Start to gather information so that you’re prepared once you’re assigned a Home Care Package. Here are some things to do while you wait:
Assessment decision: Home Care Packages
After your face-to-face assessment, the Aged Care Assessment Team will send you a letter.
The letter will contain:
- the assessment decision - confirming whether you are eligible for a Home Care Package
- the level of package you have been approved for, if eligible
- the reasons and evidence supporting the decision
- a copy of your support plan developed during your assessment.
There is a lot of demand for Home Care Packages. So, although you are approved for a package, there may be a wait before one can be assigned to you. There are things you can do while you wait so that you are ready to set up your care services when a package becomes available. This is covered in more detail further down the page.
Expected wait times for available packages
Packages are allocated fairly through the national priority system, based only on date of approval and priority for care. You are placed in the system from the date stated on your approval letter.
For most people, the expected wait times for approved Home Care Package levels are:
|Approved Home Care Package level||Wait time from letter of approval date|
|Level 1||3 - 6 months|
|Level 2||12+ months|
|Level 3||12+ months|
|Level 4||12+ months|
* Last revised 31 May 2019
Packages are allocated fairly, based on the approval date and priority level in the letter sent to you by the Aged Care Assessment Team. Those with urgent circumstances are approved as high priority. This ensures they get access to care much quicker.
As well as the level of package you are eligible for, your letter also indicates your priority for receiving services. Your assessor assigns your level of priority after considering your needs and situation.
If you disagree with the level you have been given, you can appeal the decision. Your letter will have your assessor's contact details.
How do I find out how long I have left to wait?
There are two ways to find information on your place in the national priority system and your expected wait time:
How can I get care sooner?
There are a few options you can explore to get help earlier:
You may be able to get help sooner by choosing to receive an interim package. An interim package is a Home Care Package of a lower level than the one you’re approved to receive. Wait times can be shorter for lower package levels. Agreeing to an interim package means you’ll be able to access care services sooner while you wait for your approved Home Care Package to be allocated.
Your assessor will discuss interim packages with you at your assessment. If you agree to receive an interim package, you will keep your place in the national priority system until your approved package level is available.
Expected wait times for interim package levels are:
|Approved package level||Minimum interim package level available||Expected wait time for interim package|
|Level 1||No lower package level available||N/A|
|Level 2||Level 1||3 - 6 months|
|Level 3||Level 1||3 - 6 months|
|Level 4||Level 2||12+ Months|
The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)
Another option is to seek help through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme. Tell your assessor if you would like to explore this option. They will help you find out if you’re eligible for specific services.
Private services may be an option if you need care while waiting for your approved or interim package to become available.
What should I do while I wait?
How will I know when my package is available?
You’ll receive a letter advising you to get ready
You’ll get this letter about three months before you receive your first package. Take this time to find a provider that’s right for you. Look into the costs and arrange visits with them. If you’ve already found a provider, contact them now to confirm they have availability for you in coming months.
You’ll receive a letter confirming you have been assigned a package
The letter will include your referral code, which is your key to receiving services. You give this code to your chosen provider. With the code they’re able to see your assessment information, support plan and package level.
You have 56 days from the date of your letter to enter into a Home Care Agreement with your chosen provider. If that doesn’t happen during this period, the package will expire. It will then be allocated to the next person on the national priority system.
If you can’t find a suitable provider during this time, you can call My Aged Care and ask for an extension of 28 days.
What if I don’t want my Home Care Package now?
There are a number of reasons why you may not want your Home Care Package right now. You may:
- be managing at home without a Home Care Package, or
- have friends and family currently helping you at home, or
- be receiving an interim package that is currently meeting all your needs.
If you don’t need your Home Care Package just yet, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to let them know. Informing them means that another older person in need can take up the available package when it’s ready.
Did you know...
Pausing your access to a package isn’t forever! When you’re ready for your package again, simply call My Aged Care. Your place in the national priority system is safe, and your wait time continues to be based on the original date of your approval.
I’m not eligible - what can I do?
If you’re not eligible for a Home Care Package, your letter will tell you why, and who to contact for help.
You might be eligible for other care services. There are a few options. You can explore support services through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme. You could also consider paying for private services. Information about these options will be in your letter.
If your care needs change at any time, you can request a new assessment by contacting My Aged Care. If you don’t agree with the outcome of your assessment, you can contact the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).