Acknowledging the preference for older Australians to remain in the family home, the government subsidises a range of Home Care Packages for those who are eligible for residential aged care, but prefer to remain at home.
Eligibility for these packages is assessed by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or the Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) in Victoria. The range of services provided under a Home Care Package depends on the level of care required (as assessed by ACAT or ACAS). These include care services, support services, clinical services and other services to support a person living at home.
There are four levels of home care services:
Home Care Level 1 to support people with basic care needs
Home Care level 2 to support people with low level care needs
Home Care Level 3 to support people with intermediate care needs
Home Care Level 4 to support people with high care needs
|Basic daily fee
|Fee payable by all recepients
|Home Care - Level 4
|17.5% of single daily age pension rate ($12.53 daily)
|Home Care - Level 3
|17.05% of single daily age pension rate ($12.20 daily)
|Home Care - Level 2
|16.58% of single daily age pension rate ($11.87 daily)
|Home Care - Level 1
|15.68% of single daily age pension rate ($11.22 daily)
An income-tested daily fee:
|Persons receiving full age pension
|Capped at $6,543.66 per annum
|Capped at $13,087.39 per annum
Recipients pay a basic daily fee, which is determined by the level of care they need. For example, if they have high care needs (Level 4) they will need to pay 17.5 per cent of the single basic age pension rate. This fee increases on 20 March and 20 September each year in line with changes to the rate of Age Pension. The fee applies to each person receiving a Home Care Package, even if they are part of a couple.
Recipients may also have to pay a daily home care fee, which is determined by an income means test, similar to one that applies to residents of aged care homes. The income covered by this means test is based on the client’s total assessable income, which is defined as Centrelink/DVA pension income (net of the minimum pension supplement and clean energy supplement) plus ordinary income. The client’s ordinary income is assessed the same way as under the Centrelink income test.
The daily home care fee is calculated at the rate of 50 per cent of income above certain income thresholds, with annual caps limiting the maximum amount that can be charged. You can only be asked to pay an income-tested care fee if you have a yearly income above the below thresholds.
|Member of a couple but now separated due to illness (individual income)
|Member of a couple living together (combined income)
Full pensioners will not have to pay an income-tested home care fee. For part pensioners, income-tested fees are capped at $6,543.66 per annum. Self-funded retirees pay a fee of up to $13,087.39 per annum depending on their level of income. Under the living longer aged care reform measures, there is a lifetime cap of $78,524.69 on health care fees, which applies irrespective of whether the fees are paid for home care or care provided in an aged care residential facility.
The calculator on the My Aged Care Website provides an estimate of the income-tested fee payable by an individual for a Home Care Package.
Whilst Home Care Packages are only available to older Australians assessed by ACAT or ACAS as requiring a certain level of support, there are a number of other services available to all older Australians in general.
Providers of these services are subsidised by the government under its Home and Community Care (HACC) program and can range from large organisations delivering multiple services over a wide area, to local community groups that might only supply one service.
Services include meal preparation and delivery, community transport and domestic assistance such as house cleaning and garden maintenance. Each service provider has its own policy on fees, however in general, most only require a small contribution, depending on the individual’s situation.
The 'Find a service' filter on the My Aged Care website lists service providers by location and types of services provided.
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