It is important to find out as soon as possible who pays for what and where to find help with palliative care costs. Most costs are normally covered by Medicare. Private health insurance may also be an option. However, this may not always be the case. You can ask your doctor and health care team.
Sometimes there will be other costs and considerations depending on where care is provided:
Your carer may be eligible for a Carer Payment. This is provided to someone who is caring full time and unable to work or seek employment.
Carer Allowance may be an option. This is provided when a person is providing full time care to someone with a severe medical condition.
Eligibility for both payments needs an assessment by a doctor or a nurse. Social workers can help with this. More information on government payments is available from Centrelink.
You may sometimes have financial problems. If so, you need to get help and advice early. The following may help:
It is important that you and your partner both have access to bank accounts. This helps to ensure financial security for you both. Consider obtaining legal advice. You might wish to have an Enduring Power of Attorney. This means you can appoint someone to make financial decisions for you. They can use your bank accounts and pay your bills. They can also sell or buy property or shares on your behalf.
Various resources and organisations provide practical help and advice to help with finances during and after an illness. Here we list some of them.
Information can be obtained through the Centrelink website or by phoning 13 27 17. Services Australia also has financial information services. They offer a confidential interview.
Trustworthy places to find financial information for carers include:
Information on state or territory ambulance services can be found on the following websites (Ambulance cover is also available through private health insurance):
There may be a taxi transport subsidy scheme in your state. Carergateway has a list of Transport and Travel options.
The Moneysmart website has a page on coping financially after losing your partner.
If you are seriously ill you may need to think about your finances. Employment and retirement packages can be hard to understand. You may still be working. The Human Resources staff at your work can provide information about work entitlements. If you are still employed, financial advice can help you to make important decisions:
You need to decide what happens to your property after your death. This can include money, vehicles, property or shares. It could include insurance policies, personal effects and so on. This means that you need to make a Will. Without a Will a court may need to decide who benefits.
It is important not to leave making your Will too late. Your health may deteriorate rapidly or unexpectedly. In order to make a Will you need to have sound mind, memory and understanding. In the last stages of an illness this can sometimes fluctuate and this means that you have to act early.
Let family and friends (or a designated person) know where your Will is. If it cannot be found it has no value.
Last updated 02 August 2021