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Home Care Packages
Funded by the Federal Government, a Home Care Package gives you access to a range of services to support you to be independent, comfortable and safe at home.
To apply for a Home Care Package, you first need to register through My Aged Care. We understand it can be complex, so we welcome you to contact us on 1300 23 63 82 - we can guide you through the process. Alternatively, there are some helpful resources on this page.
How to apply
1. Register with My Aged Care
To apply for a Home Care Package you will first need to register, by contacting My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or completing their online self-service form. We suggest you register at your earliest opportunity in preparation for support when you need it.
Learn more about My Aged Care registration here.
If you are preparing your application for quick access in the future, your registration will remain active and you can recontact My Aged Care as your circumstances change.
Tip: If you wish, you can appoint a family member or friend as your My Aged Care representative so they can act on your behalf on an ongoing basis.
2. Get Assessed
Once you are registered, My Aged Care will let you know if you need a face-to-face assessment. If this is the case, a trained assessor will visit you at home to help clarify your needs.
What should you have on hand for your assessment?
- Your Medicare number
- A copy of any referrals from your doctor if you have them
- Any information provided to you that you may want to discuss with your assessor
- The contact details of your GP or another health professional
- Information on the current support you receive
What happens at an assessment?
The trained assessor will work with you to develop a support plan, including your strengths, difficulties, goals, what you’d like to achieve and your preferences for services. They might ask questions such as:
- What support you already have
- Your health and lifestyle
- How you are going completing daily tasks around the home
- If you have any issues relating to home and personal safety
- Your family and community engagement
In your meeting, you may discuss the types of services that would suit your needs, the types of funding available and relevant to you, service providers and the costs associated with home care services.
Tip: You are welcome to have a family member, carer or friend present during your assessment and any calls with My Aged Care.
How long will you wait to find out the outcome of your assessment?
You will find out the outcome of your assessment in a letter. It should state the Home Care Package level you've been approved for and your priority level. You shouldn’t have to wait more than a few weeks to receive this letter. If you don’t receive one, we recommend calling up My Aged Care to follow up.
Read more about this letter here.
Please note: If the letter states you haven’t been approved for a home care package at this time, you can reapply when your circumstances change.
You can remain assured, self-funded in-home support is always available at your request through providers like Benetas.
3. Prepare for Your Home Care Package
Explore services and service providers
Whilst you wait for your Home Care Package, you can begin to explore service and provider options in your local area by:
- Using the service finder on the My Aged care website
- Chatting to family or friends
- Googling providers in your area
- Talking to your doctor or other medical professionals
Complete an income assessment
It is also important to complete an income assessment - as depending on your income, you may be required to pay a personal contribution to your Home Care Package.
Your fee you will be required to pay will depend on the level of your package, what your chosen provider charges you and your income assessment.
You can also estimate your government funding and whether you will be required to make a personal contribution with the My Aged Care fee estimator tool.
Need support whilst you wait?
Please note, if you need support whilst you wait for your home care package, you can get immediate self-funded in-home support with providers like Benetas. To enquire contact us online or call 1300 23 63 82.
4. Choose Your Provider
You should receive a letter from My Aged Care when your Home Care Package is approximately 9-12 weeks away.
When you receive this letter, we recommend you begin to research home care providers, so you are ready to choose one when your package is assigned.
Tips for choosing a provider
- Search for and compare providers using the My Aged Care service finder tool
- Ask your community and social circle to see if they can recommend a provider
- Meet with your top 3 candidates. Prepare a list of questions to ask, focusing on the criteria most important to you.
As you shop around, some questions to ask yourself include:
- Have they connected you with clear, reliable and relevant information?
- Are they are one-stop shop? Can you get all of your required services with the one provider?
- Are they specialists in the aged care journey?
- Is it important to you that they also offer other health services, retirement living and/ or residential care?
- Is it important to you whether the provider is not-for-profit or religiously affiliated?
- Has the provider been transparent in explaining the fees and charges? Are you aware of all the costs involved?
- Have they discussed how they can evolve with your changing circumstances?
5. Enter into a Home Care Agreement
You will receive a third letter from My Aged Care advising that your package is assigned to you, and it’s time to choose a service provider and enter into a Home Care Agreement (a contract).
We encourage you to meet with your chosen provider and sign an agreement with them within the government’s allocated 56 days to ensure your application does not go to the back of the waiting list.
Running out of time or can't choose a provider?
If you are having trouble choosing, service providers such as Benetas can fast-track your agreement or you can apply for a 28 day extension through My Aged Care.
Develop your Care Plan with your chosen provider
Once you choose which service provider you would like to go with and have entered into an agreement, work with them to develop your Care plan.
A Care Plan is a document that outlines your needs, goals and how those needs will be met. It may include an outline of the care and services you'll use, what type of Care Management you'll use and other details relating to your ongoing support at home.
How much support will you receive?
Upon approval, the government will assign you a Home Care Package level depending on the complexity of your needs (you may also be assigned a level below your need whilst you wait for a higher level to become available).
Depending on your Home Care Package level, the government will pay Benetas a certain amount of money per fortnight, which we then provide in services to you. Use the table below to discover how many hours of service you could get per fortnight for each Home Care Package level.
of funded servicesThat equals $346.50/fortnight paid by the Government
of funded servicesThat equals $609.56/fortnight paid by the Government
of funded servicesThat equals $1326.36/fortnight paid by the Government
of funded servicesThat equals $2010.68/fortnight paid by the Government
This table utilises the subsidies provided by the Australian Government, which were last updated on 1st July 2020. They are effective until 31st August 2020. The calculations for service hours are exclusive of compulsory Package and Care Management fees and assumes Partnership Care Management. Contact us to learn more about our Care Management options.
Understanding the costs
If you have a Home Care Package, the Government will provide you with a set amount of money (depending on your Home Care Package level). This money will be split into three main expenditures:
- Package Management
- Care Management
A. Partnership Care Management
B. Fully Supported Care Management
- Money to spend on services
If you have a Home Care Package, you will pay Package Management fees. This covers ongoing administration and organisational activities required to coordinate your package.
At Benetas, the fee is 15% of your fortnightly Home Care Package budget.
Choose how much support you'd like from us
Care Management Option (1)
Our lower cost Partnership Care Management option enables you to self-manage some components of your Home Care Package. We work in partnership to determine what you’d like to self-manage and the type of support you’d like from us. You might wish to manage your own budget, make your own referrals for services or generally be have more control of the coordination of your package. We will have a shared responsibility in ensuring you feel supported, yet able to maintain your independence. This is a truly personalised option.
Partnership Care Management is 15% of your fortnightly Home Care Package budget.
Care Management Option (2)
Our Fully Supported Care Management option includes our comprehensive assistance in planning, co-ordinating and booking your home care services. Together, we make decisions on how funds are spent and monitor your budget. Your Client Services Coordinator and Client Advisor will be your first point of contact to discuss your preferred services, your budget, coordinate your services, complete service referrals and to discuss your changing care needs You can choose the type of support and contact you want from us, whether that be home visits, phone check ins or a combination of both.
Fully Supported Care Management is 20% of your fortnightly Home Care Package budget.
Home Care Package FAQs
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
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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 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 if I've been assigned a package below the level I was approved for?
In many cases, the Government will assign you a package level below the level you have been approved for - to ensure you are receiving some services whilst you wait for your required level.
In this case, we recommend taking up the level offered to you, as you may lose your spot on the waiting list if you decline. You can also add personal funds to your home care services, to receive the level of support you require.