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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Govt updates information on extended COVID-19 support for aged care workers and providers

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Last Friday (December 3) the Federal Government announced extended support for aged care providers impacted by COVID‑19.

Additional funding will continue to support aged care services through:

  • intensive case management support for aged care services experiencing a COVID‑19 outbreak amongst residents and/or staff;
  • access to surge workforce support in the event of an outbreak for residential aged care services;
  • the Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (SACWIC) grant opportunity (GO4215), which reimburses providers for eligible costs incurred in implementing single site worker arrangements. This grant opportunity will be extended to June 30, 2022 to ensure support remains available as required;
  • the Aged Care Support Program Extension grant opportunity (GO4683), which reimburses providers for eligible costs incurred in managing a direct impact of COVID‑19;
  • the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre (VACRC), to support preparedness activities and rapidly respond to COVID‑19 outbreaks in aged care services in Victoria.

Support available under the Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (SACWIC) grant

This grant opportunity currently closes on December 31. However, the grant will be extended to June 30, 2022 and the department will notify providers once the extension is in place.

The Government says it recognises that implementing single site arrangements has been complex and may result in additional out of pocket costs for approved providers.

The Support for Aged Care Workers In COVID‑19 (SACWIC) grant opportunity remains open to enable approved providers to seek reimbursement for out of pocket expenses associated with implementing these arrangements.

Eligible workforce costs under SACWIC are those that support eligible workers:

  • who normally work at multiple residential aged care facilities, but will be working solely at the facility being applied for;
  • who are not to attend work because they have been experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have been diagnosed as COVID-19 positive, require testing or are subject to self-isolation or quarantine requirements;
  • to undertake training in the event a skills gap arises from where existing workers are not to work due to experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or are subject to self-isolation or quarantine requirements.

The Grant Opportunity Guidelines, online application form and regularly updated responses to frequently asked questions can be accessed on GrantConnect (Grant Opportunity – GO4215).

Activity periods for all hotspots/high-risk locations published in Appendix 1 of the Grant Opportunity Guidelines have now ended and applications for these designated periods can be made until December 31.

Support available under the COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program Extension Grant

This grant opportunity currently closes on March 31, 2022. However, the grant will be extended to June 30 and the department will notify providers once the extension is in place.

The COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program Extension Grant (GO4863) reimburses providers for additional eligible costs incurred in managing a direct impact of COVID‑19.

This includes:

  • increased staffing costs as a result of implementing an enhanced roster or infection control processes in a service with residents/clients who are infected or isolated due to COVID-19;
  • increased costs to replace existing staff who are infected or isolated due to COVID-19;
  • the purchase of additional PPE;
  • the purchase of additional products / services to manage cleaning and infection control;
  • equipment and resources;
  • waste removal costs.

Approved Residential Aged Care, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program (NATSIFACP) and Home Care Package providers are eligible to apply if they have:

  • one or more residents, clients or staff members who have had a diagnostic COVID-19 test and had to isolate as result (regardless of whether the result is positive or negative);
  • incurred eligible expenses during that period of isolation (from the date of an associated COVID-19 test until the period of isolation ends) between May 28, 2021 and March 31, 2022.

For more information please see the Grant Opportunity Guidelines (Grant Opportunity – GO4863) and regularly updated responses to frequently asked questions available on GrantConnect.

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