All aged care homes are required to keep your information private under state, territory and Commonwealth legislation. You can expect the information you provide in the forms will be treated sensitively by the aged care home.
If you want to access your personal information, you can contact your aged care home at any time. By law, aged care homes are required to manage your information according to certain standards. Under both the Aged Care Act 1997 and the Privacy Act 1988, you are entitled to access the information that the aged care home collects from you. There are severe penalties, including imprisonment, for people who misuse personal information.
No, you don’t need to provide any financial information on your application form. However, you will need to provide financial information to Centrelink when you are entering care if you wish to apply to have your fees and charges subsidised by the Australian Government.
From 1 July 2014, you will need to complete the Residential aged care combined assets and income assessment form and submit it to Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) if you receive an income support payment through them for assessment. You will need to complete and submit this form even if you are also receiving an income support payment. This is because the information required for aged care is different to the information required for income support payment purposes. If you don’t have your income and assets assessed you may be charged the maximum rate of fees and charges.
The Residential aged care combined assets and income assessment form is available from Centrelink or My Aged Care website. You will be able to request an assessment prior to entering aged care and will receive an initial fee notification advice which will be valid for 120 days prior to entry unless there is a significant change in your circumstances. You will need to update Centrelink (or the DVA) during the 120 day period of any changes in your circumstances such as marital status, homeownership or financial changes. Centrelink will determine if the fees should be reset prior to entering care and will advise you.
If you receive residential respite care through an aged care home, you won’t have to pay an accommodation payment. You also won’t have to pay any means-tested care fees.
You will, however, be asked to pay a basic daily fee and perhaps a booking fee. The booking fee is a prepayment of residential respite care fees and not an extra payment. The booking fee cannot be more than either a full week’s basic daily fee, or 25% of the fee for the entire stay, depending on which amount is the lowest.
Residential respite care may be available for up to 63 days each financial year. This time can be extended in lots of 21 days if the ACAT assessment finds that this extra time is necessary.
You can ask to be considered for financial hardship assistance. Each case is considered on an individual basis.
Depending on your personal situation, you may apply for financial assistance with:
To obtain a hardship application form or for more information on fees and charges or financial assistance, got to My Aged Care at www.myagedcare.gov.au or call 1800 200 422.
My Aged Care can help you with:
If you think the assessment outcome or decision should be changed and you’re unable to resolve your concerns with your ACAT, you, or someone acting on your behalf, has the right to appeal the decision and can write to the Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Social Services and tell them why you think it should be changed.
You must write to the Secretary within 28 days of receiving your letter from the ACAT. Your letter from the ACAT will include further information on how you can appeal.
Once you have completed the ACAT assessment, you will receive a letter to let you know if you have been approved as eligible for Australian Government subsidised aged care services. Your letter will tell you what type of services you’re eligible for and approved to receive, as well as the reasons why.
If you have concerns regarding the assessment outcome or the service you received during the assessment process, you have the right to raise these concerns.
Every ACAT has procedures in place to work through any concerns you might have. You should first talk to your ACAT about your concerns and see if they can help. It often works best if you, or the person representing you, talk directly to the team leader to sort out any problems. They are there to help you and will listen to your concerns.
If you and your ACAT cannot come to an agreement, you can raise your concern with the relevant state or territory government. ACATs are employed by state and territory governments, so the teams are covered by their government’s complaints procedures.
ACATs cover all of Australia and are based in hospitals or in the local community. To find your local ACAT or for more information about ACAT assessments, go to My Aged Care at www.myagedcare.gov.au or call 1800 200 422.
A member of your local ACAT – usually a doctor, nurse, social worker or other health care professional – will make a time to come to your home (or the hospital, if you are currently in hospital) to talk to you about how well you’re managing day-to-day. The ACAT will explain the assessment process and let you know how your personal information will be protected.
An ACAT can, with your consent: