June 25, 2024

home-care-package-costs

Can I get my home care package sooner?

The wait time to be assigned your home care package depends on your position in the National Priority System (the queue), which reflects the level of home care package you've been approved for, as well as the level of priority.

As packages become available, you and everyone else in the queue across Australia, moves ahead until you're at the front of the queue and then you're assigned your package.

At conclusion of your assessment with the Aged care Assessment Team (ACAT) or Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) as this assessing workforce is known in Victoria, the ACAT assessor will decide at what level of home care package they're going to approve you or your older loved one for.

You'll be approved for a lower level package, being a level 1 or 2, or you might be approved for a higher package, a level 3 or 4, if you have higher needs and need more help to manage at home.

The ACAT also determines the priority that you'll be assigned your home care package. This relates directly to where you enter the queue and how long you have to wait until you receive your package.

It's possible to have your package assigned sooner rather than later.

If you or your loved one is a risk of premature entry to residential care or hospital because you cannot manage at home without urgent support, or if your carer is at crisis point, meaning they cannot sustain their caring role anymore, then you're likely to be approved as a high priority.

Most people are approved at medium priority. A medium priority approval means the wait time will be longer than a high priority approval.

What are the wait times as at June 2024?

In January 2024, the wait times to be assigned a home care package were good, mostly 3-6 months for a medium priority approved package and 1-3 months for a high level approved package.

Throughout 2024 we've seen these wait times become longer.

The current wait times on the My Aged Care website state the wait time for a medium priority level 1 home care package is less than one month. A level 2 package is 3-6 months, a level 3 package is 9-12 months and a level 4 package is 6-9 months.

This information was updated on 31st May 2024.

Can I get my package sooner?

If you or an older loved one has been approved for a home care package as a medium priority and your circumstances change, so you ned the help sooner rather than later, you would call My Aged Care and describe your changed circumstances.

Changed circumstances might mean you or an older loved one has had a serious health event that has meant an admission to hospital, or cognitive decline that has caused functional decline or it may be that the carer cannot continue to provide care and the home care package is the only way the older person will be able to remain at home.

Your information must be detailed and compelling. 

My Aged Care will listen to your reasons and if you've been convincing, they'll create a Support Plan Review request, which will go back to the ACAT. The ACAT will then contact you and ask what has changed since the initial assessment.

Again, you will need to explain your reasons in detail. If the ACAT agrees the package needs to be assigned quickly, they'll change the priority level from medium to high and this will move you closer to the front on the queue. Moving to the front of the queue with an upgraded priority will reduce the time you wait by months.

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