You will need to be assessed by a member of an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or an Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) in Victoria, to receive help at home through a Home Care Package.
If you are assessed as eligible for a package, you will be put in contact with home care providers in your area. There may be a waiting period for packages in some areas.
Once you have been offered a package by a home care provider, they will help you plan your package based on your specific needs.
Over recent years, Government reforms have been progressively implemented which are intended to give consumers more choice, easier access and better care.
The primary aim is to build a better and more sustainable aged care system.
These reforms commenced in 2012, with the first major changes implemented on 1 July 2013. The second round of significant changes commenced from 1 July 2014.
These changes include:
- Income testing arrangements for home care packages
- Changed means testing in residential aged care
- New accommodation payment arrangements for residential aged care
- Removal of the distinction between high and low care in residential care
- Expansion of the Australia Aged Care Quality Agency
The new Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) was introduced on 1 July 2015 and has combined, under the one program, services that previously provided four basic home support services:
- Commonwealth Home and Community Care (HACC) Program
- Planned respite from the National Respite for Carers Program (NRCP)
- Day Therapy Centres (DTC) Program
- Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged (ACHA) Program
Consolidating these programs has provided a comprehensive basic Home Support Program for older people who continue to live in the community, funded by the Commonwealth government.
Shared Costs & Supplements
Australian Government financial assistance for home care packages provided under the Act is paid to service providers, as a contribution to the cost of providing care.
The Minister determines the rates for home care subsidies and supplements to apply from 1 July of each year.
Home care recipients also contribute to the cost of their care. While the Australian Government does not set the fees that home care recipients are asked to pay by their chosen provider, it does set a maximum level for the daily fees that providers may ask care recipients to pay.
The Australian Government pays for most of the aged care services delivered in Australia. However, people with higher incomes may be asked by their service providers to contribute towards the cost of their Home Care Package.
Depending on your income, you may be asked by your service provider to pay an income-tested care fee. This is in addition to a basic fee.
The maximum basic fee is 17.5% of the single person rate of the basic Age Pension. This works out to be $135.80 per person, per fortnight (from 20 September 2014 to 19 March 2015). For further information please visit the Income Assessment for Home Carewebsite.
The Australian Government also provides a viability supplement to residential care services in rural and remote areas of Australia.
Please use our Business Directory Search facility to find ‘Home Care Package’ providers in your local area.