If you or a loved one need or are receiving aged care services, it can be helpful—and sometimes necessary—to have someone who can help you discuss your options.
You can appoint a family member, friend, person you trust or organisation to support you in your dealings with My Aged Care as a representative or agent.
A representative can:
- communicate with My Aged Care, assessors, and service providers on your behalf, or with you
- assist you in making decisions or make decisions about aged care assessments and referrals for aged care services, and
- seek and update personal information held by My Aged Care.
An agent is a professional who can provide support similar to a representative, but they cannot make or convey decisions on your behalf.
If your situation has changed unexpectedly and you need immediate help with aged care services or getting someone to represent you, please call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
How to appoint an agent or representative
Please note: It can take up to 10 business days to process and establish a representative relationship. If you need to urgently get someone to represent you, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
If you want to appoint an agent or representative you have a few options, depending on your situation:
Helpful information about agents and representatives
Who can become a representative or agent?
Whether you become a representative or an agent for someone can depend on your relationship with them and the capacity in which you can support them.
If you want to be involved in an older person’s aged care discussions, help to access and update their information, act on their behalf, and convey decisions (that have been discussed with them) to My Aged Care, you can set yourself up as their representative.
A representative can be a family member, friend, carer, or even an organisation.
If you want to support someone in discussions, help to access and update limited information and assist in decision making (but not make a decision on the client’s behalf), you can become their agent.
An agent is a trusted professional support person or from a departmentally approved organisation, such as an Advocacy organisation. An agent must support the person in a professional capacity, such as a community advocate or cultural support person. A family member or friend cannot be an agent.
How do I become a representative or agent for someone else?
Please note: It can take up to 10 business days to process and establish a support relationship. If you need to urgently become a representative or agent for someone, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
If you are an employee of a support organisation approved by the Department of Health and Aged Care, refer to your organisation’s guidelines on establishing a support relationship.
If you are an individual wanting to set yourself up as someone’s representative or agent, there are a few options, depending on the older person’s situation:
They’re not registered with My Aged Care
If they’re not registered with My Aged Care, there are two ways to do this, and set yourself up as a representative or agent at the same time:
Apply for an assessment online. Before anyone can access government-subsidised aged care services, they need to apply for an assessment. Using the online application is quick and easy, and will only take 10–15 minutes to complete, including setting yourself up as a representative or agent. Your application will be reviewed by the assessor before your representative or agent relationship is verified and established.
If you want to be set up as an authorised representative, there is also legal documentation required, which varies from state to state. Learn more on our legal information page.
Call My Aged Care. Together you can call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 and set up a representative or agent relationship. If you need to set yourself up as an authorised representative, My Aged Care can advise you on how to submit the required legal documents.
For either option, both of you will need your Medicare cards and personal details at hand.
They’re registered with My Aged Care
If they have registered with My Aged Care previously, there are a few options for setting yourself up as a representative or agent:
Use My Aged Care Online Account. They can set you up as their regular representative or agent in the Support Networks section. Information on how to do this is available in Your Online Account Guide: Support Networks.
If you want to become an authorised representative, you can make a request from your My Aged Care Online Account. You will need to have the appropriate legal documents ready.
Call My Aged Care. Together you can call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 and set up a representative or agent relationship. Make sure you have your Medicare number ready. If you need to set yourself up as an authorised representative, My Aged Care can advise you on how to submit the required legal documents.
Speak to the assessor. If they haven’t had an assessment yet, the assessor can set you up as a representative or agent, as long as you are present during the assessment.
Complete and submit the Appointment of a support person form (if you’re supporting the person as an individual) or Appointment of a support organisation form (if you’re supporting the person as an organisation). You will need to print the relevant form, fill it out and then, either:
- upload a PDF version of your document to your My Aged Care Online Account. View Your Online Account Guide: Documents for step-by-step instructions
- send a digital copy via the My Aged Care online form My Aged Care – upload documents | healthdirect
- visit a Services Australia service centre where you can get face-to-face help to upload your documents into My Aged Care
- mail it to: My Aged Care, PO Box 1237, Runaway Bay, Queensland, 4216.
Important: If you want to check that My Aged Care has received the form and legal documents, please wait before calling (two business days for online account and online form, and six business days for mail).
What are the different support roles and what can they do?
The two main support roles you can set up are agents and representatives.
An agent can support you, be involved in discussions with you, and access and update some of your information, but can't make My Aged Care decisions for you. An agent cannot be a family member or friend. They must support you in a professional capacity and can be an individual or an organisation.
A representative can be involved in aged care discussions with you, help access and update your information, act on your behalf, and also convey decisions to My Aged Care. A representative can be a family member, friend, or carer, or even an organisation.
There are two types of representatives: regular and authorised.
If you are able to provide consent for someone to represent you, you can set up a regular representative. A regular representative can be involved in decisions about your care, but they must:
- seek your permission before discussing your personal My Aged Care information with anyone, and
- consult you (and your support network, if applicable) on all decisions and actions they make on your behalf.
You can still communicate directly with My Aged Care, your assessor, or your service provider if you wish.
They will also receive copies of any Home Care Package letters and other correspondence you may receive. If they don’t want to receive these letters, they can call the My Aged Care contact centre to opt out.
An authorised representative is only required where an older person does not have capacity and is unable to provide consent for someone to represent them. If you are appointed as an older person’s authorised representative, you can speak and act on their behalf, but you must:
- ensure that decisions and actions made on their behalf are in their interest,
- act according to the conditions in the legal documentation submitted to My Aged Care, and
- keep their personal My Aged Care information confidential and not disclose it to any unauthorised persons.
You will also receive copies of their Home Care Package letters or any other correspondence that may be sent from My Aged Care.
If the older person wishes to speak to My Aged Care, they will need their authorised representative present.
Legal documentation to become an Authorised Representative
Some common legal documents that My Aged Care require include guardianship orders, or any of the following documents that are supported by a letter from a medical practitioner stating that the person is unable to act on their own behalf.
- enduring power of attorney (ACT, Queensland and Victoria only)
- Advance Health Directive (ACT and WA not included), or similar
- enduring guardianship.
Based on legal advice, medical evidence is required in addition to the above documents to establish an authorised representative relationship, as they do not provide sufficient evidence on their own that the person has lost decision-making capacity.
Learn more on our legal information page.
How do I update or change a representative or agent relationship?
If you have a regular representative or agent supporting you, you can view their details by logging into your Online Account and going into the Support Networks section. In this section you can remove a regular representative or agent and appoint a new one if you wish.
It’s possible to have more than one representative or agent. You can request a new regular representative or agent relationship through your Online Account (if you have the individual’s details) or by calling My Aged Care along with the new person you wish to appoint.
An older person with an authorised representative can’t make any changes themselves. All changes to the older person’s details and relationships must be made by the authorised representative in the Online Account or by calling My Aged Care.
More information on how to manage your support relationships in your Online Account is available in Your Online Account Guide: Support Networks.