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Ageing and Disability

Photo by Philippe Leone

Background

According to the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA), for the period 2014-15, the Australian Government expenditure on aged care services for older people who live with disability surpassed AUD $15 billion. Services covered by this expenditure included:

✓ Information and assessment services
✓ Home care and support services for people with disability living independently
✓ Residential care services for people with disability who are unable to live independently
✓ Flexible care services for older people leaving the hospital

Funding was obtained through fees, payments, charitable sources and donations. A lot of the aged care reform we see today, are as a result of the Productivity Commission’s report titled, “Caring for Older Australians (2011)”. The report identified 5 key reforms for aged care as follows:

  • Establishment of my Aged Care website
  • Formation of the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)
  • Institution of Regional Assessment Services (RAS)
  • Increasing the number of Home Care Packages
  • Improvement of funding and regulation of residential aged care

Disability support has since transitioned from a service offered by States and Territories under the National Disability Agreement (NDA) to a service offered under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This brings us to the next section.

 

What Does the NDIS Mean for People Aged 65 Years and Over?

The NDIS is eligible only to people under the age of 65 and those who meet residency, disability and early intervention requirements as stipulated by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

If you are above 65 years of age and are currently receiving specialist disability support, you will continue to receive said support and achieve similar outcomes as before. You will not be disadvantaged.

If you turn 65 years while still being a participant in NDIS, you can choose between continuing to receive supports under NDIS or through the Commonwealth Aged Care System.

If you are above the age of 65 years and do not currently receive any disability support or are diagnosed with a disability, you can still receive support under the Commonwealth Aged Care System.

 

What about the Continuity of Support (CoS) Programme?

Eligibility for the Continuity of Support Programme requires the person with disability to be:

  • Above the age of 65, or 50 to 64 years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Designated as not eligible for NDIS
  • Is and existing receiver of state specialist disability services

For NSW residents, the CoS Programme started rolling out in mid-2017. If you do not meet the requirements for the CoS Programme and are above the age of 65, you still have other options to enter aged care. For more information on this, you are encouraged to contact the Department of health through CommonweathCoS@health.gov.au.

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