How long does it take to get a Home Care Package?

How long does it take to get a Government Funded Home Care Package?  Or how long will you have to wait on the National Queue for your Home Care Package? The short answer is too long and a lot longer than you would like. To quote the Health Department: “We expect the maximum wait to be more than 12 months for most people because of the demand”. On the 29th of September 2017 The Department of Health issued an update to Approved Providers on how long it takes to receive a Home Care Package.

info aged care providers

The update said that 6,000 level 3 and 4 Home Care Packages will be made available:

Additional level 3 and 4 home care packages

The Government is aware that there is strong demand for higher level packages. In response, an additional 6,000 level 3 and 4 home care packages will be made available to support older Australians with higher care needs to remain living at home.

The Government will consider further options to better meet demand for home care packages as part of consideration of the legislated Review recommendations on home

The update also stated that information about wait times has been added to the My Aged Care Website on this page:

Here is a snip of what that page says as at 30 September 2017 i.e. that you will have to wait over 12 months for a Government Funded Home Care Package:

How long you may need to wait for a home care package

You are likely to wait between the time you are approved for care and the time you are assigned a home care package.

The length of time you will need to wait will depend on the date you were approved for home care and your needs and circumstances, based on your assessment.

We currently expect the maximum wait to be more than 12 months for most people because of the demand for home care packages.

Depending on your individual situation you may receive a home care package sooner than this.

If you have been approved for a home care package, you can find out how long your wait is likely to be:

  • log in to your client record using MyGov


  • call the My Aged Care contact centre on 1800 200 422

Call the My Aged Care if you need care while you are waiting to receive a home care package, or your care needs change.
You may be eligible for other care and services.

Your wait time depends on the following factors:

  • the date of your ACAT Assessment; TIP:  this is the reason you should apply for an ACAT Assessment when you need care, not a few years later, when you have a health crisis and are forced into accepting in home care by health professionals or your children who are threatening that the alternative to in home care is being placed into a Nursing Home;
  • your assessed care needs Home Care Package level 1, 2, 3 or 4;  TIP: the demand for level 3 and 4 is very high and there are not enough high care packages whereas a Level 2 Home Care Package is relatively quickly assigned. TIP: If you are approved for a level 3 or 4 Home Care Package, you are likely to be offered a Level 2 Home Care Package by My Aged Care;  If you are a Pensioner – 100% you should accept this. If you are self-funded ring us and we will talk through with you whether it is worth accepting a Level 2 Home Care Package or not – it’s not a black and white decision – the correct answer depends on a number of factors;
  • your priority status allocated by ACAT will be moderate or high and will affect where you are placed on the National QueueTIP: This is why it’s important that you tell the truth about your care needs and not under-state them.  If you are the partner, adult child or Enduring Guardian of an existing Daughterly Care client – ring your Daughterly Care Co-Ordinator or High Care Case Manager and tell us that you are organising an ACAT Assessment and we will give you highly valuable advice on how you get the correct information conveyed without humiliating your Loved One;   
  • priority is determined based on a range of factors, including whether you identify with one of these 9 groups who have special needs; TIP: If you are part of one of these 9 groups – make sure you tell the ACAT Assessor;
  • We strongly encourage you to ring My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 and confirm that you are still on the National Queue every 5 months because My Aged Care have told us they drop people off the National Queue if they haven’t heard from them for 6 months. WHAT!?! Once you discover you have been dropped off – they put you back on the list according to the date of your ACAT Assessment – but that is of little help if you just missed out on one of the NEW 6,000 High Care Home Care Packages.
  • naturally self-funded Elders have a lower priority than pensioners and therefore, there is a longer wait for your Government Subsidised Home Care Package if you are self-funded. You should STILL apply as self-funded seniors have the ability to buy privately paid care and therefore will be able to keep your Home Care Package for years longer and avoid the Nursing Home altogether.
  • And finally your priority depends on how much support you already have in place and how well your support is coping.

Tip: In theory, if you have informed My Aged Care that your Approved Provider will be Daughterly Care Community Services then they will write to us, as well as you, when your Home Care Package funding becomes available so that we can start your services straight away.  However we have noticed – sometimes they tell us and sometimes they don’t, so when you receive your ASSIGNED letter, ring and tell us straight away and we will come and explain how Government Funded in Home Care needs. get you to sign the Home Care Agreement immediately.

If you didn’t tell My Aged Care that you have chosen Daughterly Care then we need a copy of the assignment letter with your reference code to access you on the My Aged Care Government Portal. Ring us as soon as it arrives.

Tip: If your care needs increase while you are on the National Queue e.g. you have a fall, are hospitalised, are diagnosed with a disease etc etc. then ring My Aged Care and let them know so they can re-prioritise you, you should also ring us so that our Registered Nurse can also lodge an update to ACAT.  By the way, your General Practitioner can also lodge information on My Aged Care updating your care needs which may increase your priority.

How long is the National Queue for a Government Funded Home Care Package?