After your assessment, your assessor will need to review the information and determine your eligibility. Once a decision is made, the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) will send you a letter.
The letter will contain:
- the assessment team’s decision on whether you are eligible
- the services you are eligible to receive
- the reasons and evidence supporting the decision
- a copy of your support plan developed during your assessment
I’m eligible – what’s next?
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.
Once you have received your approval letter, there are things you can do while you wait. You can start gathering information so that you’re prepared once you’re assigned a package:
- Find local Home Care Package providers
You can find local providers that meet your needs using the Find a provider tool or by calling My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 for guidance.
- Look into the costs and fees
You may have to contribute towards the costs associated with your care and services.
Read more about Home Care Packages costs and fees.
Keep track of what you need to do
The My guide to aged care tool will help create a ‘next steps’ checklist tailored for you.
How long should I expect to wait for an available package?
Packages are allocated fairly through the national priority system, based on date of approval and priority for care. You are placed in the system from the date stated on your approval letter.
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 based on your needs and situation.
Packages are allocated fairly, based on the approval date and priority level in the letter sent to you by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). They decide if a person meets the eligibility criteria for high priority access to a package.
If you disagree with the level you have been given, you can appeal the decision. Your letter will have your assessor's contact details.
For people with a medium priority, the expected wait time for an approved Home Care Package (starting from the date on the letter of approval) is:
- Level 1: 1-3 months
- Level 2: 1-3 months
- Level 3: 1-3 months
- Level 4: 1-3 months
*Last revised 28 February 2023
Finding out your expected wait time
There are two ways to find information on your place in the national priority system and your expected wait time:
- Logging into your Online Account.
- Calling My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
How can I get care sooner?
There are a few options you can explore if you want to get help earlier:
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.
Non government-funded services
These services may be an option if you need care while waiting for your approved package to become available.
How will I know when my package is available?
You will receive a letter advising you to get ready
You will get this letter around three months before you receive your first package. Take this time to find an aged care 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.
Read more about what to consider before choosing a Home Care Package provider.
You will receive a letter confirming you have been assigned a package
This letter includes your referral code, which your chosen provider uses to see your assessment information, support plan, and package level. See more information about referral codes below.
You have 56 days from the date of your letter to enter into a Home Care Agreement with your chosen provider. If you do not enter into a Home Care Agreement within that period, your 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.
Read more on our Connecting with Home Care Package providers page.
What is a referral code and why do I need it?
A referral code is your unique reference number for receiving services. You give the referral code to your chosen provider. If you lose your code, you can log in to your My Aged Care Online Account to see it. With the code, a provider can view your client record, accept the referral, and start organising services for you.
What if I don’t want my Home Care Package now?
That’s okay. You may not need your Home Care Package right now. For example, you could:
- be managing at home without a Home Care Package, or
- have friends and family currently helping you at home.
If you don’t need your Home Care Package just yet, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to let them know. Informing My Aged Care means another person in need of urgent care can be provided with the next available package.
Did you know...
Even though you’ve paused access to a package, your place in the national priority system will be safe. Your wait time will continue to be based on the original date of your approval.
When you’re ready for your package again, you can call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
I’m not eligible – what can I do?
If you aren’t eligible for a Home Care Package, you will receive a letter from your assessor that will tell you why.
There are other options available.
- You may be eligible for other government-funded aged care services. If you are, your letter will include a support plan outlining this information.
- If you’re not eligible for other services, you may want to look at aged care providers that aren't government-funded.
- If you’re not eligible because your needs don’t meet the criteria, that can be an opportunity to make some changes. Depending on your circumstances, there are things you can do to help you maintain your independence and delay the need to access aged care services. Learn more on our Healthy ageing page.
- If you are under 65 years old, you may want to explore your eligibility with the National Disability and Insurance Scheme (NDIS). You can do this through an NDIS Access Request. Call NDIS on 1800 800 110 (toll-free) for more information.
If you have any questions about the assessment process, including the assessment team’s decision, there are actions you can take:
- Discuss your concerns with your assessor. This is usually the best way to resolve any issues. You can have a friend or relative help with this if you wish.
- Request a review of the decision, free of charge. Information about how to do this will be included in your letter. You can also find out more information on the Contact us page.