There are other forms of relief care available; talk with your case manager or needs assessor about options that may work for your situation
You access Carer Support Subsidy in different ways depending on the needs of the person you care for:
You can choose how to spend your subsidy, as long as it goes to someone who cares for the person you usually look after.
You can decide when to use your Carer Support days and how much to use at a time. The minimum claim time is a half-day (4 to 8 hours), with whole-day claims up to 24 hours. Periods of care less than 4 hours can be combined to make up a claim, which must be submitted within 90 days.
You might choose to pay for:
If you move from one District Health Board to another, you must get a new allocation of Carer Support days from the new District Health Board, they do not transfer.
Cost is something you may need to think about; you will have to meet any shortfall between Carer Support subsidy and the full cost of care.
Carer Support funding cannot be used to pay for long-term care, even if you have some days left unused.
There are two subsidy rates paid by Ministry of Health for a 24-hour day - formal and informal. Rates are set by each District Health Board and can vary, check with your Needs Assessor or Social Worker on rate for your area.
Formal rate: This applies to relief services provided by a person or agency that is GST registered.
Informal rate: This rate does not include any GST. This applies to relief services provided by friends, neighbours and family. Family member includes daughter, son, sister, brother or cousin who does not live with the client.
Usually Ministry of Health pay direct to the person or service that provided care, after care has been given.
Some agencies providing formal care prefer payment in advance. If you choose one of these agencies, you will need to pay them yourself and then claim the money back from Ministry of Health.
Carer Support payments may be subject to income tax. This will depend on your individual circumstances. You may wish to seek advice regarding tax issues from Inland Revenue or, if you receive a benefit, from Work and Income.
If you decide on short-term care in a rest home, you will find it difficult to book in advance. If you wait until closer to the time, there are usually a number of homes with vacancies you can choose from.
There is now a large gap between Carer Support rate and the cost of residential care, the shortfall can be over $500 per week. Check if premium room charges apply, as this will be extra cost. In short-term care you usually provide your own medicines, continence products and pay for your own GP.
If you have to consider moving into care permanently, ask for a reassessment from your Needs Assessor.
If the older person you are caring for has a disability, you can arrange a needs assessment by phoning the assessment service, or your GP can refer you.
Ministry of Health Help Desk
Private Bag 1942
Phone: 0800 281 222
Fax: 03 474 8584