How to Access Home Care Packages and Receive the Care You Need

Wondering how to access Home Care Packages? This step-by-step guide will help you understand the application process and what is required to receive aged care services. 

By
Haisey Home Care
July 11, 2023
x min read

Applying for a Home Care Package is a lengthy process, but you can go through the whole application procedure faster if you know what you're doing.

Whether you're the one applying or your loved one, you should be able to access your care services as soon as possible. Knowing what to expect before, during, and after the application process will help you find out what kinds of care and services you will receive and how to choose a suitable package provider.

If you're wondering how to access Home Care Packages, you've come to the right place. This article will give you the basic 5 steps to accessing a Home Care Package.

What Is a Home Care Package?

Home Care Packages are aged care support services designed for older Australians and people with complex care needs. 

These aged care services are funded by the Australian Government. They're intended to help individuals maintain their independence in the comfort of their own homes.

There are four Home Care Package levels:

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

This aged care government-funded program has been introduced to provide support and extra assistance to those who need help completing everyday tasks. By making home care services more available, the care recipient will be able to live independently in their own home.

Home Care Packages are flexible and directly tied to your unique needs. The goal of these services is to improve your health and overall well-being.

Home Care Packages usually include the following services: personal care, meal preparation, light housekeeping, home modifications, medication reminders, companionship care, social outings and support, transportation, specialised nursing, respite care

However, costs normally paid out of general income, like mortgage payments and rent payment, aren't included in package funding.

Elderly individuals can also apply for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP), which is better suited for those with short-term care needs. Therefore, if you have more complex needs, applying for a Home Care Package is a better solution.

What You Need to Know Before Applying

There are a few factors you should be aware of before you apply for a Home Care Package.

The first one is eligibility. You need to be eligible to receive home care services. You'll be able to apply for a Home Care Package if you:

  • Are 65 or older (50 or older for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people).
  • Have a medical condition, disability, or illness that reduces your mobility and independence.
  • Need extra support in your day-to-day life.
  • Are experiencing a change in family care arrangements.

Keep in mind that you can't choose your package level. Instead, your eligibility and your current care needs will directly impact which Home Care Package level you'll be assigned to. 

You can use the eligibility checker on the My Aged Care website to make sure you're eligible.

While you can't choose your Home Care Package yourself, you are allowed to choose your own home care provider.

Before you apply, you should also be familiarised with Home Care Package fees. Even though Home Care Packages are provided by Australian Government funding, there still might be some costs associated with applying. These can include:

  • The income-tested care fee
  • The assessment fee
  • The basic daily fee
  • Additional fees

The income-tested care fee is especially important because it determines the level of government contribution. Note that you will have annual and lifetime limits on future payments if you pay this fee.

Your Home Care Package depends on your HCP level: Level 1 - $9,179.75 a year, Level 2 - $16,147.60 a year, Level 3 - $35,138.55 a year, Level 4 - $53,268.10 a year.

How to Apply for a Home Care Package

The process of accessing a Home Care Package can be complex and overwhelming. By following these five steps to accessing a Home Care Package, you'll know what to expect:

  1. Contact My Aged Care and request an assessment.
  2. Set up an assessment with an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).
  3. Undergo a formal income assessment.
  4. Get assigned a Home Care Package after being placed on a waiting list.
  5. Choose a Home Care Package provider.

When you contact My Aged Care and set up an assessment, you will receive a unique referral code. This code is important because it will allow your chosen provider to activate your Home Care Package when the time comes.

During the assessment process, a qualified assessor will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your care requirements. 

They will consider factors such as your health conditions, daily living activities, financial situation, mobility, and support network. For an accurate assessment, it's important to provide accurate and detailed information.

Upon the income assessment outcome, My Aged Care will determine a Home Care Package budget for you. Keep in mind that the Home Care Package funds are allocated to your chosen provider, which you can use to pay for the care services you need.

What Happens Next?

When you go through all the necessary assessments, you'll be placed on the national waiting list. How long you'll be on the list depends on several factors, but those in the national priority system will be contacted first. 

The general waiting period can vary from three to six months.

Home Care Package waiting list depends on your priority level, the home care package you will be assigned to, your location, the general demand for aged care services.

You will receive a letter from My Aged Care approximately three months before your package starts. This gives you enough time to choose your home care provider

Choosing your service provider is an important decision, and you should do some research on all service and provider options in your local area.

The letter from My Aged Care will inform you which Home Care Package level you've been assigned to and what your HCP budget is. The budget is usually comprised of government funding and your contribution, which are the fees you may be asked to pay.

There might be a possibility your Home Care Package level is not available if you live in a rural area. If that happens, you'll be assigned to a lower level of home care until the appropriate one becomes available again.

Once you have chosen a home care provider, they will work with you to develop a personalised care plan. After the agreement is signed, your Home Care Package will be activated, and services can commence.

If you aren’t satisfied with your chosen provider, you can always change them.

Apply for Haisey Home Care

Applying for a Home Care Package can be a complicated process, but if you follow our step-by-step guide, you will be prepared. Even after completing the application process, you still need to carefully consider which service provider you'll choose.

Haisey Home Care is an approved package provider and a dedicated care partner. As an approved healthcare professional team, we don't have a basic daily fee or an exit fee, and we offer a low 27% fee on all our care services.

We aim to help our clients live comfortably in their homes and maintain their independence. The client and their loved ones can remain assured, knowing they're in safe hands. 

If you would like to know more about our care services, feel free to contact us