Commonwealth (HACC) Program

The Commonwealth HACC Program provides services that support older people to stay at home and be more independent in the community.

Page last updated: 21 January 2014

To find out about services in your area phone 1800 200 422

The services provided under the Commonwealth HACC Program include:
  • nursing care
  • allied health services like podiatry, physiotherapy and speech pathology
  • domestic assistance, including help with cleaning, washing and shopping
  • personal care, such as help with bathing, dressing, grooming and eating
  • social support
  • home maintenance
  • home modifications
  • assistance with food preparation in the home
  • delivery of meals
  • transport
  • assessment, client care coordination and case management
  • counselling, information and advocacy services
  • centre-based day care
  • support for carers including respite services
More detailed information is available on the Commonwealth HACC services section of this site.

Who can access Commonwealth HACC services?

Commonwealth HACC services are available to people:
  • aged 65 years and over (or 50 and over for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people),
  • in all states and territories (except Victoria and Western Australia),
  • who are at risk of premature or inappropriate admission to long term residential care,
    and
  • carers of older Australians eligible for services under the Commonwealth HACC Program.

The HACC reforms

On 1 July 2012 the Commonwealth HACC Program assumed full funding, policy and operational responsibility for HACC services for older people in all states and territories (except Victoria and Western Australia). The state and territory governments will continue to fund and administer HACC services for people under the age of 65 or under 50 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Previously the HACC program was jointly funded by the Australian Government and the state and territory governments. The state and territory governments were responsible for managing the program while the Australian Government maintained a broad strategic role.

The Commonwealth HACC Program arrangements do not apply to Victoria and Western Australia. HACC services continue to be delivered as a jointly funded Commonwealth-State program that provides services to older people and younger people with disabilities. The Australian Government and the Victorian and Western Australian State Governments maintain bilateral agreements for that purpose.

However, in May 2013, the Victorian Government agreed to transition responsibility for HACC services for older clients to the Commonwealth, as part of the negotiations regarding DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme. HACC services for younger clients will be the responsibility of the Victorian Government. This transfer will take effect from 1 July 2015.

In August 2013, also as part of the negotiations regarding DisabilityCare Australia, the Western Australian Government agreed to commence negotiations on implementing a transition of HACC services for older people to Commonwealth responsibility and control from 2016-17.

Contact details for information about HACC services in Victoria and Western Australia are as follows:

Victoria

Department of Health Victoria Switchboard
Telephone: 1300 253 942
Email: Enquiries (enquiries@health.vic.gov.au)

Western Australia

Home and Community Care in Western Australia
Telephone: (08) 9222 4222
Email: HACC WA (haccwa@health.wa.gov.au)

Benefits of the new HACC arrangements

The introduction of the Commonwealth HACC Program enables the development of a consistent aged care system covering basic care at home through to high level care in aged care homes. Older people will be able to move seamlessly from basic maintenance, support and care services through to more complex care packages or residential care as their needs change.

The changes to HACC makes it clearer which level of government is responsible for services for different consumers. This should make it easier for people to find information about the HACC services that are relevant to them.

Commonwealth HACC Program Grants Report

Reports on the Commonwealth HACC Program Grants can be found on the Grants Reporting page.


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