Home Care Packages allocate funding that goes toward care and support for each individual approved for the program. A consumer-directed model, it offers more control and choice for recipients than other models of aged care financial support, and has a process of assessment and approval.
Home Care Package assessment and approval
There is a 2-part assessment to check eligibility for subsidised aged care or for a Home Care Package.
- You’ll need to sign up with My Aged Care - the government portal that will assess your claim.
- After having a look at what services are available, call My Aged Care for a simple phone interview. If this is uncomfortable or inaccessible, your doctor can fill out an online assessment referral form, go through the questions with you and send it off.
- Then, depending on the outcome of the initial conversation you may be referred for a 90-minute in-person assessment with a representative of My Aged Care.
- After your assessment, you’ll receive notification of the outcome.
Understanding the Home Care Package
Home Care Packages are offered at Level 1, 2, 3 and 4. The rates differ depending on the package and your individual needs. Each level has a basic subsidy rate and additional supplementary amounts are calculated and paid based on requirement.
There are only a finite amount of Home Care Packages released by the government each year and once approved, it can take a while for the package to become available. Designed for those with complex needs for support, it is a more detailed and thorough program of support than the Commonwealth Home Support Program.
For Home Care Packages you can expect to wait:
- 3-6 months for Level 1
- 12+ months for Level 2
- 12+ months for Level 3
- 12 + months for Level 4
Those with higher, more urgent needs are prioritised to receive services.
While waiting for a Home Care Package to become available, here are your options
It might sound strange, but it’s not unthinkable for people who have been approved for a lower level Home Care Package to turn it down. Those assessed for a Level 4 package might be offered Level 1 after some time, if there are no Level 4 packages available. It’s up to you whether it’s worth the wait - consider weighing up the costs of:
- The fees and charges you need to pay while waiting for a top-tier Home Care Package.
- Viability of covering all home care and support costs independently - which could be a period of more than 2 years.
The Commonwealth Home Support Programme has a much shorter waiting time than the Home Care Package and offers entry-level support at home. It has its drawbacks but is heavily subsidised.