Discussing the assessment and approval process with clients

Page last updated: 07 November 2016
Fact Sheet

From 27 February 2017 a home care package will be allocated to a consumer, allowing the consumer to direct funding for their home care package to the provider of their choice.  The purpose of this fact sheet is to support service providers and their staff to guide consumers through the journey of receiving home care services.

Assessment for home care

In order for us to provide you with subsidised home care services, you first need to have a free assessment by a member of an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). You can contact the My Aged Care Contact Centre on 1800 200 422 to be put in touch with an ACAT in your local area.  An ACAT member will then arrange a time to visit you and discuss what kind of help you may need, and what types of services may be best for you.

Receive the outcome of your assessment

The ACAT will write to you to tell you the outcome of your assessment and specify the type of service/s that can best support you.  If you are eligible for home care services, the ACAT will approve you for a specific home care package level (home care level 1, 2, 3 or 4) based on your individual needs and circumstances.

Once you have been approved for home care services, you will automatically be placed in the national queue.  The national queue provides a fair and flexible way of allocating packages to people based on their individual needs and circumstances, regardless of where they live.

Your position in the queue will take into account your relative needs and circumstances which are captured through your comprehensive ACAT assessment, and the date of your approval for home care services. 

If your situation changes at any time, for example if your health deteriorates, you should get in contact with your ACAT to check whether you should be reassessed.

Research home care providers and work out costs

While you are waiting in the national queue you should research home care providers that service the area where you live. You can do this by:

  • using the Home Care Package Service Finder tool on the My Aged Care website;
  • contacting the My Aged Care Contact Centre on 1800 200 422;
  • getting in touch with the ACAT that undertook your assessment; or
  • having a chat to friends or family that are currently receiving home care services.

You may be asked to contribute to the cost of your home care package services. The Home Care fee estimator on the My Aged Care website will give you an indication of the fees and charges you may be asked to pay and will estimate your basic daily fee and income-tested fee based on the information you provide.  The actual fees you may be asked to pay will depend on a formal income assessment undertaken by the Department of Human Services.

Be assigned a home care package

Once you reach the front of the national queue, you will receive a letter confirming you have been assigned a home care package. This letter will include:

  • the details of the home care package you have been assigned;
  • a unique referral code that your chosen provider will use to access your client information in the My Aged Care system; and
  • the date by which you need to enter into a Home Care Agreement to prevent your package being withdrawn. You will have 56 days to enter into a Home Care Agreement with the provider of your choice.  If you need more time, you can contact the My Aged Care Contact Centre and request a 28 day extension, giving you a total of 84 days to enter into a Home Care Agreement with your chosen provider.

Enter into a Home Care Agreement

Before you can start receiving care and services, you will need to enter into a Home Care Agreement with your chosen home care provider. Your Home Care Agreement records the administrative details relating to your home care package. We will also work in partnership with you to design a care plan based on your needs and an individualised budget for your home care package. Once you have a Home Care Agreement and care plan in place, your care and services can begin. 

Further Information

Related Documents

  • Client Checklist – Researching Home Care Providers
  • Client Checklist – Entering into a Home Care Agreement