Would extra help at home be beneficial for you or your loved one? You may be eligible for home care services that are partially or entirely funded by the Australian government, allowing you to remain safe and at ease in your own home. Follow our guide to get support from a Home Care Package.
1. Contact My Aged Care
The first step after deciding you want a Home Care Package is to schedule an assessment by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). ACAT assessments are free, and they will assess whether you are eligible and what level of help you will need.
To arrange an ACAT assessment, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or apply for an assessment online.
My Aged Care will ask you some questions about:
- Your living arrangements
- Things you find difficult to do
- Your health and wellbeing
- Support you are currently receiving
Depending on your responses, My Aged Care will determine whether you require an ACAT assessment or another type of assessment, such as one for the Commonwealth Home Support Program. They will work with you to set up an assessment for a time that works for you.
2. Have the ACAT assessment
You will receive a home visit from a qualified assessor to talk about your support needs. The assessor will ask you questions about how well you are doing in your daily life.
You can talk about what’s important to you and what kind of help would make a difference in your life during the assessment. Before the visit, you might want to think about this.
During the assessment, you can bring a friend, family member, partner, carer, or advocate. To find a local advocate, contact the Older Persons Advocacy Network on 1800 700 600.
The ACAT will send you a letter with the results and tell you what level of Home Care Package you are eligible for.
After the assessment, the ACAT will send you a letter with the outcome and tell you what level of Home Care Package you are eligible for.
If you don’t agree with your assessment, you can write to the Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care and ask for a review of the decision. You should explain in the letter why you think the decision should be changed.
Department of Health and Aged Care
Attn: Aged Care Assessment Program Reconsiderations
GPO Box 9848
ADELAIDE SA 5001
You need to write to the Secretary within 28 days of getting the letter about your assessment. Within 90 days, you should get a response to your request. This does not cost anything.
3. Research and prepare for your Home Care Package
Start looking around for service providers in your area by:
- Searching online
- Chatting to friends, family or your GP
- Asking My Aged Care on 1800 200 422
- Meeting with shortlisted providers
Before you get a Home Care Package, it’s a good idea to think about what matters to you. My Care Solution recommends meeting at least three different providers before deciding. Some important questions to ask include:
- What are your total Home Care Package fees per fortnight?
- Are there any fees that I should be aware of?
- What is your exit policy?
- How do you screen and train your staff?
- Do you have your own care staff, or do you use agency staff?
You can download our free Home Care Package Interview Checklist here to help you on your journey.
4. Wait for your Home Care Package
Once you are approved for a Home Care Package, you are placed in the National Prioritisation Queue. You will receive a letter to inform you your Home Care Package is 90 days away when you get closer to the top of the queue.
If you are not a recipient of the full Age Pension, we recommend completing and submitting an Aged Care Calculation of your Cost of Care Form. This will determine your income tested fee.
In the meantime, you can stay comfortable and safe at home with self-funded home support. My Care Solution can provide private interim home care services to help you.
5. Receive a Home Care Package
You will receive a letter from My Aged Care advising you that your Home Care Package has been allocated to you. You then have 56 days from the date your Home Care Package has been assigned to find a provider like My Care Solution and enter into a Home Care Agreement.
If you have chosen your provider, meet with your service provider to plan your services and create your care plan.
If you haven’t chosen your provider, you can call My Aged Care and request a 28 day extension. You can book a free consultation with My Care Solution and we can arrange your service agreement before the due date.
6. Start receiving support at home
Once the above process is completed, you can start receiving support to live independently and safely at home.
We understand the process of getting a Home Care Package can be confusing. You can contact My Care Solution at any time through this journey to receive general advice and arrange immediate home support.