If you are a carer or family member or would like to help someone you know with My Aged Care and speak for them, you will need their consent to do so or legally be able to make decisions for them. For older people who are capable of giving consent, you can get this consent each time you speak to My Aged Care or you can be nominated as their representative.
- What is a representative?
- Becoming a representative
- Changing representatives
- Other options for getting help with My Aged Care
If you are an older person who would like a family member, carer or someone else you trust, to speak with My Aged Care for you, read more on How do I get help to talk to My Aged Care.
What is a Representative?
Agreeing to be a representative for someone in My Aged Care allows you to speak and act for them. A representative can do things for an older person like:
- give information to My Aged Care including to assessors, the My Aged Care contact centre and service providers
- make decisions about aged care assessment and referrals for aged care services
- see and update aged care and personal information through the contact centre or on the My Aged Care client record on myGov
- be listed as the primary contact so you are the first contact point for My Aged Care.
If you need to be a representative for someone, My Aged Care will create a client record for you so they know they are talking to the right person each time you contact My Aged Care.
Do I need to be a regular or authorised representative?
There are two types of representative: a regular representative and an authorised representative.
If the older person you are helping is capable of providing consent for you to speak and act for them, you can be set up as their regular representative.
If an older person cannot give consent for you to speak for them, you will need to become an authorised representative. To do this you will need to give My Aged Care legal documents to show that you can legally act in this role.
If you are an authorised representative, you will be the primary contact for the older person with My Aged Care which means you will receive all letters and calls for them.
Becoming a representative
You can become a representative at any time, including when the older person first contacts My Aged Care or after they have been assessed.
There are three main ways to do this:
- Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422
Regular representative: Call with the older person you are helping. The older person can also be called separately if they cannot be with you for this call.
Authorised representative: The contact centre can start the process and then complete this when they receive the required legal documentation and the My Aged Care 'Appointment of a Representative' form.
- Complete the My Aged Care 'Appointment of a Representative' form and fax it to My Aged Care (1800 728 174) or mail it to My Aged Care, PO Box 210, Balwyn, Victoria, 3103, or
- If you are with the older person at the aged care assessment, the assessor can add you as a representative then. You will need to provide the assessor with any legal documents to become an authorised representative.
If you don’t want to be a regular representative any more, you can call My Aged Care to cancel the representation. The person you are helping can also call My Aged Care to change or remove you as their regular representative.
If the older person no longer needs an authorised representative, the authorised representative will need to call My Aged Care to make the change. A new or additional authorised representative can be added as long as they have the correct legal documents.
Other options for getting help with My Aged Care
If a carer, family member or other support person is not able to act as a representative for an older person, someone else they trust can contact My Aged Care on their behalf.
Health professionals, like a GP or community nurse, can make referrals for their patients to My Aged Care without needing to become a representative. To do this they need to have their patient’s consent or the patient’s legal representative’s consent.
Aged Care Service providers
Some older people who can’t talk with My Aged Care over the phone for various reasons may be able to go direct to an aged care assessment without speaking directly to the contact centre. This includes an older person who:
- has a medical condition that means they can’t talk on the phone
- is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and who due to past experience doesn’t feel comfortable talking on the phone
- has poor hearing or is deaf and doesn’t have the technology to use the National Relay Service
- lives in a remote community and does not have phone access or reception
- doesn’t speak English and their language isn’t available on the Translating and Interpreting Service
- is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
If the older person you are helping can’t talk to My Aged Care for these reasons, a range of people can support them without becoming their representative. This includes service providers and other support services.
If the older person does not meet one of the above reasons and does not want to talk to My Aged Care, they will need to put in place a representative. Any individual such as a family member, carer or a staff member from a service provider can agree to be their regular representative.
Another option is to consider the use of advocacy services. Advocacy services provided by the National Aged Care Advocacy Program can help you and the older person you are supporting to access and use the aged care system, understand a person’s aged care rights and provide support when talking to aged care service providers.
They can also speak to My Aged Care on behalf of older people, help them understand aged care services, and help them make decisions about the care they receive.
Sharing this information
An information sheet outlining the above information can be found here.
The My Aged Care privacy statement explains what information is collected from older people and their representatives, what it is used for and how we protect the privacy of Australians using the My Aged Care service.