How to access subsidised home care support services through My Aged Care - CarerHelp Knowledge

How to access subsidised home care support services through My Aged Care

Why is My Aged Care important?

When a person has an advanced disease, they will need support to continue to be able to live at home. Some of this care and support may be provided by you and some by health care services.

Older Australians can also access Government funded supports and services in the home through My Aged Care.

My Aged Care can be used to:

  • Find out about the different types of government funded aged care support available
  • Book an assessment to determine the eligibility and right type of care needed for the person you are caring for
  • Find providers of home support, care packages or aged care facilities

How do I access My Aged Care?

To access My Aged Care, the person you are caring for needs to be aged 65+ (or 50+ if of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin). An older person who has an advanced disease or terminal diagnosis is likely to be eligible for government funded aged care services.

There are costs to these services, but they are subsidised by the government and dependent on the person’s income.

The first step is to request an assessment for the person you are caring for with My Aged Care. There can be wait times for assessment and wait times to access services.

Home Support Services versus a Home Care Package?

A My Aged Care Assessment determine support eligibility. Care at home is available through the Commonwealth Home Support Program or through a Home Care Package.

The Home Support Program offers a range of different support services from different providers.

A Home Care Package is individual funding for people who need a number of services coordinated by a provider.

For both programs, types of services depend on the needs of the person and their carer. These may include home cleaning, light gardening, food preparation, nursing and allied health services, personal care services, respite care services or specific services related to incontinence, dementia care, hearing or vision impairment.

As the carer you should consider what support you are able to provide. It is okay to say that there are aspects of care you are not able to do or do not want to be responsible for.

How do I apply for the home support programme or a home care package?

  1. Check the person’s eligibility which is based on age, diagnosis, and their day to day living skills.
  2. Request an assessment. You can complete this step online and you will need the person’s Medicare card. Alternatively, you can call 1800 200 422 to apply for an assessment.
  3. Wait to be contacted by an assessor to arrange a face to face assessment.
  4. Prepare for and attend the face to face assessment with the person you are caring for. You can also talk to the assessor about supports you need in your caring role. Find out what you need to know here.
  5. You will receive a letter about the outcome of the process. It will state whether the person you are caring for is eligible to receive Commonwealth home support program, residential respite care, and/or a home care package.

Can I represent the person I am caring for?

With the consent of the person you are caring for, you can apply for an assessment and you will need to put in their details, your details and both of your Medicare card numbers.

The person you are caring for can nominate you to be their ‘regular’ representative with My Aged Care either face-to-face, online or over the phone. You will need both Medicare cards and the person you are caring for to be present on the phone.

If you want to be recognised as a ‘legal representative’ for the person you should read the involvement information on the My Aged Care website.

They have a home care package approved, what next?

A Home Care Package provides the person you are caring for with a defined amount of funding for services and supports in the home. There are different levels of funding packages ranging from 1-4, which increase in funding amount the higher the level.

The funding pays for most of the costs of the services but the person receiving the funds is also expected to contribute towards the cost of the services.

Unfortunately, approval for a package does not mean the person will have immediate access to that package. The system is based on priority of need. Many people use home support services while waiting for a funding package.

They may be also offered a lower level package (i.e. less funding) whilst waiting for a higher level package. Unfortunately, even people at end of life often have to wait for a package.

Speak with your assessor or call My Aged Care to find out what options are available while you wait e.g. home support services, or a lower level package. If approved, you can access residential respite care as well as care at home.

While you are waiting, the assessor will help you find available services in your area or you can search and compare different service providers on the My Aged Care website.

As a carer, you can also access a range of support through the Carer Gateway.

Find a list of providers that provide the types of services you require in your area. Most will provide common services, but you need to check if you require specialised services for specific needs (e.g. dementia care, incontinence care, cultural or language needs, vision or hearing impairment).

It is also important to check the quality record of different providers to see if there are any notifications regarding not meeting the Aged Care Quality Standards. You may find it helpful to discuss this with your assessor.

For more information on how to find and compare home care package provides visit https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/connect-home-care-package-providers

Will there still be additional costs?

Yes. My Aged Care provides subsidised services but there will be a cost to the person receiving the services. Home support services charge a fee per service provided.

For home care packages, the basic cost is around $10 per day and everyone needs to pay this. Depending on the person’s income, there is also an income tested daily fee. For more information visit https://www. myagedcare.gov.au/home-care-package-costs-and-fees.

You will need to compare different providers to see what is and is not included in their fees. Call providers to see if they are available and meet with them to see if you think they will be a good fit for you and the person you care for.

Managing My Aged Care online

You can set up and manage an online My Aged Care account and link it to your MyGov account. Call the My Aged Care phone number for assistance.