Home Care Package Wait Times: How Long Do You Have to Wait?

Learn all about Home Care Package wait times, how long you have to wait before your Home Care Package starts, and what you can do in the meantime.

Haisey Home Care
March 6, 2024
x min read

So, you've managed to apply for a Home Care Package. What's next?

Before you choose your Home Care Package provider, you'll be put on a waiting list.

The Home Care Package wait times depend on a few factors. These include your approved HCP level, level of urgency, and the general demand for those support services in your area.

Generally speaking, HCP participants wait three to six months before My Aged Care contacts them. 

If you want to learn more about the HCP wait time before selecting a service provider, keep reading.

Signing Up for a Home Care Package

Home Care Packages are aged care services for older Australians with complex care needs. These elderly individuals want to continue living at home rather than move to a nursing home. But they need some help to live in the comfort of their own home. 

There are four Home Care Package levels you can be assigned to:

  1. Level 1 (basic care needs)
  2. Level 2 (low care needs)
  3. Level 3 (intermediate care needs)
  4. Level 4 (high care needs)

Once you apply for a Home Care Package and get assessed by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT), you will receive a letter. This letter will confirm whether you are eligible for Home Care Package funding.

The approval letter will also contain information regarding which Home Care Package level you have been assigned.

But, even though you've been approved for an HCP, that doesn't mean you'll be able to receive care services right away.

Due to the rising demand for home care services, you'll be put on a national waiting list.

How Long Is the Waiting List for Home Care Packages?

The average expected wait time is between three and six months, but some HCP recipients may have to wait even longer. 

This wait time is expected for those with medium-care needs. My Aged Care doesn't specify how much those with low-level and high-level support needs have to wait.

Therefore, the average wait time is:

  • Level 1: 3 to 6 months
  • Level 2: 3 to 6 months
  • Level 3: 3 to 6 months
  • Level 4: 3 to 6 months

You should receive another letter exactly three months before your Home Care Package starts and before you receive HCP funding. This gives you enough time to choose a Home Care Package provider.

If you want to find out what your waiting time is, you can contact My Aged Care.

Factors That Affect the Home Care Package Waiting List

There are four main factors that can affect how long you will have to wait before receiving Home Care Package funding. These factors are: 

  1. Your Home Care Package level
  2. The availability of services 
  3. Your location
  4. Your priority level

In some cases, your assigned HCP level might not be available in your area. So, in the meantime, you'll be assigned to a lower-level HCP until your level becomes available again.

The national priority system is based on two factors: the priority of care and the date of approval.

Your priority level depends on the level of urgency of care.

Those with urgent needs and complex health issues have a shorter wait time, and those with low-level needs may have to wait longer before receiving services.

Your priority level will also be assigned to you in your approval letter.

What Should You Do in the Meantime?

While waiting for your Home Care Package to become available, there are a few steps you can take:

  • Browse for Home Care Package providers in your area
  • Read more about the costs associated with Home Care Packages, including the basic daily fee and any additional fees
  • Explore the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) if you want to receive aged care services sooner
  • Consider privately funded home care services

Applying to the Commonwealth Home Support Programme is an option for those who need urgent care and can't afford to wait for their HCP to become available.

The CHSP doesn't offer different services for older people, but it's for those with short-term, low-level needs.

To receive care sooner, you also have the option to apply for non-government-funded services.

Choose Haisey Home Care for Your Care Needs

Haisey Home Care offers various support services, including personal care, home modifications, specialised nursing, respite care, occupational therapy, and more to older Australians.

We're here to make things easier for you and your family by providing the care and support you need to remain independent.

If you want to know more about our services, feel free to contact us or sign up for a free in-home consultation