If you’re waiting in the national queue for a home care package, there are resources that you can access.
Waiting in the national queue for a home care package assignment can feel like a long wait. A home care package offers government funding for in home care, to help ageing Australians to stay in their homes.
The idea that you can remain in your own home and receive the support and care that you need, looks inviting for many ageing Australians.
Home Care makes this possible for many older Australians. However, many people are experiences lengthy waiting periods for assignment of a home care package. Sometimes it can take as long as 12 months to receive an assigned home care package.
After you’ve had an assessment from the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT), you’ll receive a letter shortly after. The approval letter will outline the aged care services that you’ve received approval for.
If you’re approved for a package, the approval letter will state which level you’ve received approval for. This will be either a home care package level 1,2,3, or 4.
My approval letter arrived. Can I start using services?
If you’ve received approval for residential care, respite and other flexible care, you can access these services immediately after you’ve received your approval letter. However, you won’t be able to access a home care package until you receive a separate assignment letter.
When can I commence a home care package?
Once you’ve received approval, you’ll automatically go into the national queue.
Once placed in the national queue, you’ll have to wait until a home care package becomes available. Then you can commence services. This can take several months.
What to do while waiting in the national queue for a home care package
There are a few options to explore while you’re waiting for a home care package.
Firstly, if you’re financially able to do so, consider paying privately for care and services in the home while waiting for your assigned package.
Alternatively, make enquires about accessing the Pension Loans scheme, to get the care that you require while you’re waiting in the national queue.
You can call the Department of Human Services on 132 300 or visit https://www.humanservices.gov.au for further information.
Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)
If you’re waiting in the national queue for a home care package, but you need to access services immediately, contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422. Consider discussing having a different type of assessment by an assessor from the Regional Assessment Service.
The Regional Assessment Service will determine if you’re eligible to receive services via the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, while you’re waiting for your Home Care Package. For further information about the Commonwealth Home Support Programme and the services available,visit our website at https://www.agedcareprepare.com.au.
CHSP isn’t a free service, however the out of pocket costs for the services are kept to a minimum.
A Home Care Package Assignment Letter Arrived
When a home care package becomes available, you’ll receive an assignment letter from My Aged Care. The letter states the package level you’re assigned.
Although you may have approval for a level 3 or 4 package, you may initially receive a level 1 or 2 package. Often lower level packages become available sooner.
If you’re assigned a lower level home care package, you’ll still remain in the national queue for the higher level home care package that you initially received approval for.
I’m receiving a lower level home care package at the moment. Can I get extra services while waiting in the national queue for a higher package assignment?
Often when you’re on a lower level package of care, your care needs won’t be met. If this is the case for you, initially speak with your case manager about your concerns.
Additionally, contact the assessment team who conducted the initial ACAT assessment, to discuss your concerns.
If you’re receiving a level 1 or 2 package, and have approval for a higher level, there are options available to meet your needs. In some instances, accessing CHSP is possible. This often costs a small amount for services, and in some cases, home care providers waiver the additional costs.
At the end of the day, remember to raise concerns. Contact your aged care provider if you ever feel that your care goals and needs aren’t being met for some reason.