Ozcare coordinator assessing a client for services

Application Process - Home Care

Understanding the process of receiving care at home services

Home care services are designed to help you stay at home for longer, and can even assist you to become more active and social. Most home care services aren’t intended to be used long term, but to help you manage around the house and support you to become independent again.

Overview

1
Register with My Aged Care
Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to register your details and begin the assessment process
2
Assessment
My Aged Care will refer you for services straight away if your needs are very basic, or will arrange for you have to have an assessment.
3
Aged Care Fees
Income Assessment

If you have been approved for a Home Care Package, you may need to submit an Aged Care Fees Income Assessment form (SA 456) to the Department of Human Services.
4
Find a provider
Find your nearest Ozcare branch using our locate a service finder or ask My Aged Care to refer you to Ozcare.
5
Review your home care
agreement & costs

Sign your home care agreement, discuss the costs, and create your individual care plan. If you are on a home care package, you will also create your personalised budget.
6
Start services
You’ll start receiving your services from our experienced team of carers, nurses, dementia specialists, and allied health professionals such as physiotherapists.

Find services

Decide which home care services you need, and read the costs and eligibility requirements. Keep in mind that any out-of-pocket costs will depend on your income and eligibility for government subsidies.

My Aged Care

Once you have decided which services you would like, you will need to register with the Australian Government’s My Aged Care and be assessed for what services you need.

First, My Aged Care will create a client record for you, and ask you a few introductory questions about your needs. The client record is designed to be a centralised record of the information you provide My Aged Care, to prevent you having to repeat your story many times.

Based on this information, My Aged Care will determine whether they think you would be most suitable for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) or a Home Care Package (HCP).


Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)

The Commonwealth Home Support Programme is an entry-level program, open to seniors over 65 years of age, or over 50 years for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders, who need:

  • Low level support, such as showering a few times a week or fortnightly housework, on a short term or ongoing basis
  • High level support for a short time, such as nursing care while recovering from surgery or because your regular carer is sick

If your needs are more complex or you need ongoing care, you might be eligible for a Home Care Package.

Assessment

If you have basic needs, the My Aged Care contact centre may refer you for services straight away, or they may refer you to the Regional Assessment Service (RAS) to complete a home support assessment.

The Regional Assessment Service will organise a time to meet with you and:

  • Ask you questions about your day-to-day living activities and if you need help with them
  • Talk to you about your general state of health and specific health conditions. This will help them work out what type of help you need, and how much
  • Get an understanding of whether you need more support so you can keep living in your own home, or if they think you might be better supported in an aged care home
  • Give you information about providers in your area
  • Answer any questions you have about home care

After your assessment, you will receive a letter or call with the outcome of your assessment, including the services you are approved to receive and the reasons why. If you are unhappy with the result, you can ask the Regional Assessment Service to review their decision.

Assessments are free, and are available all over Australia. Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to register.

Referral to service provider

Once you have been approved for services, My Aged Care will ask you to name your preferred service provider. If you don’t have one in mind, My Aged Care can send your referral to all the providers in your area and one of them will accept your referral, if they have availability, and get in contact with you to commence services.

Costs

The Australian Government subsidies CHSP services, however your service provider may ask you to contribute towards the cost of your care. The service provider will ask you for information about your finances to determine what your out-of-pocket costs will be. If you would prefer not to provide this information, you don’t have to, but you might be asked to pay more as a result. If you are suffering from financial hardship let your provider know so they can take that into consideration when setting your fees.

Generally, you will also be asked to pay for consumables, such as continence aids, used in the course of your care.

Reviews

Your service provider should complete regular reviews, at least annually, to ensure that you are receiving the right amount of services for your needs. All home care services are delivered with a focus on re-ablement, helping you to redevelop the skills needed to stay independent and prevent you requiring higher care services in the future.

If you need additional care, your service provider is able to support you to apply for a home care package with My Aged Care.

 


Home Care Packages (HCP)

Home Care Packages are open to seniors over 65 years of age, or over 50 years for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders, who need:

  • Ongoing services
  • Multiple services, or one service at a high frequency
  • High level support, such as complex nursing care
Assessment

The My Aged Care contact centre will refer you to the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) to complete a comprehensive assessment.

ACAT will organise a time to meet with you and:

  • Ask you questions about your day-to-day living activities and if you need help with them
  • Talk to you about your general state of health and specific health conditions. This will help them work out what type of help you need, and how much
  • Get an understanding of whether you need more support so you can keep living in your own home, or if they think you might be better supported in an aged care home
  • Give you information about providers in your area
  • Answer any questions you have about home care

After your assessment, you will receive a letter or call with the outcome of your assessment, including the services you are approved to receive and the reasons why. If you are unhappy with the result, you can ask ACAT to review their decision.

Assessments are free, and are available all over Australia. Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to register.

Home care package level

Depending on your needs, you will be approved for one of four home care package levels. If you are unable to find an available package at the right level, it’s possible to take a lower level package and upgrade to the higher level package when one becomes available.

Read more about home care packages.

Referral to service provider

Once you have been approved for a package, My Aged Care will ask you to name your preferred service provider. If you don’t have one in mind, My Aged Care can send your referral to all the providers in your area and one of them will accept your referral, if they have availability, and get in contact with you to commence services.

Income Assessment

The Australian Government subsidies Home Care Package services, however you will be asked to contribute to the cost of your care.

Basic daily fee

All clients on a home care package pay a basic daily fee of up to 17.5% of the single basic Age Pension, which is adjusted in March and September each year. Ozcare does not charge the daily care fee for new clients after 27 February 2017.

Income-tested care fee

Depending on your income, you may also be asked to pay an income-tested care fee. To determine whether you are required to pay this additional fee, you will be asked to do the following:

  • If you are on an Age Pension, Disability Support Pension, Carer Allowance, or Mobility Allowance, call the Department of Human Services on 1800 227 475 to confirm whether you are exempt from the income-tested care fee or your fees can be determined without submitting a form
  • If you are a veteran or widow/er, call the Department of Veterans’ Affairs on 1800 555 254 to confirm whether you are exempt from the income-tested care fee or your fees can be determined without submitting a form
  • For all others, submit an Aged Care Fees Income Assessment form (SA 456) to the Department of Human Services

You can choose not to confirm your eligibility or submit a form, however you may be asked to contribute the maximum amount if you don’t.

The Department of Human Services or Department of Veterans’ Affairs will review your form and send you a letter to advise you of the maximum amount that your service provider can ask you to pay. If you do not agree with the decision, you can ask the department to review it. The letter is valid for 120 days (4 months).

You can estimate your fees using the home care fee estimator on the My Aged Care website.


Home Care Agreement & Budget

Your chosen provider will meet with you to discuss your preferences and together you will create an individualised care plan using your available budget. You can have as much or as little involvement in this process as you wish. You will also be presented with a home care agreement to sign, in which you agree to receive home care service by your chosen provider. Your out-of-pocket costs will be finalised and agreed to in this stage.

Once your services are in place, you will receive statements outlining the cost of your services, as well as any unspent money that is places into a ‘contingency fund’ to be used at a future date if you decide to increase your services.

Reviews

Your service provider should complete regular reviews, at least annually, to ensure that you are receiving the right amount of services for your needs.

All home care services are delivered with a focus on re-ablement, helping you to redevelop the skills needed to stay independent and prevent you requiring higher care services in the future. If you need additional care, your service provider is able to increase your home care package without the need for reassessment by My Aged Care.



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