Check out the latest news on the PLS and Pension Boost

How PLS payments can help fund in-home care

9th November, 2021

Pension Boost assists retirees to access the government’s Pension Loans Scheme which currently only provides a regular fortnightly top up to pensioners via a form of reverse mortgage solution administered via Centrelink or DVA.

Paul Rogan, Pension Boost Founder and CEO has said, “The benefit to seniors could be significant if the PLS included a one-off payment to assist with costs in modifying the family home to allow for aged care functionality.”

Paul went on to say that “Many home-owning retirees are cash strapped as they did not have the full benefit of superannuation when working, and a lump sum could be used to modify their houses to prepare for living there when they’re less mobile.”

“Having cash available for lumpy expenses experienced by seniors, for example, car repairs or modifications to enable living in their homes would overcome one of the major barriers to the uptake of the Pension Loans Scheme”.

Lump-sum payments coming 2022

In the 2021 Federal Budget, released back in May, the PLS lump-sum option was announced. Being introduced from 1 July 2022, this change will mean that singles can currently access up to $12,577and couples up to $18,961 via up to two payments in any 12 month period. However, this option can only be triggered once during the term of the loan.

This is a very welcome and highly anticipated change given that when the Government announced big changes to the PLS in the 2018 Federal Budget, one of the major reasons in support of expanding the PLS was to assist seniors to continue living in their homes for longer. This policy position is supported by research that tells us that seniors prefer living in their homes over downsizing.

Whilst not being forced into downsizing is an obvious benefit for Australian seniors, another benefit which isn’t receiving much airtime, is that this also supports other Government policies targeting the same outcome – keeping seniors living in their homes for longer.

For example, the policy of delivering more aged care and related support services in-home, either on a user paid basis and/or subsidized based on an ACAT need assessment.

In the meantime, you can use our PLS calculator to find out what your fortnightly payments could be under the current structure.


Fortnightly PLS payments funding in-home care

While the lump-sum payment will help to make changes to the home needed to support some seniors living there longer, the regular fortnight payment structure of the PLS is already funding in-home care packages.

As an example, take Ruth, an 80-year-old widower receiving the single Full Age Pension. Whilst Ruth does not require residential care, she does need certain support services to remain safe, secure and healthy in her home.

Under the PLS, Ruth releases some of the equity she has in her home, worth $500,000, and receives an additional $472 per fortnight on top of her Centrelink pension payments. Ruth is planning on using $172 per fortnight to meet her regular bills but is interested to learn how government funded Home Care support can be funded with the residual $300.

Find out how Ruth’s PLS payments can be used to fund her in-home care package. Read here.