Additional Funding to Reinforce Australia’s Aged Care Sector

Sep 1, 2020

The Australian Government will provide an additional $563.3 million to extend support for the aged care sector’s response to COVID-19, announced in March, and subsequently as part of the Aged Care response plan.

This takes our Government’s support to senior Australians in Aged Care to over $1.5 billion since the pandemic began.

The increased funding will be split across four key areas:

  • $71.4 million to expand the short-term home support for older Australians who are on
    leave from residential aged care.
  • $154.5 million to extend the COVID-19 aged care Workforce Retention Payment.
  • $92.4 million to extend the Supporting Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 Grant.
  • A $245 million injection into all facilities.

“The $245 million builds on the $205 million COVID-19 Support Payment our Government provided to all residential Aged Care providers in June 2020,” Senator Molan said.

“This funding will be required to be used by providers to fund and support enhanced infection control capability, including through an on-site clinical lead.

“Funding may also be used to address other COVID-19 related costs such as increased staffing costs, communications with families and managing visitation arrangements.

“Providers will be required to report how these funds were used for additional COVID-19 related costs through strict requirements in providers’ end of financial year returns.”

Providers will receive around $975 per resident in major metropolitan areas and around $1,435 per resident in all other areas. The payment will be provided through Services Australia by early October.

“This increased funding demonstrates our Government’s commitment to supporting senior Australians in aged care, workers and providers. It will help put in place critical actions to ensure we remain prepared across the country.” Senator Molan said.

In addition, the Australian Government will continue the 30 per cent increase in the viability supplement and the residential care homeless supplement for a further six months.

“The Supporting Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 Grant has been open since 4 August, to help providers cover the costs of implementing single site workforce arrangements in current hotspots of Greater Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire,” Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said.

“This funding will be extended from an initial period of eight weeks to 12 weeks with a total of $92.4 million available.

“Further funding under this grant will be activated as new hotspots are declared by the Commonwealth, based on local circumstances.”

In recognition of the ongoing pressure and challenges, the Australian Government will provide a third Workforce Retention Payment based on employment at 30 November 2020, costing $154.5 million.

“This will provide a financial incentive for workers to continue to provide the frontline care that is needed in facilities across the country,” Minister for Aged Care, Senator Richard
Colbeck said.

“This third payment will have the same eligibility criteria as the first two rounds of the workforce retention bonus – the first paid in July and the second scheduled for September.

“Our Government will also expand support for older Australians who temporarily relocate from residential Aged Care facilities to the community to live with their family due to concerns about COVID-19, with an additional $71.4 million for the Community Home Support Programme.”