Government funded home care can be very confusing. People often wonder if they are eligible to receive it and how they can go about doing so.
To make things a bit easier for you, here are some of the most common questions we get asked and our answers:
1. What is government funded home care?
The government provides home care funding for senior Australians who require support to continue living in their own homes.
Government funded home care consists of two programmes:
- Home Care Packages
- The Commonwealth Home Support Programme
While each programme operates slightly differently, they both aim to help pay for the services people need to continue living at home as they grow older.
Find out more about government funded home care: what it is and how you can access it.
2. Am I eligible for government funded home care?
If you need support to continue living independently in your home, then you may be eligible for home care funding. The idea of government funded home care is to help people live safely and comfortably in their own environments for as long as possible.
To receive a Home Care Package, the first step is to have your needs assessed by the Aged Care Assessment Service. You can organise an assessment through the government’s My Aged Care website on 1800 200 422.
3. How much funding can I get?
The amount of home care funding you are eligible for depends on the level of care you need to continue living comfortably in your home. The more support you need, the more funding you will be able to get.
There are four funding levels of Home Care Packages:
- Level 1 – $10,271.10*
- Level 2 – $18,063.85*
- Level 3 – $39,310.50*
- Level 4 – $59,593.55*
*The government contribution changes on 1 July every year; these figures are up to date as at 1 July 2023.
When you have your eligibility assessed by the Aged Care Assessment Service, they will also determine which level of funding you are entitled to. If you are a part-pensioner or self-funded retiree you will have an income assessment and may be asked to contribute some of this funding yourself with the government paying the remainder. If you are a full pensioner, you do not have to pay an income-tested contribution.
Read more about Home Care Packages.
4. What can I use my Home Care Package for?
Your Home Care Package funds can be used for whatever care services you need to continue living independently. Some common types of in-home care services include:
Your care provider should help you with whatever type of care you need, in the way that suits you best. This is called ‘consumer directed care‘.
You also have the right to choose your care provider, and change providers, at any time. So, if one provider can’t provide the services you need, you can always go with another provider.
Find out more about our home care services.
5. Will the money be paid directly to me?
No, your home care funding will be paid directly to your care provider. Essentially, the government pays your care provider on your behalf using the home care funding that’s allocated to you.
It’s one less thing for you to worry about.
6. Will I have to contribute myself?
In most cases, yes. The government expects you to pay at least a small contribution towards the total cost of your care. The two types of fees you may have to pay are:
- Basic Daily Fee – 17.5% of the single person aged pension, or around $10 per day.
- Income Tested Fee – A fee you will have to pay if your income is above approximately $27,000 per year for a single person. Note that full pensioners do not have to pay this.
At Absolute Care & Health, we choose to waive the Basic Daily Fee. We believe you should use your money to enjoy the lifestyle you want.
If you choose us as the care provider for your Home Care Package, you may not have to pay any contributions at all—provided your income is below the Income Tested Fee threshold.
7. How do provider fees work?
Care providers all set their own fees for things like case management, administration, and exit fees. Some care providers charge extremely high fees, in some cases taking upwards of 50 per cent of your Home Care Package funds.
Always make sure you check and compare provider fees before choosing your care provider.
At Absolute Care & Health, we keep our fees as low as possible, because we believe your Home Care Package funds should be used to pay for the services you need. We charge a set fee of between 20-22 per cent to cover administration and case management. We don’t charge any other fees for management, set-up, or exiting if you choose to leave us. Ever.
Do you still have questions?
We have answers! We can help you understand every step of government funded home care.
Our passion is helping people. If you want to keep living independently in your home, then we want to help you do it. That’s what we do for our clients all day, every day.
Let’s have a chat. Call us on 03 9827 8899.