A Home Care Package is a subsidised ‘package’ of funding from the Australian Government that is provided to older people who need help to continue living at home.
How much financial assistance is offered?
There are four levels of Home Care Packages offered to older people who are eligible:
- Level 1 supports people with basic care needs – $7,924* p.a.
- Level 2 supports people with low-level care needs – $14,418* p.a.
- Level 3 supports people with intermediate care needs – $31,696* p.a.
- Level 4 supports people with high-level care needs – $48,184* p.a.
How do I know if I am eligible?
To access a Home Care Package, you will need to be assessed as eligible by an Aged Care Assessment Team, who are usually located at your local hospital. Someone from the team visits your home for the assessment. You will require a referral, which is obtained by calling the My Aged Care – the Federal Government’s aged care call centre – on 1800 200 422 or go to www.myagedcare.gov.au
How much do I have to pay to get a package?
There are two types of out-of-pocket costs that you can expect to pay for accessing a Home Care Package:
- a basic daily fee ($9.93* per day)
- an additional income tested fee (If your income is $25,659 to $49,655 a year (usually applies to part-pensioners), it will be $24.18* per day or if over $49,655* p.a. it will be $38.43* per day)
*these figures are updated twice a year, in March and September.
Your out-of-pocket costs will contribute to the total home care package you have available to obtain support services.
Services with a package
A range of services can be provided under a Home Care Package. This may include assistance with meal preparation, transport, shopping, cleaning, assistance with personal care, medication monitoring, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, continence support etc. The services provided will depend on the amount of funds available in your package, and is also likely to include case management and/or care coordination.
How to get a Home Care Package
You will need to be assessed by a member of an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT), to receive help at home through a Home Care Package. If you are assessed as eligible for a package, you will be put in touch with a home care provider in your area who offers these funding packages. Once you have been offered a package, your provider will help you plan your funding package based on your specific needs.
Setting up a Home Care Agreement
Everyone receiving a Home Care Package must have a Home Care Agreement (including a Support Plan and Budget) that sets out what care and services you will receive and who will provide those services. You are able to nominate who provides your in-home service and negotiate costs. For example, you are able to ask for a Better Caring independent care worker to be hired (instead of their own staff), which will extend your funding, give you more hours of service and more choice over who provides your in-home care.
Using an advocate
You have the right to use an advocate of your choosing. An advocate could include a friend or family member, a person from the same cultural background or other person of your choosing.
This person can participate in the assessment process, reviews, complaints or in any other communication that takes place, to make sure your needs are put first.
Do you have hearing or speech impairment?
If you are deaf or who have a hearing or speech impairment you can contact My Aged Care through the National Relay Service:
- Visit the National Relay Service website to choose your preferred access point, and
- Ask for My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
Using an interpreter
If you speak a language other than English, you can contact the Translating and Interpreting Services on 131 450. TIS cover more than 100 languages and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the cost of a local call. Ask to speak to the My Aged Care contact centre on 1800 200 422.
5 steps to accessing a home Care Package Booklet
There is a booklet published by the Australian Government outlining five steps to accessing a Home Care Package. It contains a range of information to help consumers, and their family and carers, understand the process and costs involved for taking up a Home Care Package.
Step 1: Check your eligibility
Step 2: Find a Home Care Package provider
Step 3: Work out the costs
Step 4: Accept a Home Care Package
Step 5: Begin your services