One question that we are often asked is “how do I access government subsidised Aged Care?” Let’s face it, obtaining funding from the government is not always the most straightforward process! This blog aims to cut through the confusion and give you four clear steps that you can follow to explore your Aged Care funding options for yourself or a loved one.
Step one: Get assessed
If your loved one needs some convincing to get assessed or you’re unsure if your loved one needs Aged Care, you can start by pointing them to the My Aged Care eligibility checker as a preliminary step.
Then, you can look at getting an assessment of your Aged Care needs by contacting the My Aged Care contact centre on 1800 200 422. They will ask you some questions to determine the level of care you or your loved one require and refer you to an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or Regional Assessment Service (RAS) for a face-to-face assessment. You can find out more at the My Aged Care website here.
You can also arrange for someone to support you through the assessment process – you can find out more about appointing a representative here.
“One of the first steps to receiving any type of aged care service is to complete an ACAT assessment. It’s important to be aware that you are only assessed for approval to receive the type of services you ask for,” explains TriCare Client Services Manager, Aleisha Becker.
“Your assessment results don’t expire, so if you are not yet ready to receive residential aged care, but feel you may like to in future, ensure you are assessed for this in addition to other services such as home care, so you are ready when the time comes.”
Step two: Assessment outcome
The ACAT or RAS will assess your needs and approve you for either home care services or residential Aged Care. If you do not agree with the result of your assessment, you can arrange a referral for a new assessment through My Aged Care.
Step three: Find an Aged Care provider
Yours, or your loved one’s needs and preferences are unique and it’s important to identify what’s a priority for you. Is it important for your mum to be close by so you can visit regularly? Does your dad want to continue to enjoy a beer or wine with his dinner? Does your loved one living with dementia need additional memory support? Write a list of your priorities down with your family and ask providers how they can support these needs.
When selecting your provider you will need to factor in their accommodation costs. Costs vary between residences, so it’s important to do your research. Day-to-day services and care are set from a residence’s basic daily fee and means-tested care fee, but accommodation costs and additional services tend to vary from provider to provider and residence to residence. Find out about Aged Care costs here.
You will also need an income and assets assessment with Services Australia to work out if you are eligible for government assistance with your accommodation costs and if you need to pay a means-tested care fee. How much you pay depends on the result of this income and assets assessment. You should arrange for a formal income and assets assessment as soon as possible as this process takes time.
Step four: Application process with provider
You will need to carry out research in partnership with your chosen provider to determine your accommodation and payment options based on your approved government funding. The government provides financial support for aged care services through various programs. The type or amount of funding you receive will depend on your income and assets. This process will include providing both ACAT and Services Australia assessment outcomes so they can determine eligibility and financial details.
Still have questions?
We understand that navigating the aged care system can be overwhelming. Our team of Aged Care Specialists can help answer your questions. Book a Free Consultation with TriCare today.