Home Care FAQs

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Funding FAQs

Yes, that’s what it is for. As at 1 July 2019, fees relating to package and care management 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 these fees.

In many situations, the answer is yes. Calvary clients can opt in to pay the basic daily fee. This increases the available funds to be spent in a package. 

You may be required to pay an Income Tested Fee (ITF) which is a client contribution to the full home care package amount. The ITF is determined by the government (Centerlink) and is based off your yearly income and assets. If you are on a full Commonwealth aged pension and that is your sole source of income, then you do not pay an ITF fee.

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 ITF contribution may outweigh the benefit of 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.

The government does not allow your funds to go to private banking sources, they must be held by an approved provider. Calvary is an approved provider. We supply some of the services that you chose for your HCP and manage your funds in alignment with government guidelines. Your case manager, can broker for other services required.

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.

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.

Your HCP package is completely flexible and changes can be made to your services in consultation with your case manager if you need different care. Calvary can also advocate with My Aged Care (MAC) on your behalf so your HCP level can increase if you need further support either whilst you are waiting for a HCP to commence or after it has commenced, and your needs have changed.

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.

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.

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 telephone support, case management and care coordination.

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.

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.

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.

For over 135 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.

Calvary are a non-for-profit, charitable, Catholic based organisation. For over 135 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.

Assessment FAQs

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.’

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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