National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS.) – Everything you need to know

Table of Contents

In Australia, elder care ranges from basic home support to full-time care in an aged care facility. 

Although most elderly care is provided in homes (or other communities), people prefer to stay close to their families for as long as possible. Still, residential care represents the most significant share of aged care spending. 

The care needs of older people may become more complex as they age since they often require help with household chores, such as gardening and shopping.

Depending on a person’s needs, temporary and permanent care options are available. 

In this program, individuals are provided with entry-level services to support their independence at home and in the community.

During 2019–20, about 245,000 people lived permanently in residential aged care facilities. Home care clients represented approximately 840,000 members of the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP).  

Understanding the requirement of elderly care, Wise Choice provides aged care and NDIS services. The services provided are explained below: 


NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) in Australia  

Introducing Australia’s first national disability support scheme, NDIS. Through NDIS, individuals can receive direct funding.

In the NDIS, eligible individuals with intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive, and psychosocial disabilities receive support services.  

Special needs children and people with disabilities may also qualify for early intervention support.

NDIS provides funds to eligible participants based on their individual needs in an effort to help them improve their skills and independence over time. 

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) aims to provide support to the disabled and their families.

A joint effort made by the Australian Government, including territory governments and participating states. The NDIS was introduced across Australia in July 2016.  

The number of people with disabilities in Australia is estimated to be 4.3 million.  

Over the next five years, approximately 500,000 Australians with permanent and significant disabilities will receive financial support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Most of them will be receiving disability support for the first time. 


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NDIS: What is it?

  • National: The NDIS is being rolled out gradually in all states and territories. 
  • Disability:Those with intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive, or psychosocial disabilities are eligible for the NDIS. Those with disabilities or children with developmental delays may also be eligible for early intervention support. 
  • Insurance: The NDIS offers all Australians peace of mind that if they, their child or a loved one acquire a severe and permanent disability, they will be able to receive the support they require. 
  • Scheme: Unlike welfare, the NDIS is not a government program. As people gain skills and become more independent, the NDIS is designed to help them achieve their goals. 


As part of the NDIS, people with disabilities can access a variety of community services, including doctors, sports clubs, support groups, libraries, and schools, as well as assistance from local governments. 

Australian and state/territory governments jointly fund and oversee the national disability insurance scheme.  

State and territory governments will no longer provide disability support services as they do now under the scheme.

On behalf of the Australian government, the NDIS is administered by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). 

What is the purpose of the establishment of NDIS? 

The NDIS provides participants with the option of managing their funds, or it is possible to nominate another person to oversee their support when they receive it and who provides it.  

Access to community and other government services is still available to those not eligible for the NDIS.

With the NDIS, people with disabilities, their families and carers can access information about community services and other government assistance. 


Who is an NDIS participant?

A participant is someone who meets these requirements. Participants in the NDIS planning process may also include caregivers and family members. 

They are required to create an individual plan listing their goals. Getting a job, meeting new people, or volunteering are achievable goals. Funding for these goals is available through the NDIS. 


NDIS availability inside Australia  

All Australians have access to the NDIS. Information about the NDIS in your state or territory can be found on the NDIS website. 


NDIS: Eligibility for the NDIS scheme

Disabilities can mean a variety of things. Access to the NDIS has certain requirements. The following criteria must be met to avail of the NDIS funding: 


1. Eligibility checklist

You can get help understanding the NDIS, applying, and connecting with other government and community support if you are between the ages of 7 and 65. 

A child’s early childhood partner can support children under seven years old and assist the family in determining whether the NDIS is appropriate for their child. 


2. Age requirement

The age to avail of the NDIS scheme plan is between 7 to 65. Any individual below 7 years or above 65 years cannot avail of the NDIS scheme. However, MyAged Care applies over the age of 65.  


3. Residence Requirements

No general individual can avail of the support. The NDIS is available to: 

  • Australian citizens:  

The only way you can live in Australia is to have Australian citizenship or one of two types of visas. 

  • A permanent visa  

However, if you reside in Australia, you need to show evidence of residence. You need to give a permit to the NDIS agency to access the Centrelink record that shows the evidence of residence in Australia.  

The consent permits the NDIS agency to access the residential information. From the applicant’s end, the following question needs to be answered: 

The place of residence 

The existence of the family  

The work status in Australia  

The property or assets information in Australia  

The time duration spent outside Australia  

  • A special category visa (available for New Zealand citizens).  

Under the Migration Act, New Zealand citizens residing in Australia under the non-protected Special Visa category are considered temporary residents. 

Any children born from New Zealand parents holding SCV are denied from getting Australian citizenship, so they cannot avail of the NDIS scheme until they attain the age of 10 years and get eligible for applying for Australian citizenship.  


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4. Disability requirements

The NDIS is available only to those who have a disability caused by permanent impairment. The situation can be cognitive, intellectual, neurological, or psychological. 

One also needs to be disability-specific support for everyday daily activities.  


5. Early intervention requirements

The eligibility shall get tested where the support can get reduced for the future needs for the support.  

The family members’ support also gets tested when taking the NDIS support from the local coordinator.  

You can check the eligibility for the NDIS plan here. 


NDIS Support FundIng: Types of budgets available for NDIS

The NDIS funds everyday activities that make life easier. Typically, most NDIS participants’ plans include Core support, the main category of NDIS support. NDIS participants may receive the following types of support: 

  • personal daily activities 
  • involving transportation that facilitates participation in everyday social, economic, and community activities 
  • Help in the workplace that enables a participant to be successful in getting or keeping employment on the open or supported employment market 
  • through therapeutic support, including behaviour support 
  • services and assistance with household tasks to ensure a comfortable home life 
  • assistance to a participant in determining whether they need aids and equipment, setting it up and training it 
  • during the home modification process 
  • relating to mobility equipment 
  • and modifications to vehicles. 


Supports not funded by NDIS in Australia  

Participants with eligibility for NDIS funding receive funding based on their needs.

NDIS participants who need daily support are included in the core support budget, whereas participants who need capital-building support focus on improving their lifestyle conditions. 

It is not simple to understand how the NDIS operates. Providing NDIS support is the responsibility of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). 

Under the NDIS Act, rules and regulations govern the use of NDIS funding. Before taking advantage of NDIS support, one should perform an NDIS plan review. 

The NDIS Act rules out the support for the participants under the following circumstances: 

  • Community service or the responsibility of another government agency 
  • Not related to the disability of the individual 
  • The cost of living that is unrelated to support needs, or 
  • Poses a risk to others or causes harm to the participant. 


Types of Core Support available for the NDIS scheme  

Depending on the support you receive from your family, friends, and community and government agencies, your funding will be based on what is deemed to be ‘reasonable’ and ‘necessary’ to pursue your goals. 

In an NDIS plan, you may receive funding for three distinct types of support budgets. 

There are diverse needs for each person living with a disability. As part of the NDIS, your funding is designed to provide you with the support you need for your disability and help you reach your goals. 


Core support budget  

You have four support categories in your Core budget: 

  • Daily activities: Related to assistance with self-care throughout the day.  
  • Community participation: Provide support to engage the NDIS participants in recreational or social activities.  
  • Transportation: Transportation allowances to the NDIS participants for easy commute.  
  • Consumables: Purchase everyday consumables items.  

The NDIS participants can use the core budget to allocate support to the category to purchase support under another category.

One can use the fund to: 

  • Pay compensation  
  • Take SDA (Special Disability Accommodation) 
  • Therapy or transportation facilities 
  • Assistance in Shared Living 

 For more details, read: NDIS Core Support Budget


Capital Support Budget  

The budget is assigned to take up supportive approaches such as home modifications, or assistive technology. Unlike the core support budget, one cannot use the allocated budget for other purposes.  

The capital support budget includes two categories: 

This support includes personal care, wheelchair or vehicle modifications or bathroom rails. 


Capacity building  

The budget is spread across eight categories. One can choose it according to your goal plans. You can decide how you can spend the fund, but you cannot decide the allocation of funds.  

The Capacity Building includes support to the following categories: 

  • Daily activity (aimed for capacity building) 
  • Choice & Control (planning support and training) 
  • Health & Well-being (physical fitness) 
  • Employment (Counselling sessions) 
  • Relationship building (Support towards living a positive life) 
  • Home Living (SDA/SIL accommodation) 
  • Community participation (Skill development, Social and Recreational participation) 
  • Learning (Moving from high school to university) 


NDIS Plan: What does it look like? 

Plans for the NDIS vary for each participant. However, the examples below will give you an idea about what to expect and how your own Plan may look. 

The NDIS has been described as an extremely helpful program. We hear from many people who wish they had prepared better for their planning discussions.

Here are some examples of NDIS plans that Wise Choice has built, so you can understand what a good plan is and what each part is supposed to cover.

You can use these examples to learn more about NDIS plans. 

Depending on your own preferences and needs, every NDIS plan will be different for you.

You will receive an NDIS plan based on your personal circumstances, goals, and resources. 

As the NDIS plan appears from time to time, the examples here are consistent with what the NDIA uses for headings and sections. 

We have developed some other NDIS plan resources based on the feedback you provided, in addition to looking at these examples. Link to Wise Choice NDIS planning resources. 

The NDIS plan includes name, NDIS number, contact details, NDIS commencement & ending date and NDIS review date.  

Before that, one needs to prepare the plan, meeting checklist, NDIS plan & budget, Goal setting, proper NDIS fund management, Compensation, and Receive an approved plan.  


NDIS: Home & Living support  

NDIS participants can live independently with its assistance. A home and living goals discussion can be part of the planning conversation between the participants and their families.

The NDIS will provide participants with support funded by the program and the support they will require through their housing system. 

Among the daily living expenses of NDIS participants are rent, groceries, utilities, phones, and the internet.

The same is true for general household items, such as beds, refrigerators, and cooking utensils. NDIS may pay for these costs in certain limited circumstances. 


Among the services provided by the NDIS are: 


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Special Disability Accommodation (SDA) 

Specifically designed for those with severe functional impairment or high support needs, special disability accommodation (SDA) refers to a range of housing options.  

The accessibility features of SDA dwellings help residents live more independently while other supports are provided more effectively and safely. 


Participant eligibility: 

  • Severe disabilities or need for very intensive support. 
  • Needs to satisfy the NDIS’s criteria for specialist disability accommodation. 


Pricing of SDA 

Price guides and other pricing arrangements that apply to Specialist Disability Accommodation under the NDIS are summarized in the NDIS Pricing Arrangements for Specialist Disability Accommodation (previously the Price Guide for Specialist Disability Accommodation). 

The prices for the SDA are subject to change as per the Australian Government, the official website can be checked by individuals for SDA pricing.  


Supported Independent Living (SIL) 

Rent and groceries are not considered part of supported independent living funding.  

People with higher needs for support, who require constant care at home, can live independently with supported independent living. 

A person with a disability may need assistance with daily tasks, such as taking care of themselves or preparing meals. Providing such aid enables you to maintain your independence as much as possible. 

Living independently with support is one way to remain in your home. 

People with disabilities with higher support needs are better suited to supported independent living. 

That means you require a great deal of assistance throughout the day. You will also need help during the night. 

When you live with other NDIS participants, you can receive support for independent living, while even if you live alone, you get support for independent living. 


Eligibility for SIL  

SIL funding is awarded based on the criteria that “reasonable and necessary supports” are provided. Eligibility criteria include those listed below: 

  • Assign a support coordinator to prepare a report on the Identifying Housing Solutions program. 
  • Documentation demonstrating that you require 24/7 support. The Functional Assessment Report (FAR) is prepared by an Allied Health professional. 


Pricing of SIL 

Support services in a shared living environment include assistance with, or supervision of, daily tasks, with an emphasis on developing the skills of each individual to live as autonomously as possible. 

Individual needs are met by each person living in the shared arrangement.  

The NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits list the items listed under the Supported Independent Living category as Assistance with Daily Life. 


Individualised Living Options

Choosing the proper ILO funding depends on your preferences, strengths, support needs, informal networks and community connections. 

The goal of ILO is to support you in living in a way that is most suited to your personality. You will get a personal ILO and funding tailored to your needs.  

An ILO is a set of supportive services that let you choose how and where to live according to what fits you best. You do not receive funding for housing under an ILO.  

With the Individualised Living Options, you can design a complete support package allowing one to live in the way you choose. One can also explore the living way with the host and family.  

Individualised living option supports the required service one needs, but it is not a group home, unlike SDA or SIL where the participants are allowed to choose their living partner.

It is also not a shared accommodation and does not reflect the participant’s preferences.  


Support for individualised living options is typically integrated into your plan in two phases. 


1. Individualised living option Stage 1 –

First, you must explore and design your support package. The mission is to help you determine where you wish to live, who you want to live with, how much support you will need and whom you wish to support. 


2. Individualised living option Stage 2 Supports –

Put in place the supports that are part of your individualised living option. The support can be monitored and adjusted as needed as your needs change. It is only after Stage 1 that we consider this. 


Eligibility for Independent Living Options (ILO)  

Your age must be 18 or older to participate in ILO. At least 6 hours of support are needed at home each day, but normally not all day long.

There are many potential options available to you as you examine your home and living needs. 

Your NDIS plan will include individualised living option supports.

Make sure you discuss with your provider how much money they will be claiming from your allocated funding while your individualised living option supports are being created.

While transitioning to individualised living options, you may pay a reduced amount. 


Pricing for Independent Living Options (ILO)

Using your funded support to live the way that is most comfortable for you is the goal of an individualized living option.  

Assistance is provided with personal hygiene, skills development, or household chores such as cooking or shopping.

Friends and family may also offer service. Individual support is provided. The apartments will be designed to make you feel at home and a part of the community and promote independence. 

Participants can receive fund for Individual Living Options up to $3000 or $5000 or $10,000 based on the individual requirement.  


Short-term accommodation (STA)

Short-term accommodation, including respite, provides support when you must live away from home for a brief period. Your carers and you can use short-term accommodation funding to support respite.  

Your provider and you should monitor and review your individualised living arrangement regularly once it is in place.  

Support will be set up and there will be people to support you. Your provider will assist you with finding people to support you. Individualised living options will be paid for by your provider.  


Eligibility for Short-Term Accommodation (STA) 

Please consult with your Support Coordinator, LAC (Local Area Coordination), Early Childhood Partner, or planner if you would like to learn more about Short Term Accommodation.  

The coordinator will reassess your plan (review) if you need Short Term Accommodation. 

One can include STA in their NDIS plan through proper documentation received from the Occupational Therapist. However, if the participants are searching for longer support, they need to include it in their SIL plan.  

Short-term accommodation for children is available only if it meets the reasonable and necessary criteria.  

Children’s needs and their families or caregivers determine what is best for them. All family members will be considered. Parents and children will also receive information about other funds available to help. 


Pricing for Short Term Accommodation (STA) 

NDIS funds the STA under Category 1 “Assistance with Daily Living”. The service includes an accommodation unit with facilities, meals, activities, and personal care support.  


Medium-term accommodation (MTA)

Accommodations for a medium period so you always have a place to live if you cannot move into your long-term home due to the lack of disability support.  


Eligibility for Medium-Term Accommodation (MTA) 

A home you are going to move into and a plan to move elsewhere in the medium term are requirements for eligibility. Usually, medium-term accommodation is available for up to 90 days (about 3 months). 


Pricing for Medium Term Accommodation (MTA) 

The rental of that accommodation is covered by the medium-term accommodation funding only for up to 90 days (about 3 months).  

Individuals still need to pay for additional requirements such as food, internet, electricity and other usual living costs and bills. 

Accommodation funding is intended to cover only the costs of the accommodation. During your stay there, you will not receive disability support. 

If you stay in medium-term accommodation, you can utilise other supports in your plan.  


Assistive living technology  

A disability-related assistive technology device or equipment allows you to perform tasks you cannot perform due to your disability. 

You may also benefit from assistive technology if it helps you do something more safely or efficiently. 

A provider must provide reasonable and necessary NDIS support. 


Home modifications explained  

Home modifications are changes to a participant’s home’s structure, layout, or fittings, which allow them to move comfortably around and safely access their home. 

Usually, home modification can cost over $30000, but one needs to engage the NDIS Registered Building Works Project Manager for the modification.  

NDIA funds standard home fitting and modifications. For further improvement, one can add funds for more expensive outcomes.  


Aged Care Australia: Accessing every aged care service  

Funders and regulators of the Aged Care system are primarily the Australian Government.

The Australian government provided approximately 95 per cent of all funding for aged care services in 2014-15, a total of $15.8 billion.  

Aged care services are for Australians over 65 who can no longer live independently at home (and Indigenous Australians over 50 years of age).

There are many dissimilar sources of care for older adults, including care at home, in the community, and in residential aged care facilities (nursing homes). 

The following is a quick guide to aged care in Australia. Provides information about the types of care available and the ways to access subsidised care 


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Providing support for aged care in Australia  

As the ageing process starts, it becomes difficult to complete everyday work without any assistance. So, one seeks for independence with proper assistance in cleaning, cooking, and regular activities.  

Aged care support worker, along with my aged care, find a provider who assists older people with required support in their own home which includes:  

  • Everyday living support with shopping, cooking, households, and social functions.  
  • Equipment such as walking frames 
  • Accommodation (in the case where living alone is not possible) 
  • Personal care (grooming, eating, dressing) 
  • Home modification (adding ramps) 
  • Health care (medical and nursing care) 

My aged care service providers aim to help the elderly in connecting with the community, provide independency, and meet every cultural and social aspect with health and safety.  


Types of aged care support in Australia  

The Australian government subsidises aged care services. According to the Act, subsidised care is provided through the home, residential, and flexible care.  

Amounts paid to providers through funding agreements (rather than through the framework described in the Act) include home support and Indigenous flexible care.

Here are brief descriptions and statistics of each type of care. 


– Residential care  

Residential aged care facilities provide permanent care and respite care (short-term care). Care that cannot be delivered at home may be provided at this facility.

Nursing and some allied health services are included in the list of services. 

The care is funded by the Australian Government and residential contributions. The government provides subsidies to individuals under the Act.

The Aged Care Funding (ACFI) is used to calculate the subsidy care. When calculating, the subsidy, three domains are evaluated: daily activities, health care and behaviour.  

For the residential care package, the highest subsidy received as far as 2023 is $216. 80 per day. Residents need to contribute from their end towards the cost of elderly care services or accommodation.  


– Care at home  

Community and residential services are both available as part of CHSP.

There is social support, transport, housekeeping help, personal care, home maintenance, home modification, nursing care, meals, and allied health services. 

Providing entry-level home help and respite activities to relieve caregivers is the purpose of the Common Wealth Home Support Programme (CHSP).  

Through grant agreements, CHSP providers receive funding from the Australian Government. Clients contribute to the cost of services (which varies between providers). 

There is 4 levels of home care support packages available for elderly people, which include: 


Cost Overview of Home Care Subsidies  

The following rates have been applied from 1 July 2023.


Home Care Package Level Daily Subsidy Rate 
Level 1 $28.14
Level 2 $49.49
Level 3 $107.70
Level 4 $163.27


Level 1 Home Care Package – 

The Level 1 package is designed for older Australians who are capable of most of their daily tasks (basic needs) but need a bit of assistance.

The service involves meal assistance, shopping, and transportation support.  

According to MyAged Care, the funding available to support the level 1 home care package is $9,026 per annum.

The package usually consists of home assistance every week for 2 hours, depending on the requirement.  


Level 2 Home Care Package –  

The package takes care of the low-level care needs of elderly care people. A little extra assistance is available along with the basic care level.  

Before assigning the aged caregiver to elderly people, aged care training is provided to them.

The support fund for the Level 2 Home Care Package is around $15, 887 per annum with the support service of 3-4 hours of care every week. 


Level 3 Home Care Package –  

The support of the Level 3 home care package includes assistance for immediate care. It is advanced care where the individual seeks for basic assistance with routine nursing support.

Elderly people suffering from Dementia or physical strain seek level 3 home care support.  

The support fund for the Level 3 Home Care Package is approximately $34, 550 per annum with a home care service of 7-9 hours every week.  


Level 4 Home Care Package –  

The support is taken by the individual for high-level support needs with extreme medical conditions or mobility limitations.

Level 4 support includes service for personal and grooming assistance with routine nursing. Individuals with visual impairment or hearing impairment are eligible for level 4 support.  

Usually, the aged care assign certificate 4 aged care supporter to take care of the Level 4 service taker.  

The support fund for the Level 4 Home Care Package is around $52, 337 per annum with support needs of 10-13 hours every week.  


Flexible care –

Designed for older people, flexible care offers four types of mainstream services under the Act.  


Innovative care program –

Subsidised by the Australian Government, the program includes small home care services for individuals with immediate needs. 

This program supports flexible care options when mainstream services cannot meet needs.

There are currently seven projects under this program that focus on providing innovative services to young adults with disabilities. The program stopped accepting new projects in 2006. 

There are situations when conventional aged care services cannot meet the needs of a location or group. 


Transition care –

Funded jointly by the state government and Australian Government, individual receive care for up to 12 weeks (about 3 months) and then get discharged.

The elderly are not allocated any residential home care under the care program. These are the post-care health facility made available for elderly individuals.  

Recovery after hospitalization is easier with transition care. One can regain functional independence and confidence faster with short-term care and support and avoid needing longer-term support and care services. 


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Multi-purpose service program –

The Australian Government and Territory pool in the fund to integrate health and aged care service in remote areas for the elderly people.

An MPS must be recognised as an MPS by the Australian Government Department of Health to be able to receive the assessment under the NSQHS Standards or MPS Aged Care Module. 


Short term Restorative care –

It is an 8-week (about 2 months) care service provided to the individual who is facing immediate health setbacks even after taking up the transition care.

It is a subsidized program under the Australian Government focusing on post-hospital care for the elderly. 


An experienced team of health professionals assists in managing or adapting to changing needs.  


The approach will vary based on everyone’s needs. An exercise program that improves balance and strength may be part of this program. The assistance may include arranging access to mobility aids, a dietician for nutritious meal preparation, or minor home modifications, like installing bathroom rails. 


Eligibility for Aged care Service in Australia  

In addition to providing information about aged care, My Aged Care also serves as the primary point of contact for people seeking subsidised aged care. 

Older adults can also directly contact My Aged Care in addition to their families, doctors, and service providers. 

A staff member at my Aged Care centre screens and assesses clients over the phone so they can be referred for a face-to-face assessment to determine their eligibility for services such as home support, hospice, or residential care.  

My Aged Care will refer clients needing entry-level home support to a Regional Assessment Service (RAS).

The ACAT (Aged Care Assessment Team) is the body that assesses and approves clients seeking subsidised home care, residential care, or flexible care under the Act. 

Government-funded aged care may be available if: 

  • The applicant must be 65 years of age or older (50 years if they identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander). 
  • Require assistance to do the everyday task. 


Younger people may also qualify for the service in Australia.  


Accessing aged care support and aged care providers  

The My Aged Care website provides information about government-funded services. 

Instructions on enrollment – eligibility- and services are available. Aged care service takers are expected to contribute to the costs of the subsidies care package. 

Who provides aged care support services? In Australia, aged care is provided by different types of organizations, including: 

  • not-for-profit organisations 
  • for-profit private companies 
  • government organisations 


Funding from government agencies is only granted to approved providers.   

The aged care system allows older people to live independently at home. In addition, it offers support and accommodation for those who can no longer live independently at home. 


Respite care: The elderly aged care  

Taking a well-deserved break from caring responsibilities is possible through respite care. 

Even though it may seem challenging to leave care to someone else, even for a brief time, knowing the options available can help you create plans that can meet your needs.

Do not forget that you may also need emergency respite care at short notice. 


Types of respite care  

Caregivers tend to share the burden of caregiving and receive support from others. 

 In some cases, respite could be provided through family or friends watching your loved one so you can go to the gym, visit others, or handle chores.  

A respite caregiver can provide temporary or regular care at your loved one’s home as an occasional or regular service.  

Additionally, respite care can be provided by programs outside of your homes, such as adult day care centres, summer camps, or nursing homes, to allow you a break while your loved one receives continued care. 

Respite options come in a variety of forms, provided in a variety of settings. Few of the major respite care include: 


In-home respite care

Volunteers or paid help can provide in-home services on an ad hoc or regular basis. It is possible to arrange the services directly or through an agency, which may last from a few hours to overnight.

As a primary caregiver, it can be invaluable for you to have your loved one attend respite services in their home while they continue to receive care. 


  • Non-profit organization groups may provide volunteers. 
  • Short-term in-home care can be provided by trained staff from home-care businesses.  
  • Assistance with daily living skills such as bathing, dressing, and feeding is provided by personal care providers.  
  • Homemakers provide support with grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning. 


Short-term respite care

Services are provided for a limited period in the short-term care setting.

Depending on each person’s needs, short-term care has different methods for helping them with day-to-day activities and restoring or maintaining their independence.

The Australian Government subsidize the short-term respite care program.   

For 14 days (about 2 weeks) at a time, it covers your care in a different place. During the stay, you may be with others or alone. Your usual caregivers may be unavailable, or you may want to try something new with this assistance. 

Support and accommodation are provided for a fleeting period away from your usual residence through Short Term Accommodation, including respite.  

Taking into account Short Term Accommodation may not be necessary. Supports such as Short Term Accommodation can help you to achieve your goals if you use your Core budget. 


What is included in short-term respite care? 

You and your caregivers can benefit from short-term accommodation funding. The break allows your caregivers to get some rest from their caregiving duties. 

Accommodations for people who need to live away from home for an extended period, including respite care, are short-term supports. 

You can request a reassessment of your plan if there is not enough funding for Short Term Accommodation when your circumstances change. 


Residential respite care

Care can be provided in a nursing home for a brief period if your carer needs to go to the hospital or on vacation. Your caregiver will care for you when you return home. 

A subsidised residential respite service is available for up to 63 days (about 2 months) per year, whether planned or unplanned (in case of an emergency).

By getting approval from your aged care assessor, you can extend this by 21 days (about 3 weeks). 

Residents of respite care can expect the same care and support they would receive in an aged care home.

Despite this, you can still determine whether you receive low or high-level care based on your ACAT assessment. 


Community access respite

You may receive support from a care worker individually or as part of a group to attend a social event or outing in the community. It allows you to engage in social interactions and meet new people. 

Staff will assist in strengthening your relationships and re-engaging people with the community while also helping you build stronger connections and relationships with people. 

As well as offering you a chance to engage in fun activities with like-minded individuals, it allows you to make new friends. 

When you need occasional support from a carer for simple tasks or activities, community respite is best.  

Community respite eligibility is assessed during a regional assessment by My Aged Care (RAS). 


Emergency respite care

You might need emergency respite care in the following situations: 

  • Loss of one’s primary caregiver 
  • Serious illness of the caregiver 
  • A condition that prevents your caregiver from taking care of you. 

Some details might still be needed when you call to ensure you receive the correct type of care.  


Elderly care respite care

Your loved one can be cared for in an adult day centre for a few hours or all day. 

Adult day centres can offer various activities such as exercising, music classes or eating meals supervised by trained staff. Your loved one can be picked up at home and then brought back after the session by some programs. 


Respite care: Eligibility for respite care Australia  

You may be eligible for residential respite care as an older person with a carer to help with your daily living needs.  

A care assessment will determine your eligibility for respite care. Criteria for long-term care are the same. A qualified assessor will also work with you and your caregiver to choose an appropriate aged care facility. 

As well as receiving support from a Home Care Package or Commonwealth Home Support Programme, you can also access residential respite.  

Individuals cannot access residential respite care if they are already permanently living in an aged care home. 

A person who qualifies to reside as a full-time resident in an aged care facility also allows respite care.  

Online forms are available on the My Aged Care website requesting an assessment meeting. On the form, you’ll be asked about: 


  • Living arrangements 
  • Any duties you need assistance with (if applicable) 

There is a limit to how many days a person can receive government-subsidised respite care support in a year. 

A person is entitled to 63 days of subsidised respite care per year.  Individuals may be eligible for subsidised residential care in certain circumstances.  

In these uncertain times, families without access to care should be eligible for an additional 21 days (about 3 weeks) of subsidised respite care to assist families in these uncertain times. 


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Respite care: Allowances for the elderly support  

Each resident of a residential respite care facility in Australia receives a subsidy from the Australian Government. 

Residential respite places are not allocated separately to providers. Residential aged care providers must devote a portion of their rooms to respite care, known as respite days. 

For taking the respite care allowances, one needs to take approval from Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) for the government subsidy.  

Respite care: Daily subsidy rates for the elderly  

The daily subsidy rates provided by the Australian Government for respite care are listed below: 



Amount of Supplement 

Respite Care – High Level paid when 70% or more of the specified proportion of respite care for the approved provider has been provided over the preceding 12 months. $99.25 
Respite Care – High Level paid when less than 70% of the specified proportion of respite care for the approved provider has been provided over the preceding 12 months. $58.33 
Respite Care – Low Level $41.62 


Respite care: Cost of respite care in nursing home  

The Australian government subsidises respite care; however, there are still costs associated with the care. The charge cannot exceed 85% of a single basic pension. As of 2023, the single pension of the elderly person was $1,096.70 per fortnight.          


Respite care: Claiming respite care subsidy  

A claim form must be submitted each month. Include the details of each resident who is eligible for a subsidy. 

There are two ways to claim: 

  • submitting the claim online 
  •  mailing the form to Services Australia 


Respite care: Receiving the subsidy fund  

A monthly advance payment will be made within the first few days. Previous payments are used to estimate the current amount. 

The advance payment is compared to the claim form when Services Australia receives a claim form.

Based on the comparison, Services Australia will: 


  • pay an additional amount the following month 
  • and reduce its next payment 


Other amounts may also be taken out of payment, such as: 

  • refund capital grants 
  • recovery of overpayments 


Respite care: Additional services under the care program 

A residential home operated by Wise Choice can offer a wide range of services during your stay for respite care. Services include: 

  • Nurses and caregivers are on-call 24 hours a day 
  • Customised care based on individual needs 
  • Home-cooked meals 
  • designed by a dietitian 
  • Relaxation and meditation 
  • Physical activity 
  • Fitness classes 
  • Movies, music, and travel 


As with our permanent residents, respite care is comprehensive. We ensure that all people’s needs are met when they stay with us for respite care. 

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