Frequently Asked Questions

We know it can be confusing to understand the Home Care Package landscape. From how identify if you are eligible, to navigating the process with the Government and choosing the best provider for your needs. We are here to help. Give us a call if anything below is unclear and you just want somebody to take you through how things work.

Home Care Package Questions  |  Assessment Questions  |  Funding Questions  |  What Does It Mean?

 

 

Home Care Package Questions

 

What is Home Care Package?

A Home Care Package (HCP) is an allocation of funds from the government that enables you to purchase products and services to support you at home. Packages are flexible so they can be tailored to your specific needs.

What home care services can I receive?

With a huge range of options available, you can choose any number of home care services that suit your lifestyle and budget. Go to Your Home Care Guide to find out more.

What are the four levels of HCP available?

Click here to find out what the four levels of HCP are.

If I’m approved for a HCP how much funding would I expect to receive?

Click here to find out how much you may be entitled to receive.

Is there an age limit on a person receiving a Home Care Package?

Yes. You need to be:

  • Over 65 years
  • Over 50 and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

However if you are under these age limits we can assist you with other government funding if you need home care assistance. Simply call and chat to our Care Adviser Team for more information.

How does it work?

Calvary organise your individual government assessment to determine what level HCP (1-4) you are eligible for. If successful your package is allocated to us as a government endorsed provider of your choice.

Once approved, you can access your funding for the home care services you want.

If you’d like to start the ball rolling call our Care Adviser team and we can book your assessment and answer any questions you may have.

What is a ‘provider?’

A provider is endorsed by the government to manage your HCP funding. They hold the funds for you to use on the home care services you want. The government do not allow your funds to go into private banking sources, they must be held by an endorsed provider. That’s why it’s really important to choose a reputable provider. Calvary can offer a full complement of services so if your needs change we can support you with specialised care and advice. We can also advocate on your behalf so your HCP level increases if you need further support down the track. We also have agreements in place with suppliers who offer discounted equipment and incontinence pads to Calvary clients.

The government process sounds difficult. Can Calvary help me through the steps?

Yes. Calvary has a team of dedicated Care Advisers that can help source the right package for you. We can book your assessment, assist with tricky questions, and help with extra documentation that may be needed for your assessment. We’re here to help you achieve the best outcome and hold your hand through the whole process.

How does the government decide how much funding I get?

The in-home government assessment is conducted by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). They determine what level you fall into, while the Department of Human Services (Centrelink) determines what co-payment you contribute to your care.

With so many different government areas involved, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and confused with information. Calvary are here to help, so simply call one of our friendly Care Advisers and they can talk you through the whole process.

How long will it take for me to get a Home Care Package?

The wait time for a package can vary. In non-emergency situations the government determines the wait time, and can vary from 2 – 18 months. That's why we suggest reaching out for help as soon as you think you may benefit from it, so that you get the support you need sooner rather than later.

While waiting for a package, Calvary can apply for other types of funding on your behalf to assist you during your wait-time, so call our helpful Care Advisers to see what we can do for you.

It’s an emergency. Can you help me immediately?

Our Care Advisers work tirelessly to expedite emergency cases and secure appropriate government funding. Depending on the nature of your emergency we can activate services as quickly as 7-10 days.

We can also apply for other types of funding to assist you during this time or start private services. Once we know your situation we can walk you through the options to ensure you get the support and care you need during this challenging time. We’re here to help any way we can so simply call our Care Adviser team.

 

 

Assessment Questions

What is a government assessment and why do I have to have one?

The government requires you to participate in an assessment to determine your eligibility for funding. ACAT perform the assessment in your home or during your hospital stay and will, based off the information you provide, determine what level HCP (1-4) you are eligible for.

Who are ACAT (Aged Care Assessment Team)?

ACAT are a third party group engaged by the government to carry out assessments. Collectively known as ‘ACAT’, they are providers from a range of different health companies and hospitals that vary from region to region. They are deemed impartial to the process of which provider you choose, meaning you can select who you want to deliver your services.

ACAT often introduce themselves as a third party representative for My Aged Care, handing out ACAT literature and documents which can be very confusing. If you would like to reduce the amount of information you are receiving, ask to receive My Aged Care only literature.

Does Calvary run the government (ACAT) assessment?

No. The assessment is handled by an endorsed third party government assessment group called ACAT. Known collectively as ‘ACAT’ they are providers from a range of health companies or hospitals that vary from region to region.

Can I have someone else with me whilst I’m having an assessment?

Yes. In fact we suggest you do. Assessments may take up to one hour and you will be asked a number of questions. It can be a lot of information to absorb in one sitting, so having a person to support you is a great idea. Your Care Adviser can also help you prepare for the assessment to help you get the best result.

What sort of questions do they ask in the ACAT assessment?

Along with your personal details, questions range from your needs around the home, medical information, income and your support networks. It is a good idea to book ahead with a Care Adviser so they can take you through the types of questions you’ll be asked in your assessment before you are assessed. 

If I have an ACAT assessment will they put me in a home or take my home away from me?

No, Government HCPs are about people staying in their home longer and getting the additional support they need to retain their independence. Assessments are about ‘staying at home’ not ‘leaving home.’

Do I need any special documents for my ACAT assessment?

No. The ACAT assessor may request permission to speak with your doctor. If you have any power of attorney documents and you’d like a family member to act on your behalf, you can bring those to your assessment and ask the assessor what your options are. All information that you provide will be treated confidentially

I have received a letter that has the Australian Government & My Aged Care logo’s on it. What does it mean?

Sometimes these letters can appear confusing. If you are having trouble understanding what you've received, simply call us and we can help you. The following letters are generally sent to HCP applicants:

Booking time for the assessor to come to your home

If you have not had your in-home or in-hospital assessment then it may be confirmation of the time ACAT would like to do the assessment with you. If you have received this letter, it’s best to call our Care Advisers to help you prepare for the assessment.

My Support Plan

This is a summary of your care needs by the ACAT assessor. You can call us when you receive this letter to ensure that Calvary is your provider and that they are following your request.

Your Eligibility for Australian Government subsided aged care

This means your HCP has been approved and you are now formally on the government waiting list. This letter may have the assessor’s third party logo on it, however it does not mean that you have chosen them as your provider.   

Referral Code Letter - Assigned

This means your funding is ready and Calvary can activate your package immediately.

Simply call our Care Advisers and we’ll arrange a visit from a Calvary Case Manager at a time that suits you. We’ll take you through what services you’d like to receive and answer any questions you may have about your care with Calvary.

 

I have a received other pamphlets and material from a third party included with my government letters?

If you’ve chosen Calvary as your provider we suggest you put these third party materials to one side. Simply give our Care Advisers a call and we can let you know if this extra material is relevant.

I’ve had my ACAT assessment. Now what happens?

Your ACAT assessor will send you notification within 14 days with either confirmation that you are on the government waiting list or confirmation that your funds are ready. Take a look at the types of letters you may have received here [LINK to question above highlighted in blue] and give us a call.

 

 

Funding Questions

 

Can I use all of this funding for my home care?

Yes, that’s what it is for. Administration fees are automatically removed from your package for your provider to maintain full compliance with government directives and manage your records and care. All providers, including Calvary, charge administration fees.

Do I need to pay anything?

In many situations, the answer is yes. Cavalry waive the basic daily fee for all our clients, however the government requires most people who receive a HCP to pay an Income Tested Fee (ITF) towards their funding. The ITF is determined by the government (Centerlink) and is based off your yearly income and assets. If you are on a full pension and that is your sole source of income, then you do not pay an ITF fee.

If I’m a self-funded retiree can I get a Home Care Package?

Yes. The exact amount of funding you could receive is determined by your assessment. If your needs are considered low level care (HCP 1 or 2) and your income and assets are assessed as high, the co-payment contribution may negate the benefit of funding.

I’m exhausted. How am I going to fill out what I need to get funding?

We understand that it’s a hard time and an often exhausting process to go through, that’s where Calvary can help. We can activate your assessment for you - all you have to do is call our helpful Adviser Team to start the process.

If you have an accountant who knows your assets or you or a family member has filled out a pension application previously, then the information from these may help you at this point of the process.

Why does Calvary hold my funds?

The government does not allow your funds to go to private banking sources, they must be held by an endorsed provider. Calvary is an endorsed provider. We supply the services that you chose for your HCP and manage your funds in alignment with government guidelines.

How do I pay my co-payment fees?

Each month we provide you with a detailed statement outlining your government subsidy and your co-payment fees. It will also display your delivered services and the balance of funds available in your plan.

If there is a gap between your subsidy, fees and the amount of services you have had during the month then this gap becomes the balance you pay to Calvary.

Any unspent money is not lost - it will be carried forward into the following month for you and will accumulate over time. It can be used as a contingency fund which you can use at any time such as during a crisis or to save up for equipment. If you would like to know the balance of your contingency fund, please contact your Case Manager.

 

Methods of payment.

Calvary offers a variety of payment methods:

BPay
Use the Biller Code and the BPay reference number provided on your bill.

Credit/Debit Card
Online: www.careexperts.org.au/pay
Phone: 1300 272 364

Cheque
Please mail to:

Calvary Community Care
PO Box 116
Mount Waverley VIC 3149

Direct Debit
Complete a Direct Debit Authority Form and email to CCC.DirectDebitAuthorisations@calvarycare.org.au
Direct Debit Enquiries: 1300 660 022

Payments are managed through our Head Office as Calvary employees cannot be paid directly.

 

What if my needs change; like I need more support?

Your HCP package is completely flexible so you can swap and change services if you need different care. We can also advocate with the government on your behalf so your HCP level can increase if you need further support.

In addition to this you always have the option to ‘top-up’ your support with Calvary’s private services at any time, just chat to your Case Manager to arrange this.

How do I know how much money I have in my package from month to month?

Your monthly statement from Calvary lists the full amount of your government subsidy and your co-payment fees. It will also display your delivered services and balance of funds available in your budget. Any unspent money will be carried forward into the following month.

Why do I have to pay administration fees?

Calvary must follow strict guidelines and report to the government monthly on your subsidy. In addition to reporting and management, Calvary offer benefits such as 24-hour nurse-on-call support, case management, care coordination, and quality assurance. The monthly 20% administration fee covers all of this.

What happens if I don’t use my funding?

Not only is it a good idea to maintain regular services once you have been approved for a HCP, it is actually imperative for you to retain it. If you have not been active in using your HCP for over 56 days the government will revoke your subsidy and issue it to another person. If this happens, you will have to start the process from the beginning and apply for a package again.

I’m a very private person. How do you handle my information?

Calvary adheres to the government Privacy Act of 1988, designed to protect your rights with respect to information that can be used to uniquely identify you. On joining Calvary we ensure that you have full literature on your rights and responsibilities plus the ability at any time to lodge any complaints through ourselves and independent state bodies. We respect you rights and take your privacy seriously.

What happens if I’m not home for a scheduled service?

You must provide Calvary with 48 hours’ notice if you are changing a scheduled service. If you are not at home during a scheduled service we follow a set of checks and an emergency plan that has developed with you and your family and/or carers on admission. Our duty of care is to ensure you are safe at all times.

Can a carer receive respite services from my Home Care Package?

Yes. Calvary’s respite services can be used in a number of ways. You might choose in-home respite which means that your carer can take a break while you are being supported at home. Calvary also have out-of-home day centres, overnight and short-term respite facilities, complete with social programs in supportive, warm and friendly environments.

Calvary can also request additional funding for ‘Carer Relief’. This gives carers the opportunity to have a break in paid accommodation while Calvary supports their loved one. Our Care Adviser team can help with any questions relating to this type of subsidy.

If I need a little more support can I top-up with private care from Calvary?

Yes. You can top-up your support with Calvary’s private services at any time. Simply call us and we can arrange additional care for you.

Why is Calvary different from other providers?

For over 130 years Calvary has provided quality care to many Australians. With a health network spanning public and private hospitals, home and community and retirement, our care is personal and individualised for your needs. We build unique and individualised relationships with you, and always respect you and your home. With a diverse range of services built off a long-standing reputation of care, you know you’re in safe hands with Calvary.

Who are Calvary?

Calvary are a non-for-profit, charitable, Catholic based organisation. For over 130 years we have offered quality and respectful health care through hospitals, home and community and retirement. At Calvary we encourage diversity and freedom in all forms of religion and we support and nurture the expression of your beliefs.

Who helps me? Who comes into my home?

Calvary. Our Care Expert Team

Your services are managed by a team of Calvary experts. Calvary’s employees are carefully recruited, thoroughly screened and professionally trained in alignment with our values of hospitality, healing, stewardship and respect. All employees undergo reference checks and receive specialist training.

Your Calvary Home Care Advisers

Our Care Advisers help you through the process of obtaining you Home Care Package subsidy and other funding that can assist you. They are experts in navigating the government system and guiding you through assessments, forms and requests. They have a wealth of information and can help in escalating funding in emergency situations.

Your Calvary Support Workers

Calvary Support Workers are our professional staff that help you in your home. Our skilled Support Workers offer a friendly approachable manner to the atmosphere of your home while working and tending to your needs.

Your Calvary Clinical Team

Calvary’s professional clinical team is made up of Registered Nurses, Enrolled Nurses and Occupational Therapists. This team steps in if you need speciality nursing or care such as returning home from hospital or on-going medical care for chronic illnesses.

Your Calvary Case Manager

A Calvary Case Manager helps coordinate and monitor medications, aids, appointments and extra assistance. Not everyone has a Case Manager as it’s your choice whether you self-manage your care needs or not. If you feel you or your loved one is juggling too many things you can request a Case Manager at any time.

Your Calvary Care Coordinators 

Care Coordinators are the people you call to book-in, change or cancel your services. They coordinate our vast team to ensure the services you’d like are delivered when you would like.

Do I need to fill out any paperwork?

Yes. your approval for your Home Care Package means that there will be a few forms to fill out. The first form is the ‘Aged Care Fees & Income Assessment’ developed by the Department of Human Services (Centrelink). A Calvary Home Care Adviser can help with a printout of this document and any questions you may have about this document.

FORM 1 – Aged Care Fee & Assessment

You DON’T need to fill this form out if you are:
A PAID A PENSION THAT IS MEANS-TESTED

Simply have your pension number available for us

You DO need to fill this form out if you are:
A PAID A PENSION THAT IS NOT MEANS-TESTED
A SELF-FUNDED RETIREE
YOU ARE PART OF A COUPLE

Tip: If you have an accountant who knows your assets or you have filled out a pension that is not means-tested previously then information from these sources may help you with this form.

FORM 2 – Calvary Service Agreement

The second form is a Calvary ‘Service Agreement’ which is a document that is an agreement between yourself and Calvary and outlines our terms and conditions. This document does require a witness for signing, so it’s a good idea to have a family or friend present at the time we meet with you.

How do I get started?

Simply call us our Care Adviser Team on 1300 66 00 22 and we can talk through all your options. We can help you apply for a Home Care package and together we can craft a home care plan that suits you. This is a free, no obligation home visit with a dedicated Calvary Case Manager.

 

What Does It Mean?

 Acronyms and terms used by the government

HCP

Home Care Package

MAC - My Aged Care 

Government department responsible for the approval of funding for Home Care Packages

ITF – Income Tested Fee.

This is a fee that based on your yearly income and assets deemed as income.

Basic Daily Fee

Fee paid by every person receiving a Home Care Package (determined by the government)

Provider

A ‘provider’ is endorsed by the government to manage your Home Care Package.

Subsidy

This is an allocation of money that the government gives your provider to supply the home care services you would like.

Package Levels

This is the amount of money the government will attribute toward you care. Level range from 1 – 4. They are:

Level One
Support for people with basic care needs

Level Two
Support for people with low level care needs

Level Three
Support for people with intermediate care needs

Level Four
Support for people with high level care needs

ACAT/ACAS (only VIC)

Aged Care Assessment Team

CHSP

Commonwealth Home Support Program. This is interim low level funding for the gap between receiving a Home Care Package (HCP)

CRCC

Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres. This is an assessment team who can grant up to $1500 in emergency funding

RAS

Regional Assessment Service. This is an assessment team who can grant interim low level funding of a Commonwealth Home Support Package (CHSP) for the gap between receiving a Home Care Package (HCP)

ACAT

Aged Care Assessment Team. This is an assessment team who can grant Home Care Packages (HCP)

My Aged Care

The government body that decides if you are eligible for a Home Care Packages.

Calvary Privacy Act

You can find our Privacy Policy on our website here.