What is My Aged Care?
Access support if you're over 65.
My Aged Care is the starting point for you to access funding supports through the aged care system. It provides a single point of contact for older Australians entering the aged care system –and your carers and family members – to ensure you can easily find and access the right government-funded services to support your independence.
You can register with My Aged Care by contacting their help line on 1800 200 422. The team at My Aged Care will gather some details about your situation and the supports you rely on, and then connect you with an aged care assessor in your local area who will manage the rest of your registration.
Who is My Aged Care for?
Registering with My Aged Care is the first step towards accessing these funded supports.
When you register with My Aged Care, a record is created with a summary of your personal situation. As you progress through an aged care assessment towards receiving services, your summary will be shared with the people involved in coordinating your support, so you don’t have to keep repeating your story to different people.
How can Guide Dogs help?
We are a registered provider.
Guide Dogs SA/NT is a registered My Aged Care provider of ‘Specialised Support Services – Vision’ for people who are blind or with low vision. Our services are delivered through the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP).
Our CHSP funded Specialised Vision Service offers:
- A specialist, vision-focused functional assessment of your needs, related to your goals, conducted by an Occupational Therapist or Orientation & Mobility Instructor
- A summary of your specialist assessment
- Development of an individualised personal program for Occupational Therapy or Orientation & Mobility training
Increase your independence
Who is eligible?
If you would like to increase your independence, you may be able to access our Vision Services with a CHSP referral if you meet the following criteria:
- You are registered with My Aged Care
- You are considered eligible for CHSP services by a Regional Assessment Service (RAS)
- You are aged 65 years and over, or 50 years and over for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- You are blind or with low vision (diagnosed eye condition which is not correctable by prescription lenses) with a functional impact on daily living and independent travel
Guide Dogs SA/NT CHSP Specialised Vision Services are supported by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. Provision of CHSP funded services is subject to availability within Aged Care Planning Region allocations.
CHSP requires a client contribution for service to ensure that those clients who can afford to contribute to the cost of their care do so, while protecting those in need of additional support. Learn more at www.myagedcare.gov.au
Common questions about My Aged Care
Is there a cost for an aged care assessment?
No. There is no cost for an aged care assessment.
What will the aged care assessor want to know when they visit me?
All aged care assessments follow national guidelines that your assessor will adhere to. During the assessment, your assessor will ask about your strengths and abilities, areas where you have difficulty, and the supports that might best meet your needs and goals. They may ask about the services you already access, and about the things you rely on for support, including a family member, carer, or a Guide Dog.
If your support plan identifies a need for low-level funded supports, your assessor can start referring you directly to service providers who can assist.
What if the aged care assessor does not understand my needs?
Aged care assessors are highly experienced in their field, but some may need additional information to understand how to assist a person who is blind or has low vision. If your assessor is unsure of what support you may need, you can contact our Client Services team on 1800 757 738.
We can advise the assessor on the range of services available to people who are blind or with low vision. Alternatively, ask the assessor to refer you to Guide Dogs SA/NT. We can review the vision services included in your support plan to ensure they meet your needs.
Why do I need an aged care assessment if I’m not physically frail?
Aged care assessments are not just about your level of physical fitness. An assessor can also make a referral for vision and mobility services like Occupational Therapy or Orientation & Mobility. Your assessor will take a holistic approach to ensuring your independence and safety is assured – now and into the future.
What are low-level funded supports?
Depending on your situation, your assessor can include a range of services in your support plan. These are supports provided on an episodic, or ‘low-level’ ongoing basis. Following your assessment, your assessor can start referring you directly to service providers for low-level funded supports.
These could include help around the house, with meals, or for personal care. If it’s appropriate, your assessor can also make referrals for home maintenance or home modifications, and for allied health and therapy services. Many of these services can be provided by your local council. Your assessor will be able to explain whether any of these supports would require a co-payment from you.
What if I need more than low-level funded supports?
If your assessor recognises that you have more comprehensive in-home care needs, then you may receive approval for a Home Care Package. A Home Care Package is a pool of funds that have been allocated to an individual, which can be used to pay for higher level in-home aged care services.
Not every aged care assessor will be able to determine your eligibility for a Home Care Package, so you may be asked to participate in a second assessment, with an assessor who can make that determination.
What is a Home Care Package?
A Home Care Package is a pool of funds that have been allocated to a person which can be used to pay for higher level in-home aged care services. Depending on your situation, your assessor may approve you for a Home Care Package at Level 1, 2, 3 or 4.
A Home Care Package (Level 1) provides you with annual funds to pay for basic care needs. Each level increases in value, up to a Home Care Package (Level 4), which has a maximum annual budget for high-level care needs. These funds are used to pay for the services and equipment needed to maintain your independence within your home and community.
A Home Care Package requires ongoing co-payments from you. The exact amount of your co-payments will be determined by an income test.
What happens after I’ve been approved for a Home Care Package?
A limited number of Home Care Packages are available in your local area. Depending on your level of urgency, you may be placed on a waiting list until a Home Care Package becomes available in your area. While you are on the waiting list, your assessor can continue making referrals directly to service providers for any low-level funded supports you may need.
When a Home Care Package becomes available, you will receive a letter from My Aged Care inviting you to activate your funding by selecting a Home Care Package provider. A Home Care Package provider is a registered organisation that manages the funds in a Home Care Package. There are many organisations that you can choose as your Home Care Package provider. You can ask your aged care assessor to help you select a provider suited to your preferences.
When you have selected your preferred provider, they will appoint a Case Manager to coordinate your in-home care and handle any invoices billed to your package. Your Case Manager will meet with you to discuss your in-home care needs, and will provide you with written confirmation of the range of funded supports they will pay for with the funds from your package.