Want to learn how to apply for a Home Care Package? We understand, applying for a Home Care Package (HCP) can be confusing. Many older Australians aren’t quite sure how to apply, where to apply and what is involved in the application process. We have put together this step-by-step guide on how to apply for a Home Care Package.
5 Simple Steps to apply for a Home Care Package:
There are 5 steps on how to apply for a Home Care Package. These 5 steps will help you find out whether you are eligible for a Home Care Package, and what to do while you wait to be assigned your Home Care Package.
Step 1. Begin your My Aged Care Application.
The first step to apply for a Home Care Package is to visit the My Aged Care website and fill in a ‘My Aged Care’ application form, you can do so here: ‘Apply for an Assessment Online’.
The application runs through a variety of questions about your current situation and if you need services and support with everyday tasks.
These tasks can include cooking, cleaning, gardening, respite, nursing, transport and so on. View our full list of services you can access with your Home Care Package here.
A good idea in preparation for the assessment is to write down your current situation and types of services that could help you at home. This will ensure you can get what you need to live happily and safely at home.
This will also help an assessor determine if you are eligible for a Home Care Package. If for any reason you need urgent care, it is recommended you call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
This application takes about 15 to 20 minutes and will ask for certain primary documents like a Medicare card or other medical documents.
Once you have completed your application, the next step is to wait 2-6 weeks until an assessor determines if you are eligible to continue the process of applying for a Home Care Package.
Step 2. Have your in-home Assessment.
After your application, an assessor from My Aged Care (part of the Aged Care Assessment Team) will get in contact and ask you further questions. These could relate to your physical condition, home environment, and what support you have from family and friends.
These traditional assessments are usually face to face however recently with the pandemic, the assessment can also be done online. You also have the option to bring a relative and/or friend along to assist you with explaining your current situation if you would be more comfortable with that.
Remember to be honest with your answers. Often people are reluctant to be open and vulnerable about their struggles, this will help the assessor determine which level of funding you may be eligible for. Each Home Care Package level provides a different amount of funding and support depending on your specific care needs. To find out more about each level of funding you can click here.
It’s important to have a good idea of the types of services you are requiring, as this helps explain your current situation to your assessor.
Step 3. Wait for approval from My Aged Care.
The next step to apply for a Home Care Package is waiting for My Aged Care to get in contact and confirm if you will be assigned a Home Care Package and which level of funding you are eligible for. You will receive a letter that contains:
- The assessment decision, and whether you are eligible for a Home Care Package.
- The level of funding you will be eligible for. Levels 1 to 4.
- The supporting reasons and evidence of this decision.
- A copy of your plan created during your assessment.
Unfortunately wait times can be long so it’s important to get assessed early. There are also things you can do while you are waiting to be assigned your Home Care Package.
Step 4. Research Home Care Package Providers.
There are multiple ways to research Home Care Package providers and it’s a key step in your journey to apply for a Home Care Package. examples of these include:
- Speaking with your doctor.
- Speaking with your family and friends.
- Government services i.e., My Aged Care portal.
- Talking to your neighbours.
- Searching the web.
Choosing your HCP provider can be a big decision and a big part of how you apply for a Home Care Package. But it doesn’t mean you can’t switch to another provider after deciding they are not right for you.
Step 5. You are assigned your Home Care Package.
Once you have received your letter from the Aged Care Assessment Team, you can contact your preferred HCP provider.
The process is simple. Give your HCP provider a call for an introductory chat about how they operate and what level of funding you have been assigned. You will give them your Unique Referral Code received in your letter, which identifies your Assessment account. You can also talk to them about how you would like your Home Care Package managed.
Depending on how the HCP provider operates, the next step is an appointment with the Provider where they will go into more detail about your package, complete the relevant sign-up documents and create your Care Plan and Individualised Budget which will cover the services you require at home. You will also be assigned a Care Manager who will be your person to contact regarding your services.
What are the different types of Home Care Package management?
Important things to keep in mind is that different HCP providers offer different ways to manage your services and different fees. Most HCP providers specialise in a specific type of management.
‘Let’s Get Care’ offers this type of Home Care Package. This allows older Australians to self-manage their services independently, including hiring and scheduling the services you want and need. This means, you can choose your carers, when they visit, and negotiate a fee with your suppliers. This is the most flexible option and allows you to oversee your services yourself.
Part-managed providers (like Just Home Care Packages) will help initially set up your care and services so that you don’t have to research them yourself. Once you are all set up, they will support you to continue the ongoing scheduling of your services. This way you get a nice balance of support and control.
Fully-managed Home Care Package providers (like Better Living Homecare) give you the support of a dedicated Care Manager who will find specific service providers of your liking, and set everything up for you. If you need extra support with your Home Care Package this option is perfect for you.
We hope this blog post has been helpful and helped you learn how to apply for a Home Care Package. If you are wanting more information about Home Care Packages, are waiting to be assigned your Home Care Package, recently received one or are thinking about switching providers, feel free to reach out to our care team for more information.
We help older Australians everyday access information about Home Care Packages and learn how to apply for a Home Care Package. To find out more contact Let’s Get Care on 1300 497 442.