A key feature of the Government’s Home Care Package system is recognising the participant as a consumer. This means you’re entitled to the same rights you’d have in any other customer service situation. These rights apply throughout the entire process – from the initial application and assessment procedure, through to your relationship with your Home Care Provider.
Concerns about dealing with My Aged Care
Before receiving your Home Care Package, you must go through the application and assessment procedure with My Aged Care. If you’re unhappy with any aspect of this process, you have the right to express your concerns.
The first step is to contact My Aged Care and speak to one of their customer service officers, outlining your concerns. If you’d prefer to put your complaint in writing, you can do so although it may take up to ten days to receive a response.
If the person you’re communicating with over the phone is unable to help, they’ll refer your matter on to a more senior person, such as a supervisor, until the matter is resolved.
Concerns about your Assessment
If you have concerns about the home support assessment (ACAT Assessment) you’re required to go through as part of the application process, you’re perfectly within your rights to make a complaint. For instance, you may disagree with how the assessment was carried out and the recommendation of the Aged Care Assessment Team, regarding your approval or Package level.
If you disagree with the outcome, firstly contact the person who carried out your assessment and raise your concerns with them. They will explain how their complaints procedure works and how to follow it. If you’re not satisfied with the outcome, you can request a review of the decision by writing to the Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Health. If you’re still not satisfied with the response, you can ask for a second review of your assessment, however, this will incur a charge. Failing that, you can take the matter to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal but you also will incur further charges for doing so.
Concerns about my Home Care provider
The service your receive from your Home Care Provider should meet certain standards in terms of quality, safety and professionalism. Read more about your Home Care Rights and Responsibilities. If you think these standards are not being met, you have the right to make a complaint and have your concerns dealt with in a professional and respectful manner.
Like government departments, every service provider will have their own complaints procedure and it’s a good idea to ask them to explain this to you when you’re discussing and negotiating the details of your Package.
As a starting point, it’s best to chat about your concerns with the person managing your Home Care Package. Ideally, resolving the issues with your Home Care provider is the easiest option. You may have concerns about support workers, discrepancies in your invoices, or the range of activities offered. Try to be as specific as possible about your concerns and see if your provider is able to resolve them. Your care provider may very well appreciate your feedback and use it as an opportunity to further improve their service.
However, if, after following your care provider’s complaints process, you’re still not happy with the outcome, you have the right to make a formal complaint to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. You can do this online, or by calling 1800 951 822.
What if I don’t feel comfortable making a complaint?
In situations where you don’t feel comfortable raising issues with your service provider, you can bypass them and make a complaint directly to the Commission.
Alternatively, you can ask a family member or friend to make a complaint on your behalf.