Navigating My Aged Care
As we get older, many of us will naturally require a little more help with everyday tasks around the home and in our community. The level of support you need may be different to your friends and family, so it’s important that you are familiar with all the types of care available to you.
A great place to start when considering aged care support services is My Aged Care. This guide is intended to help you understand who My Aged Care is, what supports they offer and how you can apply for services through My Aged Care.
Let’s get started.
Who is My Aged Care?
My Aged Care is the gateway to government-funded aged care services. The program is run by Australia’s federal government, and aims to inform older people and their families and carers about what aged care services are available to them.
Through My Aged Care, eligible people have access to three types of aged care:
- Help at home (this refers to services that help you stay living in your own home)
- Short-term care (this refers to temporary support services, such as when you need a little extra help following a stay in hospital)
- Aged care homes (also known as a residential aged care facility or a nursing home, this is an option for older people who can no longer live at home)
What home care funding options does My Aged Care offer?
If you are looking for help at home, My Aged Care offers subsidised support through two key alternatives:
- The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (entry-level care)
- Home Care Packages (more complex care). These packages are available at four different funding levels:
- Level 1 – Basic care needs
- Level 2 – Low level care needs
- Level 3 – Intermediate care needs
- Level 4 – High level care needs
Find out more about home care on this page.
Am I eligible for My Aged Care?
To be eligible for government-subsidised aged care services through My Aged Care, you must be either:
- 65 years or older; or
- 50 years or older and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
You may also be eligible for support if you are 50 years or older and on a low income, homeless or at risk of homelessness (or 45 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people).
Your eligibility is also based on your health, how well you are currently managing at home and the level of support you currently receive.
To find out if you are eligible for support, you will need to contact My Aged Care and organise an assessment. You can either call them on 1800 200 422 or apply for an assessment online. Usually, you will be able to book in an assessment for within a few days or weeks.
What happens during a My Aged Care assessment?
After contacting My Aged Care, their team will arrange for an Aged Care Assessor to come to your home for a face-to-face assessment, where they will help you to work out what services you’re eligible for through My Aged Care. This assessment is completely free of charge.
The assessment takes into account your age, your living situation and your ability to perform basic daily living tasks without extra help. You are also welcome to have someone else – perhaps a friend, family member, independent aged care advocate or your carer – attend your assessment for extra support.
The Aged Care Assessor will also help you estimate any fees you may have to pay to receive services, and can provide information about how you can find a home care provider near you.
When will I find out the result of my assessment?
Following your assessment, the My Aged Care team will contact you to let you know if you’re eligible for care.
If you have been approved for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, you will receive a referral code for each of the services you are eligible to receive. You will then need to contact your chosen home care provider to discuss when services can commence.
If you have been approved for a Home Care Package, you will be sent a letter telling you which level package you are entitled to, and you will be placed on the national waiting list for a package to be assigned. If you have been approved for a Level 1 Home Care Package, the approximate wait time until you receive a package and start receiving care is three to six months. If you have been approved for a Level 2, 3 or 4 Home Care Package, your wait time could be between nine and 12 months. This is why it is important to apply for an assessment sooner rather than later.
If you are not eligible for support through My Aged Care, you may still be able to access home care services through privately funded means. If you would like to find out more about this option, we encourage you to call the AccessCare team for a confidential discussion.
Can I receive care while I am waiting for a Home Care Package to be assigned?
If you are on the national waiting list for a Home Care Package, you may be able to receive care another way in the meantime. For instance, you may be able to access an interim package, or receive help through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme for the short term.
For more information about the options available to you, please contact your My Aged Care assessor, and they will help you find out which options you are eligible for.
How can I contact My Aged Care?
You can contact My Aged Care directly by calling 1800 200 422 Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm, and Saturday from 10am to 2pm. You can also visit their website at myagedcare.gov.au for more information about their services.
Alternatively, you are most welcome to contact AccessCare first on 1300 819 200, and we can help you contact My Aged Care to ensure the process is easy and not overwhelming.
If you have any questions about My Aged Care or would like some free and confidential advice about how to access home care, please don’t hesitate to contact AccessCare’s friendly team on 1300 819 200.
You can also find out more information about getting started with home care on this page.