FAQs and Definitions

Navigating the aged care system can be daunting. At Benetas we want to help you find the best solution for your needs. Here's a list of the important Home Care terms and frequently asked questions you may have when accessing the services you and your loved ones require.

FAQs and Definitions


ACAS stands for Aged Care Assessment Services. (You may also see this written as ACAT, which stands for Aged Care Assessment Team and is the term used for all other states except Victoria).

ACAS Officers are health and community care clinicians who will visit your loved one at home to assess their needs and eligibility for any of the following:

  • Home Care Package
  • Residential respite care
  • Permanent residential care

NSAF stands for National Screening and Assessment Form – a form that collects information to support the screening and assessment process.

The NSAF is based on best-practice assessment processes from around Australia. It has been designed to build on information collected by My Aged Care centre staff during screening and any previous assessments.

MAC stands for My Aged Care which is the government gateway for all aged care programs, assessments and information across Australia.

You can call MAC on 1800 200 422 Mon-Fri 8am - 8pm, Sat 10am - 2pm. Visit the My Aged Care website

CDC or Consumer Directed Care is a way of delivering care that gives consumers choice and flexibility. A CDC approach allows you to:

  • Choose which types of services you want
  • Make your own decisions relating to your loved one’s care plan
  • Understand how funding is being spent for more informed decisions



How do I apply for a government Home Care Package?

As a first step, you need to call MAC.

You will be asked questions over the phone to help determine your loved one’s needs and care arrangements. This takes at least 10 minutes. Please ensure your loved one is with you during this time as they will need to provide consent. You will also need to have your Medicare card number handy.

This is just the start of your application process. Learn more about about Navigating the home care system or Contact Benetas Home Care today.

Am I eligible for a government Home Care Package?

Government funded Home Care Packages were designed for older people in mind. However, there is no minimum age requirement.

There are also no citizenship or residency restrictions, but funding is not meant for visitors to Australia or for people who need temporary or short-term care. If you’re after short-term care, private home care will be a better option for you.


How long is the approval process for a government Home Care Package?

The timing of this process can vary – from a number of weeks to months. It is dependent on a number of things such as the demand placed on the ACAS and My Aged Care teams, the assessment and rating of your loved one’s health, and the amount of people on the wait list for packages to name a few. 

Benetas can provide private services while you while to navigate the home care system.


Can I fast-track my government Home Care Package application and assessment?

The short answer is no. Your parent or partner will need to be assessed like all other people entering the system, and may be given a priority depending on their assessment and rating.

Whilst you wait for a package, Benetas can provide private funded services to support you and your loved one.


Can I get services while I wait for government funding? 

Yes, you can access services as a private client while you wait for your government-funded package to be approved. So although no rebates apply, you can start receiving services in as little as 1-4 days and no assessment is required. Also, in cases of emergency, we can provide same day services!


What happens at an ACAS assessment?

An ACAS assessment is designed to determine your loved one’s eligibility for one of the four government Home Care Packages.

During your assessment visit, an ACAS Officer will:

  • Ask questions about how well your loved one is managing day-to-day life
  • Explain the assessment process
  • Advise on the types of services that may help your loved one to stay at home longer


What types of services can I access?

Government Home Care Packages include a broad range of services. However, if you require a particular service that your package doesn’t cover, an out-of-pocket fee may apply.

Benetas can help you determine which services you need and how to make the most of your allocated package.

Benetas services include:

  • Personal and home care: Includes housework (such as washing, vacuuming, and gardening), cooking, shopping, transport, companionship and more
  • In-home nursing and support services: Includes personal care (such as toileting, showering and dressing), continence care, medication assistance, wound management and more
  • Respite services: Includes respite at home, day programs, overnight and extended stays as well as temporary residential care

What’s NOT included in a government funded Home Care Package? 

  • Government packages of any level won’t pay for:
  • Household bills such as electricity, gas or water
  • Cost of food, including groceries
  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Gambling
  • Holidays (flights, accommodation etc.)
  • Cost of entertainment such as movie and event tickets
  • Other items already covered by Medicare or pharmaceutical benefits
  • Other programs already funded or subsidised by the Australian government


Are there any differences between government-funded and private care services?

There are two key differences. Government funding requires you to:

  • Undertake a formal assessment by an ACAS Officer
  • Wait in the national Aged Care queue for a package to become available

All services and service delivery are otherwise exactly the same.


What are the costs of services?

The cost of service depends on your needs. To attain a copy of our Service Rates, please contact our Customer Centre on 1300 Benetas (1300 23 63 82).


What is case management?

Case management includes the assessment, planning, coordination, budget management and ongoing review of your loved one’s home care needs.

 Your Benetas Client Advisor (or Case Manager) will work with you and your loved one to:

  • Oversee and link the services and resources you require
  • Navigate the aged care system
  • Access the services your loved one needs 
  • Plan for the future
  • Make adjustments when circumstances change (e.g. after an acute episode or when a friend or family member is no longer able to be offer support)
  • Maximise the spend of your allocated funding

What qualifications do Benetas carers have?

Every member of our personal home care team has been carefully selected to ensure they embody the Benetas values of respect, responsibility, community and spirit. They also all:

  • Have the experience and qualifications to give your loved one the best possible care – including a Certificate III in Aged or Community Care
  • Continually improve and expand their skillset through regular, ongoing training
  • Maintain up-to-date police checks  
  • Undergo a thorough background and reference check (before joining our team)

Many of our personal carers also speak foreign languages and understand the sensitivities of different cultures.


Why can I trust Benetas for myself or my loved one?

Benetas has been enriching the lives of older people and entire families across Victoria for over 70 years. As a not-for-profit organisation, we always put your loved one first, constantly reinvesting into the quality of service we provide. 

We have also maintained accreditation under the ISO 9001 standards and receive increasingly positive feedback from our clients every year. In fact, our word-of-mouth referrals grew by 75% in 2016

Learn more about Why Benetas for Home Care and the People, Faces & Stories of Benetas.

Have a question we haven’t answered?

Contact Benetas Home Care today 

 Remember, you could be eligible for government funding.