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Everything You Need To Know About Level 3 Home Care Packages

30 May, 2024

Have you recently been told you're receiving a Level 3 home care package? If so, there's a good chance you're dealing with some significant changes in your life and the last thing you want to do is spend your time figuring out what this all means. Don't despair though! We're here to help. Although everyone's home care journey is different, one element that is common for many people is having trouble navigating the My Aged Care system.

Despite efforts by the Australian Government to improve the process of receiving aged care services, the system can still be complex and challenging to understand. Whether you're moving from a lower level of home care package, or this is the first time you're receiving support, this blog will help you to understand everything you need to know about Level 3 Home Care Packages.

Elderly man using a walker being assisted by a care worker at the entrance of his home, showcasing the support provided by Level 3 Home Care Packages for seniors.

Home Care Package - Level 3

The Australian Government provides funding to older Australians to help them live at home longer, through Home Care Packages. This funding is intended to help you access affordable care services. Funding can be used to pay for support workers or access other helpful services. You can use this government funding to pay for assistance with tasks like housework, laundry, personal care, and shopping for groceries.

While home care package levels may be confusing at first, they are in fact relatively straightforward. Some people need more help to remain living independently and so there are four different levels of Home Care Packages. A home care package - Level 3 is the second highest level of Home Care Package funding.

A level 3 package usually provides approximately 10-13 hours of support per week. You can choose how you'd like to break up these hours over the course of the week.

Seniors enjoying social interaction in Residential Care.

Home Care Packages vs Residential Care

Home Care Packages are aimed at helping people live independently in their own homes for as long as possible. If you or your loved one needs to move into a residential aged care home, however, you will no longer receive your home care package. There is, however, other funding available if you need to live in a residential aged care home. The Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) determines your eligibility for support. The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) provides a lower level of funding than home care packages.

The Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT)

ACAT assesses the needs of older Australians in order to work out their eligibility for a home care package or funding for a residential aged care placement. ACAT assessors look at various factors, including medical, physical, psychological, and social considerations, when making their evaluations.

Why Did I Get a Level 3 Package?

To be eligible for a home care package, you must meet several requirements. First, you need to be 65 or older (50 for ATSI people). Second, the support must be essential for you to remain living safely in your own home.

You have provided with a Level 3 package because the ACAT team has assessed you as having intermediate care needs. You require more than the basic care needs of Level 1 and 2 home care packages, but less than the high care needs of Level 4.

Senior man consulting with caregiver about Level 3 Home Care Packages

What Is My Home Care Package Budget?

Your Level 3 Home Care Package is made up of:

  • A Government contribution

  • A personal contribution, which includes:

    • The basic daily fee

    • The income-tested care fee

    • Additional fees you have agreed to pay.

Your Level 3 Home Care Package covers your care costs and any package management fees charged by your provider.

For a Level 3 Home Care Package, you receive a government contribution of $107.70 per day or $1507.80 per fortnight.

This amount is reviewed on 1 July every year and this figure is accurate as of 1 July 2023.

The government subsidy is paid to your home care provider and doesn't affect your pension.

The amount the government contributes to your level 3 home care package is reduced by the amount you contribute through your income-tested care fee.

Basic Daily Fee

Everyone who gets an in-home care package has to pay this fee.

From 20 March 2024, the fee for a Level 3 Home Care Package is $173.88 per fortnight or $12.42 per day.

Income Assessment and the Income Tested Care Fee

This fee is an additional fee that some people have to pay based on their income. Not everyone is required to pay an income-tested care fee. The amount you pay is determined by an income assessment by Services Australia. This also considers your pension. The amount you pay increases with your income.

You can get an estimate of your fee using the My Aged Care Fee Estimator on the My Aged Care website. This can be helpful to do before your formal ACAT assessment.

What Allied Health Services Can I Spend My Home Care Package Funds On?

Your Level 3 Home Care Package funds can be used for a range of allied health and in-home care services. This includes:

  • Personal care: Basic care services to help with showering, your morning routines, and managing continence.

  • Domestic assistance: Help with everyday tasks. This covers a range of chores and home care services usually offered by home care support workers.

  • Meal prep: Funding can be used to assist with the preparation of meals.

  • Shopping assistance and transport to appointments: Help with making grocery purchases and with transport to appointments and other daily commitments.

  • Social support: Engaging in hobbies, participating in community activities, and providing companionship.

  • Gardening assistance: Help to maintaining your garden and ensure it's safe and useable.

  • Equipment: Provision of items such as walking frames and wheelchairs.

  • Minor home modifications: Includes installing ramps and other modifications to improve accessibility.

  • Clinical care, medication management and allied health services: Basic medical care, including nursing care and medication management, as well as allied health support such as physiotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy services.

What Can I Not Use My Budget For?

Level 3 Home Care Package funds can't be used for the following:

  • Buying everyday items: Things usually bought with your regular income.

  • Food: Except for food needed for a feeding tube.

  • Housing costs: Buying a home, paying your mortgage, or rent.

  • Home care fees: Covering the fees for your home care package.

  • Non-care home modifications: Home improvements that aren't related to your care needs.

  • Holidays: Travel and accommodation for holidays.

  • Entertainment costs: Paying for leisure activities like going to the movies.

  • Medicare-covered items: Services and items already covered by Medicare or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Can I Request a Reassessment?

If NCAT has assessed you and decided that you need a Level 3 Home Care Package, but you think you need more support to be able to remain living at home, you can request a reassessment.

In order to do this, you need to contact ACAT and explain your situation. You'll need to explain why you think you need a reassessment of your level 3 home care package. Usually, you need to tell them how your circumstances have changed and justify why you need the higher level of support.

What Role Do Home Care Providers Play?

Home care providers like Focus Care receive the funding through your home care package and deliver your services. They can also help you manage your funds and ensure you receive coordinated services. They are responsible for implementing your care plan.

My Aged Care adopts a client-centred model which means you have the freedom to choose your own home care provider. You can select a provider that best matches your needs and values. The My Aged Care Find a Provider tool can help you locate a home care provider near you.

When choosing a home care provider it's important to consider your options carefully. A few things to consider are: the services you need, the quality of care provided by different service providers, and any additional costs your service provider might pass on to you.

Focus care worker assisting woman with aged care package level 3.How Can Focus Care Help

While it's important to do your own research when choosing a home care provider, it can also be good to talk to a real person over the phone about what's going on in your life and what your support needs are. Providers like Focus Care are always available to field your questions and talk about how they can help.

Not all home care providers offer the same services. So, if you're interested in services such as art therapy and pet therapy, it's worth doing your research and talking about your needs with your chosen provider.

Whether you've just received your home care package and are looking for a provider for the first time, or you're after a change, our fantastic team is always available for a chat. Whether you or your family member needs assistance, we're here to help. Please feel free to reach out and discuss your support needs.

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