Questions about aged care representatives, agents, and advocates
I want to speak to My Aged Care on behalf of someone else. Is that okay?
If you want to be involved in an older person’s aged care discussions, help to access and update their information, and speak or act on their behalf, you can set yourself up as their representative, with their consent.
A representative can be a family member, friend, carer, or even an organisation.
I want to get information on behalf of an older person. Can I do that?
Even if you are that person’s partner or direct relative, it’s very important that we know you have consent to speak and request information on their behalf. To do this, you need to register as a representative or agent with My Aged Care.
If, for any reason, the older person is unable to give consent, you may need to become an authorised representative. This requires legal documentation to set up.
What do I do if the person I care for can’t provide consent?
If the person in your care is unable to contact My Aged Care and provide consent, you may need to become an authorised representative. To put this in place, you will need supporting legal documents (and in most cases supporting medical evidence) so that My Aged Care knows you can legally represent them.
As an authorised representative, you can speak and act on their behalf, as long as you ensure that you act in their interests and keep their personal information safe.
An authorised representative can be an individual or an organisation (such as a Public Guardian).
What is a representative?
A representative is a person or organisation you nominate to speak and act on your behalf. With your consent, they can communicate with My Aged Care, assessors and service providers, and make decisions for you. They could be a family member or friend, a carer, or an organisation.
If you choose to set up a representative, it’s important that you trust them, as they will be able to access your personal information.
What’s the difference between a regular and authorised representative?
If you are capable of providing consent for a person or organisation to speak and act on your behalf, you can set them up as a regular representative.
If someone isn’t able to give consent for a person or organisation to speak for them and isn’t able to make their own decisions or discuss their care needs independently, the nominated party will need to become an authorised representative.
What is an agent?
An agent is a professional who, with the older person's consent, can be involved in aged care discussions with them and access and update some of their information, but can't make My Aged Care decisions for them.
An agent cannot be a family member or friend. They must support the older person in a professional capacity, and can be an individual (such as a cultural support person) or an organisation (such as an advocacy organisation).
What's the difference between a representative and an agent?
An agent can support an older person in a few ways, but they cannot speak or act on their behalf. An agent can only be a person or organisation who supports the person in a professional capacity (such as a cultural support person or advocacy organisation).
A representative can do all the things an agent can, but is also able to speak and act on the older person's behalf, with their consent (or, in the case of authorised representatives, with the right legal documentation in place). A representative can be a family member, friend, carer, or organisation.
How can I set up a representative or agent?
You can set up a representative or agent at any stage during the My Aged Care process. How you do this depends on the type of support you need and your relationship with the person or organisation you wish to nominate.
Can I change my representative or agent?
Yes, you can change or add another representative or agent at any time. Your support person or organisation can also cancel their status.
If you or your support person or organisation need to make a change, either of you can call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
I’ve been asked to be a representative. When am I needed?
You may be needed at different times for tasks such as:
- talking to assessors, providers, and My Aged Care
- getting information about their progress to accessing aged care services
- making decisions about assessments and referrals
- seeing and updating their My Aged Care information
- receiving copies of their letters
- being a primary contact / My Aged Care’s first contact point.
How do I provide a document about a representative to My Aged Care?
You can do one of the following:
- Upload a PDF version of your document to the My Aged Care Online Account. View Your Online Account Guide: Documents for step-by-step instructions.
- Fax your documents to: 1800 728 174
- Mail them to: My Aged Care, PO Box 1237, Runaway Bay, Queensland 4216
What is an advocate?
An advocate is an impartial person who works on your behalf to help you understand your rights in the aged care system.
They can help you with:
- making decisions about the care you receive
- resolving concerns with your aged care provider
- increasing your skills and knowledge to advocate for yourself, and more.
How can I access advocacy services?
If you’re receiving or looking for government-funded aged care, there are advocacy services that can provide you with additional support.
Organisations such as the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) and the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) can offer help and support you in your aged care journey.
Can an advocate also be an agent?
Yes. If you wish, organisations in the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) can support you in My Aged Care as an agent.
Note: An advocate cannot be a representative.
I’m not comfortable calling My Aged Care. Can someone do it on my behalf?
Yes. A trusted individual or organisation can talk to My Aged Care on your behalf. For this to happen, My Aged Care will need your consent. You will both need to call My Aged Care together.
If you want this person or organisation to be able to speak on your behalf ongoing, can register them as a representative.