Aged Care Funding: What Happens to Unspent Home Care Package Funds

Do you know what happens to unspent Home Care Package funds? This guide will help you get the necessary information and make informed decisions about your package.

Updated on Apr 22, 2024
5 min read

For one reason or another, your Home Care Package funds can accumulate as you continue to use your care services. 

This amount is your unspent funds. Many Home Care Package recipients aren't sure what to do with them. 

The government allocates your Home Care Package funds on a regular basis, whether that be quarterly or monthly. 

When you start receiving care the following month, you may have some funds accumulated from the previous period. 

If you're wondering what happens to unspent Home Care Package funds, you will find all the answers here. 

What to Do With Your Unspent Funds?

Unspent Home Care Package funds can be used for a variety of purposes. Whatever you use them for, it has to be related to your care needs. For example:

  • Additional care services
  • Flexibility in service providers
  • Future care planning
  • Goods and equipment
  • Care-related expenses

You may use your unspent funds for services not currently covered by your standard package. This can include more hours of care, specialised therapies, and assistive devices.

You may also opt to use unspent funds to engage different service providers. This way, you can use services not included in your package that might be necessary for your well-being.

Unspent funds can be saved for future care needs. For instance, you can reserve funds for anticipated changes in your health condition or care requirements.

Unspent funds may be used to buy medical equipment, mobility aids, or other assistive devices. These devices can support your independence and quality of life.

You may also use unspent funds to cover care-related expenses. This includes transportation costs to medical appointments, home modifications, and home maintenance services.

At the end of the year, any unspent funds will just roll over into the next year. 

Special Circumstances

We discussed what happens to unspent Home Care Package funds in normal scenarios. But what about special circumstances? For example, if the Home Care Package recipient:

  1. Decides to leave the home care scheme
  2. Changes their Home Care Package provider
  3. Passes away

In some cases, recipients may choose to leave the home care scheme. It can either be because they want to move into residential care or private care. 

In this case, your accumulated amount that you didn't spend goes back to the government. Your Home Care Package will be terminated. 

But anything that you contributed to your package will go back to you. This can include income-tested care fees and basic daily fees. 

This process is simpler if you change providers. Your unspent funds will go to your new provider. 

In the case of death, it depends on the home care scheme and legal arrangements.

The unspent funds may be returned to the government if there are no distribution or reimbursement rules. 

They will be used to help another older person in the system so they can't be passed down to the recipient's children. That being said, fees contributed by the recipient will be returned to their estate. 

Why Do Home Care Package Funds Build Up?

You may be wondering what causes your Home Care Package funds to build up in the first place. It can happen due to a number of reasons, including:

  • Unused services 
  • Care needs fluctuation
  • Provider availability
  • Personal choice
  • Delayed or deferred care
  • Health status changes
  • Lack of awareness
  • Administrative factors

It sometimes happens that you may not be able to use all the services covered by your Home Care Package. Your health status could change. You could also experience a change in family support, reducing the need to fully use certain services.

The level of care you need can fluctuate over time. There may be periods when you need less care than initially planned. This is usually how unspent funds accumulate.

This can also happen when care providers or specific services suddenly become unavailable. For example, you may not be able to use certain services due to provider availability or scheduling issues. 

You may prefer to rely on informal care from family members or want to maintain a certain level of independence.

You may also be waiting for specific needs to arise or for optimal timing before you buy the necessary services.

Sometimes, the recipient's health may suddenly improve. They then use fewer services than what they originally anticipated. This can also happen due to changes in medical conditions. 

Some people may not be fully aware of the range of services or support available to them through their Home Care Package. Because of this, they don't use their funds fully.

Finally, this can happen because of administrative delays or bureaucratic processes within the home care program. 

Who Calculates the Unspent Amount?

Your current Home Care Package provider is responsible for calculating your unspent funds. They are also responsible for rolling over those unspent funds into the following period. 

If you leave your current provider, they will add up all the unspent funds until your cessation day. This is the final day of receiving care through that provider. 

Typically, you calculate the unspent funds by subtracting the total payments made for care services from the total funds allocated to your Home Care Package.

This is how it's done:

  1. Determine the total amount of funds allocated to your Home Care Package. It's usually based on an assessment of your care needs and the level of funding provided by the home care program.
  2. Calculate the total amount spent on care services. This includes payments made to home care providers for different services. For instance, personal care, nursing care, Allied Health Services, equipment, and other approved expenses.
  3. Take into account any adjustments or variations in the funding level over time. This may include changes in your care needs, adjustments to the care plan, changes in funding rates or subsidies, and any other relevant factors.
  4. Subtract the total expenditures from the total allocated funds to get the unspent amount. This is the unused portion of the allocated funds that are available for future use or reallocation.

Have Any More Questions About Unspent Funds? Reach out to Inclusive Home Care

Understanding how your Home Care Package works can be challenging. Other considerations, like calculating unspent funds, can make it even more difficult. 

But there is no need to worry. Inclusive Home Care is here to help. As an approved Home Care Package provider, we understand how the program works. We would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

If you want to know more about our home care services, feel free to contact us

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