All About Home Care Package Levels and Their Benefits
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All About Home Care Package Levels and Their Benefits

Home Care Packages are designed to deliver necessary at-home care to older Australians. These government-subsidised packages are offered at four different levels, which are each intended to provide for different needs. Some people may only need a small amount of support at home, while others could require a lot more care and perhaps even 24/7 help. Getting the right Home Care Package for your needs, or the needs of a loved one, is the most important step you need to take.

Home Care Packages give you control over the care you receive. After you have received approval to fund your package, you can choose the provider you want to use for the services you need. However, it’s first helpful to understand Home Care Package levels and how they might apply to your circumstances.

The four Home Care Package levels

There are four different Home Care Package Levels that are based on the levels of support different people might need. This means that everyone gets the funding and services they require according to their individual needs.

Level 1 Home Care Package

Home Care Package levels start with Level 1. This is a package that’s designed to provide support for basic care needs. Someone with a Level 1 Home Care Package might be an older person who can live mostly independently but needs a small amount of support. For example, they might require a bit of help with preparing meals, going shopping, or travelling to appointments.

At this level, $10,271.10 of funding is provided each year (2024 figure). This is likely to account for around two hours of care each week, although it depends on your exact needs. According to My Aged Care, someone with a medium-priority case will likely wait less than a month to be granted a Level 1 Home Care Package.

Level 2 Home Care Package

A Level 2 Home Care Package is intended for people with “low care needs”. This is more than basic care needs but is typically someone who is still capable of taking care of many of their daily needs. You might need additional personal care, such as help with washing or dressing. Someone with a Level 2 Home Care Package could also require social support or might benefit from some basic assistive technology. If you require help around the house or assistance looking after your home and garden, it could mean you’re eligible for a Level 2 package.

Level 2 Home Care Packages provide $18,063.85 per year to fund support services. This could include about 3-4 hours of home care each week.

Level 3 Home Care Package

People with intermediate care needs can be granted a Level 3 Home Care Package. Intermediate care needs are those that require more support to help people be safe and comfortable in their homes. These more advanced care needs can require routine nursing support or help with medication and managing health conditions. A Level 3 Home Care Package might also be suitable for someone experiencing behavioural changes, memory loss, or other problems associated with dementia. This type of package can also fund some specialised health services, such as physiotherapy.

The current level of funding for this level in 2024 is $39,310.50 per year. Someone with this level of support might receive about 7-9 hours of help each day, or have daily visits from a support worker.

Level 4 Home Care Package

The Level 4 Home Care Package is for people with the highest level of care needs. This is likely to include older people who have complex health conditions and might require help with mobility and other issues. People with a Home Care Package Level 4 could receive assistance with bathing, dressing, getting in and out of bed, and the types of tasks that people on other levels would receive. It could include people with dementia or those who need assistance due to a visual or hearing impairment.

People receiving a Level 4 Home Care Package are currently provided with $59, 593.55 in funding per year. This can fund around 10-13 hours of care each week and can help to pay for a range of support services.

How is the Home Care Package level decided?

Home Care Package levels are decided through an evaluation. The assessment determines the individual’s care needs, which then informs which level of funding they should receive. To be eligible, the person must be an older person who needs coordinated services to help them live at home, or a younger person with a disability, dementia, or other care needs that can’t be met through other services.

A person’s financial circumstances won’t affect their eligibility, but an income assessment might be carried out to decide how much they should contribute (if anything).

What does the home care package pay for?

If an income assessment determines that the person can afford it, they will be expected to contribute to the cost of their care. This can include several different elements that service providers might charge.

The first is a basic daily fee, which can be up to $12.53 (from September 2023). The exact amount can depend on which Home Care Package level you have. You might also need to pay an income-tested care fee, which has both annual and lifetime limits on how much you can be required to pay. The current maximum is $35.95. Whether you pay this, and how much you have to pay, is determined by an income assessment carried out by Services Australia. There might also be additional fees that you pay for additional care and services not covered by your Home Care Package.

A Home Care Package helps to pay for home care services so that you or a loved one is able to stay in their own home. The first step to getting a Home Care Package is to undergo an assessment to determine eligibility and what package level should be given. You can check your eligibility on the My Aged Care website.

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