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Tuesday, 11 October 1983
Page: 1609

Question No. 392

Mr Leo McLeay asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Security, upon notice, on 24 August 1983:

Is the Minister able to say whether personal care subsidy is a payment to residents of hostels parallel to the domiciliary nursing care benefit administered by the Department of Health and is similarly suspended when short term absences from the hostel occur due to admissions to a hospital or elsewhere ; if so (a) how many suspensions and restorations in the event of a short term admission to a hospital or elsewhere were there for the period 1 May to 30 July 1983, (b) what was the average (i) amount of payment suspended and (ii) days of admission, (c) what was the total amount saved by the Government by non-payment of the benefit, (d) what is the (i) actual or (ii) estimated administrative cost of suspending and restoring benefit payments and (e) what is the average length of time that elapses between notification that the patient has returned home and restoration of the benefit.

Dr Blewett —The Minister for Social Security has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

No. Personal care subsidy is not administered in the same way as domiciliary nursing care benefits in relation to short term absence. The Department of Social Security continues to pay personal care subsidy to eligible aged persons unless they are absent from the hostel for a period of more than 28 days. The statistics sought by the honourable member in points (a)-(e) are not readily available and I am not prepared to authorise diversion of the substantial resources required to gather these statistics.