Media release: Simplifying forms for senior Australians requiring aged care services
The Hon Michael Keenan MP
The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP
The Coalition Government has slashed the amount of red tape older Australians face when applying for assistance with the costs of aged care services.
The changes, to be introduced in May, will benefit about 180,000 people a year who are currently required to spend considerable time filling in long and complex forms as part of the means testing process used to determine the level of financial support they are entitled to.
About 110,000 of those people will no longer have to complete any forms at all if they do not own a home and are receiving an income support payment such as the aged pension.
Those with straightforward financial affairs will be offered a new short form that is just a few pages long, while those with complex affairs will only have to answer about half the number of the questions they previously had to.
Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation Michael Keenan said the changes were the result of months of hard work by a special Aged Care Forms Taskforce established by the Coalition Government to help ease the bureaucratic burden on older Australians.
“We acknowledge that entering aged care can be a difficult and complex process to navigate at what is often a highly emotional time for people and their families,” Minister Keenan said.
“We’ve listened to feedback from customers going through this process who’ve told us the current paper forms are lengthy, confusing and take a long time to complete. The new forms remove the complexity and will take around half the time to complete – a major achievement.”
Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt said the taskforce included representatives from government, consumer groups, aged care providers and financial advisers to ensure all viewpoints and voices were heard.
“I congratulate the taskforce on the work they have done, which will be benefit everyone involved in the aged care sector,” Minister Wyatt said.
“The taskforce is one of many measures the Coalition Government has introduced to help improve services and provide more options for senior Australians.
“Our record $5 billion aged care boost over the next four years is backed by the More Choices for a Longer Life program, to drive better access to care, better quality of care and better ageing for senior Australians, now and into the future.”
This includes the largest expansion of residential aged care in Australia’s history, the recent announcement of 20,000 new home care packages and the establishment of the independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission from 1 January 2019.