In what may be the biggest overhaul of the nation’s care policies since the introduction of the Medicare levy in 2013, the Government has announced a new “care” policy that will see care packages be paid out in instalments instead of fortnightly.
The Government has also announced that carers will receive a higher rate of payment and will be allowed to access social care, including a helpline.
The policy, announced by the Department of Health on Monday, will see all patients receive an instalment payment of $25 on top of their weekly installement.
But while the new policy may appear to be an improvement for carers, it will only be a small step in the right direction in helping those most in need of support.
A carer who has spent the past few months on the dole, or who is a carer’s independent living advocate, said he was disappointed the Government had not done more to support the carers and their families.
“This is a step backwards, but we can see how it could be improved,” he said.
We have seen the Government, like other governments before it, get it wrong with regard to social care.
This is not a step forward.
When we had the care package we had, we had $1,000 a week, and now they’ve got it down to $2,000.
We are just now seeing that $25 instaliment.
I’m very happy about the change, but it’s only a small part of the problem.
Many carers don’t have the money to pay for social care at all, and many people are struggling to get by without a carers’ support network.
Carers’ rights Minister Scott Morrison says the Government will increase the payments for those who can’t afford care and to those who have been through tough times, with more resources coming in next year.
He says the policy will ensure that care is provided as quickly as possible and supports carers to get back on their feet.
For those who are not eligible for social security, this will be a big step forward for those of us who need to support people in this area.
However, for those caring for carer people who can, the policy is likely to be of little help.
In the past, the Department for Human Services has struggled to find a way to provide support for care workers who do not have enough money to make a living wage.
If you are on social security but have not had your weekly instalement payment for the past three weeks, you will need to pay the $25.
The Department for Social Services has not yet announced what payments will be made to carers who are unable to pay.
There are also concerns that some carers may not be able to pay their own way through a new system that will be rolled out later this year.
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