Federal funding for aged care services in Australia is coordinated by government organisation, My Aged Care.
Wherever you are on your aged care journey, My Aged Care should be your starting point for accessing government-subsidised home care services, residential aged care, or short-term or respite care for yourself or a loved one.
Let’s walk through the steps you’ll need to take with My Aged Care. We will also answer common questions about how My Aged Care provides essential information and support for older Australians.
What is My Aged Care?
My Aged Care is an Australian Government organisation that delivers access to government-funded aged care services.
Before you can get subsidised aged care services, you must be registered with My Aged Care and go through an aged care assessment process.
How do I register with My Aged Care?
You can register with My Aged Care online here: Apply for an aged care assessment | My Aged Care
Or contact My Aged Care on the phone at: 1800 200 422.
You may also be connected to My Aged Care by a doctor’s referral or via another health professional.
Who is eligible for My Aged Care?
Aged care services are government-subsidised for Australians aged 65 years or older, or 50 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
You may be eligible for aged care services if you’ve:
- been diagnosed with a medical condition or have reduced mobility.
- had a recent fall or hospital admission.
- experienced a change in family care arrangements, or
- noticed a change in what you can and can’t do or remember.
My Aged Care have an eligibility checker on their website, which lets you quickly check whether you meet the requirements for an assessment before you apply.
If you are on a low income, homeless or at risk of being homeless, and aged 50 years or older (45 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people), you can call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to discuss your situation.
How can I access subsidised aged care?
To apply for government-funded aged care services you need to take these three steps:
Step 1: Register and apply for an assessment with My Aged Care.
Registering with My Aged Care is a simple process that you can complete online or over the phone. You’ll need your Medicare card, and you’ll need to be ready to answer a range of questions about your current circumstances, medical conditions, and what kind of services you’d like to access.
How to register for My Aged Care online
Registering online will take about 15-20 minutes and is a relatively simple process. The same registration form covers all types of care and support, including residential aged care, home care and short-term or respite care. Many people choose to have a trusted friend or family member help them register online.
How to register for My Aged Care over the phone
Registering by phone will take about 10 minutes, though you may have to wait a little while ‘on hold’ for an available operator, depending on what time of day you call.
My Aged Care phone consultants are available to take your call from Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 8.00pm, and on Saturdays from 10.00am to 2.00pm.
My Aged Care’s phone number is 1800 200 422.
About the My Aged Care Online Account
Once you’re registered, you can link your myGov account to My Aged Care. You can then log in to access important information about assessments, services, and interactions.
Step 2: Complete a My Aged Care assessment.
After you’ve registered, My Aged Care will contact you within 2-6 weeks to arrange an assessment.
What happens during a My Aged Care assessment?
Assessments are completed in person, usually at your home, and take around 1-3 hours, depending on your care needs.
There are two types of assessments:
1. A home support assessment with a Regional Assessment Service (RAS). If, during your registration, you indicated that you need only basic help, like light housework or minor home modifications, you will be assessed for support via the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP).
2. A more comprehensive assessment with the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) will take place if you’ve indicated that you need more help than what’s offered by the CHSP. An ACAT team member will assess your suitability to access Home Care Packages, short-term care options and aged care homes.
Your assessor will look at the way you manage day-to-day activities and speak with you about what aged care services will be best to help you.
Some people ask a friend or family member join them for the assessment. This is a great idea for people who get overwhelmed by lots of information and questions.
How should I prepare for my aged care assessment?
The aged care assessment is really just a two-way conversation and you don’t need to fill out any forms.
To prepare for the assessment you can:
- Think about your current circumstances and what you’re finding difficult around the home.
- Be as transparent as possible about the support you require. Often, we tell people we are okay when we are not. It’s important you be upfront with the assessor so they can assign the right support to you.
- Write a list of medicines you’re taking, doctor’s referrals and details about any medical conditions or concerns.
- Have your Medicare card and another form of ID handy.
- Write down your doctor’s phone number in case your assessor needs to call to check something with them.
- Organise for a family member or helper to be there with you for the assessment.
- Write a list of questions you’d like to ask the assessor.
- Let your assessor know in advance if you need a translator or someone to help you communicate.
Step 3: Have your Aged Care Package approved and assigned.
The next step is for your aged care package to be approved and then subsequently assigned.
Approval can take several weeks to several months. You’ll receive a notification from My Aged Care when you have been approved to receive an aged care package.
When your aged care package is APPROVED, you move into the QUEUE to have your package ASSIGNED – or allocated to you.
At this stage, the funding is NOT yet available to you. The wait time in this queue can be 3 to 12 months before you are assigned the package, depending on your location and your aged care package level.
Having an ASSIGNED aged care package means you can choose a Home Care Package Provider, book respite care, or start making applications for aged care residences.
This is where Aged Care Decisions can help.
We are a FREE and independent service that can help you find local, available home care package providers that suit your unique needs.
We use custom-built software that takes your location, budget, specific care needs and personal preferences, and creates a tailored aged care Options Report for you. This report narrows your search down to only include available providers that match your needs.
Essentially, we do all the running around for you.
Looking for aged care?
Get a customised list of aged care options
Frequently asked questions about My Aged Care
What can I spend my aged care package on?
My Aged Care provides subsidies to help Australians age well, whether at home, in short-term care or as aged care home residents. Your aged care package could cover the following services:
Help at home – funding can contribute to a coordinated selection of services that can include help with housework, meal preparation, transport, personal care, and social interactions.
Residential aged care – funding can contribute to personal and clinical care and support within a range of nursing homes and residential aged care facilities.
Short-term care – funding can contribute to respite care (to give the regular carer a break) or transitional care after a stay in hospital. It can also contribute to restorative care to help you remain independent for as long as you can.
Can someone else call My Aged Care for me?
Yes. If you are unsure about answering questions properly, a friend or family member can speak on your behalf. You just need to have a quick chat with your My Aged Care representative first, to confirm you’ve given your spokesperson permission.
What if English isn’t my first language?
You can contact My Aged Care through the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) on 131 450. Tell the operator which language you would prefer to communicate in and ask the interpreter to call My Aged Care for you. The My Aged Care website has information translated into 22 other languages.
Can I manage my own Home Care Package?
Self-managing your Home Care Package can give you more control and flexibility when choosing and changing providers, but it can be stressful and time consuming.
Aged Care Decision’s Placement Specialists can speak with you about home care package providers in your area that offer self-management options.
How can I find aged care providers near me?
Connect with Aged Care Decisions by completing our online enquiry form and one of our professionally trained aged care specialists will contact you to discuss your care needs.
Our aged care matching service is 100% free for families.
Our custom-built software will match your location, care needs, preferences, and budget with available home care providers, and live vacancies at aged care facilities, right across Australia.
Within about 20 minutes you will receive a tailored, interactive Options Report shortlisting aged care facilities or services for you to review, consider and compare.
Our mission is to bring comfort to people by empowering them in their residential aged care experience. We currently assist tens of thousands of families every month.