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Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for a government Home Care Package?
The first step is to call My Aged Care.
You will be asked some questions over the phone to help determine you or your loved one’s needs and care arrangements. This may take around 10 minutes. We recommend having your Medicare card number handy.
Alternatively, you can make a referral online for your loved one. Simply download our brochure to Make a referral to My Aged Care.
Read our article '3 Steps to begin your My Aged Care journey' for more information.
The next phase in the application process will be a face-to-face assessment. Read more about this assessment here.
If you have any more questions, we welcome you to contact us today on 1300 23 63 82.
What's the difference between Home Care Package levels?
Everyone has a unique level of need, so four Home Care Package levels exist with different Government funding amounts based on the level of need.
Level 1: Covers basic care needs.
You will receive approximately $8750 a year to spend on home care services through a provider of your choice.
Level 2: Covers low care needs.
You will receive approximately $15,250 a year to spend on home care services through a provider of your choice.
Level 3: Covers intermediate care needs.
You will receive approximately $33,500 a year to spend on home care services through a provider of your choice.
Level 4: Covers high care needs.
You will receive approximately $50,750 a year to spend on home care services through a provider of your choice.
View approximately how many hours of services you may receive with Benetas for each Home Care Package level here.
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.
Am I eligible for a government Home Care Package?
Government-funded Home Care Packages are designed for older people who need additional services to help them stay at home. However, there is no minimum age requirement. You may also be eligible if you are a younger person with a disability, dementia or other care needs not met through specialised services.
Your financial situation will also not affect your eligibility, however, you will need a financial assessment to determine how much money you may be required to contribute to your Home Care Package.
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, self-funded home care will be a better option for you. If you think you need a lower level of support, the Commonwealth Home Support Programme may be the answer!
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 or even over a year. 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 you or your loved one’s health, and the amount of people on the wait list for packages.
Benetas can provide self-funded (private) services while you while to navigate the home care system. To access private services, please download our step by step guide to private services or contact us on 1300 23 63 82 or online.
Does Benetas provide Veterans' Home Care for DVA clients?
Yes, Benetas is a DVA Veteran's Home Care provider in the shires of Hume, Loddon, Grampians and Gippsland. If you live in one of these areas and are a Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) client eligible for Veterans' Home Care, you are able to choose Benetas as your preferred provider. For more information please call our friendly customer centre team on 1300 23 63 82.
What is Veterans’ Home Care?
The Veterans' Home Care (VHC) program is a DVA program that provides a range of home care services designed to maintain the health, wellbeing and independence of eligible veterans and/or war widows and widowers. Services include Domestic Assistance, Personal Care, Respite Care, and safety-related Home and Garden Maintenance.
How do I apply?
To apply for VHC, ring your VHC Assessment Agency on 1300 550 450. Other people can also refer you to the VHC Assessment Agency with your consent, such as family members, carers, friends, General Practitioners and hospital discharge planners.
Following the referral, you'll need to undertake an assessment by a VHC assessor. The VHC assessor will discuss your circumstances with you to identify the range of services you may need.
For more information see the Department of Veteran Affairs - VHC fact sheet.
Can I fast-track my government Home Care Package application and assessment?
The short answer is no. You or your loved will need to be assessed like all other people entering the system, and may be given 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 3-5 days and no assessment is required.
Also, in cases of emergency, we can fast-track service delivery to less than 3 days!
What happens at an ACAS assessment?
An ACAS assessment is designed to determine you or 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 are included in a Home Care Package?
Government Home Care Packages include a broad range of services to help you to stay comfortable and independent at home.
We can help you determine which services you need and how to make the most of your allocated package. Contact us today on 1300 23 63 82 to set up a face-to-face consultation.
According to My Aged Care, depending on the level of Home Care Package you are offered, you can get assistance with services such as:
- Personal care
- Allied health and therapy services
- Specialised support
- Meal preparation and diet management
- Domestic assistance
- Home maintenance
- Home modifications
- Goods, equipment and assistive technology
- Social support
What home care services do Benetas offer?
The great thing about Benetas is how easy it is to adapt our services to your loved one’s needs. With diverse domestic and clinical care services available, you’re free to choose just one or a combination of many.
We also offer all types of support including one-off, short-term or regular, ongoing care. We can also help you get the most out of your government-funded Home Care Package.
Just some of the many services you can access through Benetas include:
- Household Tasks & Cleaning
- Gardening & Home Maintenance
- Pet Care
- Equipment & Home modifications
- Showering, dressing and toileting
- Grocery Shopping
- Cooking & Meal Preparation
- Social outings
- In-home nursing
- Medication assistance
- In-home respite
- Social Day programs
- Cottage day or overnight respite
- Allied health services
- Care management
If your loved one is ill, recovering from an operation or needs nursing care for any other reason, Benetas can help for as long or as little as you need.
Our qualified and compassionate nurses can:
- Manage medication, wounds and illnesses (such as diabetes)
- Administer intravenous medication
- Apply compression bandages and other dressings
- Implement anti-coagulation procedures
- Provide palliative care
At Benetas, we understand and greatly respect the role of unpaid carers – family and friends who step up to help the older people in their lives. They are often the reason their loved ones are able to stay at home for as long as they do.
However, carers need caring too. Which is why carer respite is so important.
If it’s time for a break, Benetas can step in at short notice. We can care for your loved one while you recharge – ensuring they’re well looked after when you’re not there.
Visit our respite section to know all your options.
What’s NOT included in a government funded package
Government-funded Home Care Packages won’t pay for:
- Household bills such as electricity, gas or water
- Cost of food, including groceries
- Rent or mortgage payments
- 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
What are the costs of services?
The cost of service depends on your needs and your service delivery.
If you'd like assistance understanding your options and relates charges, please contact our Customer Centre on 1300 Benetas (1300 23 63 82) to arrange a free no-obligation home visit with one of our home care specialists.
What is care management?
Care management includes the assessment, planning, coordination, budget management and ongoing review of your loved one’s home care needs.
Your Benetas Client Advisor (or Care 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.
What is CDC?
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
What is ACAS?
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
What is a NSAF?
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.
What is MAC?
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.
What is CHSP?
The Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) is a Government initiative subsidising in home or centre based care services for older people who needing low level assistance.
Benetas can support you in a number of our regions with CHSP packages. Contact us online or at our Customer Centre on 1300 23 63 82 to find out more.