Pathway to receiving a home care package

Page last updated: 09 August 2017

This fact sheet provides an overview of the pathway access care under a Home Care Package.

Assessing your needs

If you would like to access subsidised aged care services, you will need to contact the My Aged Care Contact Centre on 1800 200 422. Following your discussion with My Aged Care, if your needs indicate you might need a home care package, you will be referred to an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) to complete an assessment.

An ACAT member will arrange a time to visit you to assess and determine your eligibility for home care. They will discuss what kind of help you may need and what types of services may be best for you. The ACAT member may ask you indicate the minimum home care package level that you are willing to accept as an interim measure if you are approved for home care, as well as if you are actively seeking home care services.

After the 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. This letter confirms your approval for home care. You will need to wait for a package assignment letter before you can access subsidised services.

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. The ACAT will also recommend a priority for home care services 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. Your position in the queue takes 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. The national queue provides a fair and flexible way of allocating packages to individuals based on their needs and circumstances, regardless of where they live.

If you indicate that you are not seeking services, you will not be placed in the national queue. You will need to contact My Aged Care to be added to the queue when you are ready to start seeking services.

If your situation changes at any time, for example if your health deteriorates, you should get in contact with My Aged Care 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
  • 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 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.

Under a home care package, there may be administration charges that are set by the approved provider. Administration charges could cover costs such as insurance, workers’ compensation, care coordination and travel costs. The care and services provided under a home care package including any fees and charges should be agreed between you and your provider and included in your the Home Care Agreement.

Be assigned a home care package

When you have been assigned a home care package, you will receive a letter confirming:

  • the details of the home care package you have been assigned
  • a referral code that your chosen provider will use to access your details in My Aged Care
  • the need to seek an formal income assessment
  • the date that you need to enter into a Home Care Agreement to prevent your package being withdrawn.

The package you are assigned may be at a level below your approved level. This allows you to access care and services as an interim measure while waiting for a package at your approved level.  For example, you may be assigned a level 2 home care package while you waiting to receive your approved level 4 package. Accepting an interim level package it does not mean you will wait longer to receive a package at your approved level, it simply allows you to access care and services while waiting for your approved package level.

Once you have been assigned a home care package you have 56 calendar days to enter into a Home Care Agreement with the provider of your choice. If you need more time to make a decision or to finalise the agreement, you can contact My Aged Care and request a 28 calendar day extension, giving you a total of 84 calendar 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 details relating to your home care package. Your provider should work in partnership with you to design a care plan based on your assessed care needs as determined by the ACAT 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.

Key Points to Remember

  • The first step to access home care is to be assessed and approved by an ACAT.
  • You can indicate the minimum home care package level you are willing to accept as an interim measure.
  • If you are seeking home care services you are automatically placed in the national queue at your approved and identified interim levels.
  • If you have not indicated that you are seeking services, or are interested in receiving an interim home care package, you can contact My Aged Care to advise them of your preferences at any time.
  • You will need to wait for a package assignment letter before you can start receiving home care services.
  • You have 56 calendar days (with an option for a 28 calendar day extension) from the date you are assigned a home care package to enter into a Home Care Agreement with your chosen provider.

Further Information

For more information about the changes to home care visit: Home Care Packages on the My Aged Care website

For more information about home care eligibility visit My Aged Care website or call the My Aged Care contact centre on 1800 200 422* (Monday to Friday 8 am to 8 pm and Saturday 10 am to 2 pm).

If you need an interpreter, we can help through the Translating and Interpreting Service. Call 131 450 and ask for 1800 200 422*.

* Calls to 1800 numbers are generally free when made from a landline. All calls made from mobile phones are charged at the rates applicable to each telephone provider.

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