation such as shopping and meal delivery.
- $12.3 million to support the My Aged Care service to meet the surge in aged care specific COVID-19 enquiries, allowing for additional staff to minimise call wait times.
Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Richard Colbeck said, “As the transmission of COVID-19 increases rapidly, it is our priority to protect and support elderly and vulnerable Australians.
“The Government will continue to work with the sector to ensure we have the strongest possible workforce in place as we deal with this extraordinary health challenge.”
Mr Colbeck said guidelines for Aged Care facilities remained in place.
Additional fact sheets released by the Department of Health now include:
- Resources for Senior Australians, developed in conjunction with the Council of the Ageing (COTA)
- Guidelines for workers in residential aged care
- Information for families and residents regarding visitation
21 March 2020.