Home care packages allow elderly Australians to access subsidised care services so they can continue living in their own homes. These packages are designed to help those with basic to complex care needs and covers services such as nursing care and personal support, home modifications and transportation.
Following the recent Aged Care Royal Commission, the Federal Government has announced 80,000 more Australian home care packages for those in need. With some eligible Australians waiting over a year for a home care package, this is great news for elderly Australians.
Why are more Australian home care packages being released?
Home care packages are in high demand in Australia. Current data shows that as many as 97,000 elderly people have been assessed for a home care package but are still waiting for one to be assigned. This release of additional home care packages aims to address this issue and improve the number of people able to access home care in Australia.
In addition to the 33,000 new home care packages released in 2021, the Federal Government has budgeted for another 80,000 packages by 2023. This new release will increase the supply of home care packages to be more in line with the increasing popularity of home care in Australia.
This large increase in Australian home care packages was prompted by the recent Aged Care Royal Commission. The final report recommended fundamental and systematic aged care reform in Australia, one of these recommendations being the release of more home care packages.
When will the home care packages be released?
The government has pledged 80,000 new packages by 2023, which will include 12,000 level-four packages – the highest level of care. This is in addition to the 30,000 home care packages that the government has already started releasing in June this year. By 2023, a total of 275,000 packages will be available for elderly Australians needing home care.
If you or your loved one is waiting for a package or you’re considering home care as an option, home care packages are now being released much sooner than usual. Australian home care packages will go to aged people with the highest need first, so it’s important you or your loved one are assessed and on the waiting list as soon as possible.
If you have been assigned a home care package as part of the recent release of additional packages , you are now ready to look for a home care provider. Aged Care Decisions helps families get connected with service providers that suit their unique needs. We provide a customised list completely free of charge so families can get the support they need quickly. Click here to get in touch.
When will I be assigned my home care package?
Home care packages are assigned to individuals, rather than Australian home care providers. This means you or your loved one will be assigned a home care package using the national priority system, which considers:
- The assessed level of need (Home care packages offer four levels of support, with level 4 being the highest), and
- the date of approval for a home care package.
While you or your loved one is waiting to be assigned a home care package, you can request an interim package that provides a lower level of care. This is provided through the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP), which aims to support elderly people with less complex needs. Read more about CHSP here.
The Department of Health will notify you when a home care package becomes available – this will likely occur much sooner with so many new packages being released.
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How do I get assigned a home care package?
To be assigned an Australian home care package, you will need to complete the following steps:
Apply for an assessment via My Aged Care. This is an online form that takes approximately 15–20 minutes to fill out. The form will check your eligibility, record your details and confirm the contact person for the assessor. A loved one can complete the form on your behalf if you prefer.
Through this process, you will be prompted to set up a My Aged Care client record, which you can use to track the process of your application.
Your Doctor is also able to request an assessment on your behalf.
Within 3 weeks, an assessor will call the contact person to arrange an in-person assessment to determine the need for in-home care.
After the face-to-face assessment, you will be notified of your approved home care package level. Packages are offered based on the following four levels:
- Level 1 – Basic care
- Level 2 – Low care
- Level 3 – Intermediate care
- Level 4 – High care
How much funding does each Australian home care package provide?
The funding allocated to each person approved for a home care package depends on the assessed level of need. Check the table below to see how much funding you may be allocated for home care in Australia.
|Package level||Care level|
|Level 1||Basic care, allocated $9,000 annually|
|Level 2||Low care, allocated $15,750 annually|
|Level 3||Intermediate care, allocated $34,250 annually|
|Level 4||High care, allocated $52,000 annually|
Note: Figures are rounded and are approximate.
Using the table above as a reference, if you (or your loved one) have been assigned a Level 2 home care package, you will be able to spend approximately $15,750 per year on services that meet your unique needs. These may include:
- Personal care and nursing services to support your health and independency
- Cleaning, modifications and maintenance to keep you safe at home
- Transport and social support services to keep you well-connected
Do I have to pay for my home care package?
Generally, eligible home care recipients need to contribute to the cost of their package. This varies depending on your financial situation and is partially determined by an income assessment. Your financial contribution could be made up of three types of fees, including:
- Basic daily fee: up to $10.85
- Income-tested care fee: up to $31.14
- Extra fees: you may choose to have additional services that are not covered by your Australian home care package. You will pay for these on top of your normal package fees.
Centrelink or DVA will conduct an income assessment to determine your income-tested care fee. This assessment is purely based on your current annual income.
Once I have my home care package assigned, how do I find a home care provider?
Once you have been assigned a home care package, you will be ready to choose your service provider. There are many providers who offer in-home care in Australia, so you have plenty of choice. Your chosen provider will help you spend the allocated funding from your home care package on a range of services that best suit your needs. They can also manage your chosen services on your behalf.
Our dedicated team at Aged Care Decisions can provide a tailored list of home care providers in your local area. We take the time to understand your needs to ensure we help find the best provider for you. Click here to start the process.
What aged care options are available?
It can be difficult to know which aged care option is best for you or for a loved one. For those who wish to live in their own home independently for as long as possible, a home care package can offer the appropriate level of support to make this possible.
Waiting times can be anywhere from 3 to 12 months (or more); however, this should reduce over the next two years with the federal government’s commitment to the new release of Australian home care packages.
If you prefer not to wait and are considering an aged care facility instead, we can also help you find a quality aged care provider near you.
Aged Care Decisions is a free home care and nursing home placement service. Simply complete our easy online form or call our aged care specialists on 1300 775 870 and we will help you find the right service for you.