Budgeting in Home Care
The Care Plan
What is Budgeting in Home Care?The Government pays a fixed amount of subsidy on a daily basis towards your home care. How much this amount is depends on the package level you are on and whether or not you have been assessed to pay an Income Tested Fee (ITF).
For the purpose of explaining the Budgeting process, we will use an example. Let us assume that you are on a Home Care Package Level 2. This pays around $42 per day as the base subsidy rate. If you are assessed to pay $2 per day as an ITF, the Government will pay the provider $40 per day towards your care instead of the base subsidy rate of $42. This is because the Government expects the package provider to collect the $2 per day from the client. Whatever the fees, the funds available to the package provider will always be the base daily rate for the assigned package level, in our example this will be $42 per day. At $42 per day, the package provider will have $294 per week ($42 * 7 days) to spend on services, including their own Case Management fee and ther Package Management fee.
Knowing you have $294 per week, you can (after deducting the providers fees) plan how to spend the available funds, i.e. on what services to spend the funds on. Here is an example:
|Gross weekly funds available||$294|
|Providers weekly fee||-$44|
|Net weekly funds available||$250|
|Weekly domestic cleaning||-$80|
|Fortnightly gardening ($100 per f.n., 1/2 allocated to weekly budget)||-$50|
|Weekly Meals (70% of meal cost from approved provider)||-$60|
|Save towards purchase of a wheelchair||-$50|
As per the above budget you will receive Domestic Cleaning and Meals each week to the value declared in the agreed Budget (which, by the way, is part of your Care Plan). In addition you will receive fortnightly gardening services to an agreed value of $100 per fortnight, in our example. (Please note these figures are simply for the purpose of an axample to explain the process of Budgeting. your situation can, and in all probability will, be different). The provider will also accumulate $50 per week, in this example, toward the purchase of a wheelchair.
This is great, if your situation and your goal/needs remain static. But what happens should your situation change? Let's say you have an accident such as a fall and it is recommended that you receive a weekly Physiotherapy sessions for 10 weeks which costs $100 per week (total expected cost $1,000 over the 10 weeks). Can you then change your Care Plan and Budget? Absolutely! Your Case Manager will consult with you and offer you one of several options (in no specific order):
- If the Unspent funds have accumulated to at least $1,000 then these funds can be used and the Physiotherapy service will be added to your Care Plan with a limit of 10 weeks
- If the savings towards a wheelchair has not yet been spent, you may decide to delay the purchase of the planned wheelchair and instead use current accumulated funds towards Physiotherapy
- Stop one of the regular services like Domestic Cleaning or Gardening or reduce the frequency of the service, example cut down cleaning to monthly
- Pay for some Physiotherapy session privately and the remainder via the package funds, using any of the above options
- The Case Manager may also apply to the Government for emergency funding for the Physiotherapy session, however the success of this will depend upon if there are accumulated in your account. The Government will likely not allow emergency funding if there are accumulated funds in the account
Is there a limit to how often you can change the Budget?While there is no limit to how often you can change the care plan and the associated budget, the package provider is likely to charge you a fee for re-doing the care plan excessively.
Can I have any service that I want?Services and equipment that you want needs to be in accordance with your goals and needs and these have to be agreed with your package provider. The funds are to be used for relevant services that are associated in meeting your goals. Please refer to the allowable services page for more information.