More than ten weeks since being announced as a part of the government’s $442.6 million coronavirus stimulus package, the Department of Health has announced that the application process will open in June with the first payments to be made in July.
Full-time direct care workers in residential care facilities, including personal care workers, registered nurses, enrolled nurses and allied health, will receive a ‘retention bonus’ of up to $800 per quarter, paid for two quarters.
Full-time home care workers will receive payments of up to $600 per quarter, for two quarters. This includes workers providing clinical care, personal care, cleaning, home support activities and meal preparation, social support, shopping, community access and transport, allied health, and respite.
The above rates are per full-time employee (FTE). There will also be pro-rata payments for eligible part-time and casual workers.
This new information regarding the application process and arrival of payments is welcome news for both providers and staff who have bemoaned the lack of information since Aged Care Minister, Richard Colbeck’s initial announcement.
Since then, the Department of Health has also been working on a variety of other mechanisms and guidelines to assist workers and providers, including the additional $70.2 million for CHSP providers to support providers impacted by COVID-19.
CHSP providers can use these funds wherever there is evidence of a significant financial impact on service delivery or workforce retention. They may also submit an unsolicited proposal to the Department for additional grant funding.
This funding can be used to expand high-demand CHSP services (eg. Social Support Individual, Domestic Assistance, Personal Care, Nursing, and essential Transport services), implement new and innovative service delivery models, and in the retention of staff and volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
An unsolicited proposal may only be used by CHSP providers who are ineligible for Flexibility Provisions (ie. they only deliver one CHSP service type) or have already fully utilised their Flexibility Provisions.
Specific information about what CHSP grant money can and cannot be used for can be found in Part 8 of the CHSP Grant Guidelines (2018), which is available on the Department’s website.
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