How to Access Home Care Packages to Get 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 access aged care services.

Haisey Home Care
April 6, 2024
x min read

Applying for a Home Care Package is a long process. That being said, you can go through the whole application much faster if you know what you're doing.

Whether you or your loved one are applying, you should be able to access care services as soon as possible. 

It's important to know what to expect before, during, and after the application process. 

This will help you find out what kinds of care services you will receive and how to choose the best 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.

Are You Eligible for a Home Care Package?

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 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 current care needs will directly impact which Home Care Package level you'll be assigned. 

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, you are allowed to choose your home care provider.

Home Care Package Fees

Before you apply, you should be familiar with Home Care Package fees. 

Applying for a Home Care Package is free, but you will be expected to pay certain fees when you're accepted.

Even though Home Care Packages are provided by Australian Government funding, there still might be some costs associated with receiving care. These can include:

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

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

It's means-tested, which means it's based on your income and assets. The purpose of this fee is to ensure that those who can afford to contribute more towards their care do so.

Some home care providers, like Haisey Home Care, don't charge a daily fee. 

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:

  1. Your health conditions
  2. Daily living activities
  3. Financial situation
  4. Mobility
  5. Support network

For an accurate assessment, it's important to provide detailed information.

Upon the income assessment outcome, My Aged Care will determine your Home Care Package budget.

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.

The Waiting List

When you go through all the necessary assessments, you'll be placed on the national waiting list

The length of time you'll be on the list depends on several factors, but those in the national priority system will be contacted first. 

The waiting list is managed by My Aged Care. These are the factors that are taken into consideration when positioning candidates on the waiting list:

  • Your level of need
  • The outcome of your assessment
  • The urgency of need
  • Available packages
  • Date of assessment
  • Location

Those with a higher level of urgency and more complex needs are placed at the top of the list. 

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

For more information on the prioritisation process, contact My Aged Care or your local aged care assessment team. You can also ask about your status on the waiting list.

What Happens Next?

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. 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. These are the fees you may be asked to pay.

If you live in a rural area, your Home Care Package level may not be available. 

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 begin.

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

What to Do if You Don't Get a Home Care Package 

If you haven't been approved for a Home Care Package, there are other options for aged care. These include:

  1. The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)
  2. Private care services
  3. Community support services
  4. Residential care

The CHSP provides entry-level support services for older Australians. Unlike Home Care Packages, the CHSP is for those with short-term care needs. 

Services include help with housekeeping, meal preparation, personal care, and transportation. It offers a range of flexible and tailored services. 

Private care providers offer a variety of home care services that can be tailored to meet your needs. Private care services may involve extra costs. But they come with flexibility and customisation.

Many local councils and community organisations offer support services for older adults. This includes social activities, support groups, transportation services, and home maintenance help. 

For those with higher care needs who are unable to live alone at home, residential care might be the answer. 

Residential aged care facilities provide accommodation and 24-hour care and support. They offer a range of services, including personal care, nursing care, meals, and recreational activities.

Why You Should Choose 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 fee for 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. 

We offer a range of care services aimed to help you live as independently as possible in the comfort of your home. 

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