My Aged Care Information

The Commonwealth Government supports older persons through the My Aged Care scheme. Three different types of support are available according to need:

  • support to remain independent in your own home
  • short term care either in the home or in a residential setting
  • assessment for residential aged care.

 

We provide information on each of these supports on this page, and we are also able to help Canberra and Queanbeyan residents, family members and carers to navigate the My Aged Care scheme. We are able to assist you in person, by phone or by video link. You can contact us using the referral button below or by either ringing or emailing us.

Make a referral             Contact ADACAS

Eligibility for My Aged Care

Firstly, you need to be an Australian resident and aged over 65, (or aged over 50 if you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander) to be eligible for My Aged Care support.

Support may be offered to people on low incomes, or who are homeless or at risk of homelessness aged over 50 (or aged over 45 if you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander).

What type of support you will be offered depends on your needs. My Aged Care will assess your eligibility for support.

The My Aged Care Assessment process

 

Step 1 Apply to My Aged Care for an assessment

You can ring My Aged Care to discuss your needs Monday to Friday 8 am – 8 pm and Saturday 10 am – 2 pm. You can also use the My Aged Care online form to check your eligibility for a face to face assessment. You will need your Medicare card when you apply.


The My Aged Care team will work out what your needs are from the information you give them.


You can apply for My Aged Care up to 3 months before you turn 65.


Phone 1800 200 422
Translating and Interpreting Service 131 450

Step 2 Have your assessment

The assessment team will contact you and assess you either in your own home or in hospital.


If you have high needs, you will be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team, if you need a lower level support a Regional Assessment Service will do your assessment.


You can have a supporter at your assessment.  


The My Aged Care website has information on how to prepare for your assessment.

Step 3 Have your Income Assessment

If your needs are higher, you will need to have a formal income assessment through the Department of Human Services. The assessment will work out what the Commonwealth will ask you to pay towards your services.

Step 4 Receive your assessment outcome

If you are being assessed by the Regional Assessment Service, the assessor will tell you which services you are eligible for at the end of the assessment.


If you are assessed by the Aged Care Assessment Team, the assessor will let you know by letter which services you are eligible for.

Step 5 Explore Providers

You can find support and respite providers in the ACT on our Services for Older Persons pages.


You can also find providers offering in home support services in the ACT and surrounds by using the My Aged Care website provider search.

Support in the Home

The Commonwealth Government offers two different programs to support older persons to live independently in their own homes:

  • Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)
  • Home Care Package (HCP).

 

Commonwealth Home Support Program

CHSP is for older persons needing a limited amount of support to keep living independently until a Home Care Package becomes available. People receiving CHSP can choose from a set menu of services and only pay for the services they use.

Services available include:

  • domestic assistance
  • flexible respite
  • in-home nursing
  • allied health and therapy services
  • personal care
  • social support.

CHSP fees are set by the organisation providing the CHSP service, and users are expected to pay a small contribution.

Home Care Package

HCP are for older persons needing more support to remain in their homes.  You have the flexibility to choose the supports you want and will be assigned a case manager to help you find services. You can choose from a range of supports including:

  • allied health services
  • nursing care
  • transport
  • respite
  • garden services
  • domestic support such as light house cleaning and meal preparation
  • support with personal care. 

There are 4 levels of packages: 

  • Level 1 – services for 2 – 3 hours a week
  • Level 2 – services for 4 – 5 hours a week
  • Level 3 – services for 9 – 10 hours a week
  • Level 4 – services for up to 14 hours a week

You will have to make a financial contribution towards the cost of an HCP. The amount of your contribution depends on the outcome of your Income Assessment. There are two different fees charged for an HCP:

  • a Basic Daily Fee which is capped at 17.5% of the full Single Age Pension
  • an Income Tested Fee which is reassessed annually.

The Council on the Ageing (COTA) website has detailed information about Home Care packages and how much you might need to pay.

COTA Information on getting a HCPCOTA Information on starting an HCP

COTA Information on managing a HCPCOTA Aged Care calculator

Short Term Care

Short term care can be offered to help you restore or maintain your independence. There are three types of short term care under My Aged Care:

  • short term restorative care
  • transition care
  • respite care.

You are expected to make a financial contribution to the costs of Short Term Care. How much you pay will depend on the type and level of supports you receive. The maximum you will pay is:

  • 5% of the single aged pension if you receive care while at home or in the community
  • 85% of the single aged pension if you receive care while in a residential aged care setting.

Short Term Restorative Care

The Short Term Restorative Care program is for older persons who are starting to need help with daily tasks, and want to delay the need for long-term support services. You may be eligible for short-term restorative care if you:

  • are slowing down mentally or physically
  • need help with everyday tasks in your home
  • want to keep living independently in your home.

You can have Short Term Restorative Care for a period of a few days up to eight weeks, twice in any 12 month period. Short term restorative care is provided either in your own home, out in the community or in an aged care home. 

The services each person receives under the Short Term Restorative Care program will be different. A Doctor’s assessment will guide what services you receive, and which health professional will deliver them.

You can read more information about the Short Term Restorative Care program and check your eligibility on the My Aged Care website.

My Aged Care information about the Short Term Restorative Care ProgramMy Aged Care eligibility checker

Transition Care

Transition Care helps you return to your home and regain your independence after a stay in hospital. You can access services for up to 12 weeks at a time. Help can include:

  • therapy services
  • nursing support
  • personal care.

Hospital staff will arrange a face to face assessment shortly before you leave hospital to find out which services will be useful to you at home.

You can read more information about the Transition Care program on the My Aged Care website.

My Aged Care Transition Care information

Respite Care

Respite Care supports you so either you or your carer can have a break for a few hours, days, or longer.  Respite can be for a few hours at your home or out in the community, or a short stay for a few nights in an aged care home.  

Respite Care is usually planned in advance, but services will be available if you need emergency Respite Care.

Respite is available through centre-based day programs, overnight in a cottage or in the home of a host family, or in a residential aged care home.

You can read more information about Respite Care and check your eligibility on the My Aged Care website.

My Aged Care Respite informationMy Aged Care eligibility checker

Aged Care Homes

Aged Care Homes are for older persons who can no longer live at home.  The Commonwealth Government runs, subsidises and regulates some Aged Care Homes, others are run by private providers. In the ACT all Aged Care Homes are run by private providers, with some homes having a limited number of concessional beds available.

Aged Care homes vary greatly in size, services offered and cost. You can choose an Aged Care Home based on the services and the type of room offered. For example, you can choose to have either a single or a shared room, and to have ensuite or shared bathroom facilities.

The My Aged Care website has a search tool to find Aged Care Homes near you.

Find an Aged Care Home near me

You will need an assessment to determine the level and type of support you need before you enter an Aged Care Home.  You can check your eligibility on the My Aged Care website.

My Aged Care eligibility checker

You will also need to have a formal income assessment through the Department of Human Services. The assessment will work out what the Commonwealth will ask you to pay towards your Aged Care Home.

What will an Aged Care Home place cost?

Each Aged Care Home sets their own prices according to the services they offer. How much you will have to pay depends on the place you choose and the results of the assessment of your income and assets.

There are three types of costs charged by Aged Care Homes:

  • a basic daily fee
  • a cost for your room based on the assessment of your income and assets
  • a cost for care services based on the assessment of your income and assets.

There are annual and life-time caps for the costs of your room and care services which are set by the Commonwealth Government.

The Commonwealth Government has developed a fee estimator so you can get an idea of the costs of living in an Aged Care Home will cost.

My Aged Care residential care fee estimator

You have a choice how you pay for your Aged Care Home, the options are:

  • a refundable lump sum amount
  • a rental-style daily payment
  • a combination of a lump sum and a daily rental payment.

If you choose to pay by lump sum, the balance is refunded to you when you leave the home.

You can read more information about the costs of Aged Care Homes on the My Aged Care website.

Aged Care Homes costs information

Retirement Villages and Independent Living

Retirement villages and Independent Living facilities offer homes for older persons who need less care than an Aged Care Home. They are run by private providers and are regulated by the ACT Government. They do not receive any Commonwealth Government funding.

How do I choose my future home?

Several private organisations have developed comparison websites that will allow you to compare different aged care homes, retirement villages and independent living units.

Aged Care Online websiteAged Care Guide website

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission produces reports on Aged Care Homes. You can look up a report about an Aged Care Home on their website.

Find a report on an Aged Care Home