You’ve taken the first step and accepted that you need a little extra support - now what? Knowing where to get help is the next step and where you go will depend on who the help is for.

For any Government funded or subsidised services you will need to go through the centralised gateway before you can receive services from an approved provider. If you want to purchase services and pay for them privately, then contact the provider directly and off you go!

  • provide information
  • work with you to find out what you need
  • check eligibility for services
  • discuss and explore services that can help you
  • advise where to find people that can help, or in some cases help you to book services

It depends on whether you are looking for help for yourself or someone else:

Carer Gateway

They support carers of any age. They offer online advice, counselling, information and can link you to respite services.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funds costs associated with disability for people under 65. They have a funding scheme for people aged 0-6 and another for those aged 7-64. The funding is individualised and enables the person to purchase certain goods, services and supports.


MyAgedCare is the gateway to any Government funded service for people over 65 in Australia. Depending upon the assessed needs of the person, they can access supports ranging from monthly gardening and social groups, to in home nursing or residential care.

Service providers are the organisations or businesses that deliver the care or services you need, like therapy, personal care or social programs. Service providers can be a privately run business or a Government funded provider, many large organisations are both.

A Government funded provider is referred to as an ‘approved service provider’. The organisation has a contract with the Government to provide certain services, they regulate what services be can delivered and the quality of the service. Carer Support is an approved provider.

Once you have been assessed by one of the gateway services you will either be provided with access to funding to spend on services (NDIS or Home Care Package) or a referral for services from an approved service provider (Respite, Commonwealth Home Support Program, Residential Aged Care).

The Australian Government contributes to the cost of your care, through paying an approved service provider to deliver the service or providing you with a budget. However, you will also be asked to contribute if you can afford to. Fees from approved service providers are usually low and much less than the full price of the service if you were to pay privately, as the Government partly funds the service.

If you have approved funding through the NDIS or a Home Care Package you must pay the full cost for the service from your allocated funding. You have choices on how you spend your funding and can use private businesses or an approved provider who can also provide their services at private rates.


The aim of the NDIS is to support people with a permanent and significant disability that affects their ability to take part in everyday activities. Funding can used in many ways, your NDIS plan manager will work with you to develop the best plan for your individual needs. Basic examples are therapy, equipment, supporting social activity, home modifications or assistance with employment.

Home Care Package

Home Care Packages (HCP’s) are for those aged over 65 with greater or more complex care needs and are at home. If you need care and support services on an ongoing basis, a Home Care Package provides funding for a number of services to meet your needs and can be provided daily. Services such as personal care, nursing, therapy, social support, domestic assistance.


Respite services look after the person you care for and can be arranged on a regular basis or in an emergency, enabling you to take a break. Services can be provided in your home or within the community and can be for a few hours, overnight or a couple of days.

Commonwealth Home Support Program

The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) aims to help those aged over 65 who need a low level of support to keep living independently within the community. Recommended for those who only need one or two services and are not required daily. Services such as, cleaning, therapy, social groups, transport, gardening and some respite services.

Residential Aged Care

Residential Aged Care (sometimes known as a nursing home or residential aged care facility) supports people who can no longer live at home and need more help with everyday tasks or health care. They provide support 24 hours a day, every day, with services such as nursing care, personal care, meals and accommodation.

Under 65

Programs and services for carers themselves, from social and peer support groups to education or fun nights out.

Over 65

Programs and services:

  • Domestic assistance- cleaning, shopping for you, help at home
  • Social groups- organised outings or groups
  • Social support 1:1- support to go out- shopping, attend social groups, maintain hobbies or other social links
  • Respite- 1:1 support within the home or community

Case Study

Katie is 68 and cares for her 70 year old husband Ron, who had Parkinson’s disease. She needed emergency respite when she hurt her back - Carers gateway. She needed help with shopping, house cleaning and physio while she recovered from her back pain- MyAged Care (domestic assistance and Allied Health). Her husband was quite socially isolated due to condition and wanted to get out more- MYAgedCare (social support).

Where does Carer Support fit in?

For Katie- Carer and Community Support provided a support worker to take Jenny shopping and clean her house while her back was bad. The physio advised the cleaning was contributing to her back pain and reducing her ability to care for her husband, so Carer and Community Support was able to make the cleaning an ongoing service, once a fortnight.

For Ron- Carer and Community Support provided a taxi voucher for Ron to get to a book club that was run by Carer Support each week. This provided an additional period of respite for Katie, but is not categorised as respite, as it is provided to meet the needs of Ron. However once Carer and Community support know more about their needs, Carer and Community Support was able to provide respite on a weekly basis for Ron, in the home, to enable Kate to go an exercise group to help keep her physically well and able to care for Ron.

Case study

Jenny has a 7 year old son with an acquired brain injury. She needs respite so she can go out twice a week to work- Carers Gateway. Jenny’s son needs physio and assistance to get to school- NDIS. The last time Jenny went anywhere other than work or to a doctor’s appointment was 6 months ago.

Where does Carer and Community Support fit in?

For Jenny- Carer and Community Support runs a coffee and catch up club for carers at a café near Jenny once a month. This gives Jenny time out of the house to socialise and debrief with real people who understand her and her circumstances. She has also booked respite to attend a 6 week cooking class provided by Carer and Community Support, to learn how to cook healthy meals for herself and her family.

Carer Support does not specifically endorse any organisation, association or entity referred to in, or linked to, the Online Resources. Views or recommendations provided in linked websites do not necessarily reflect those of Carer Support and Carer Support has no responsibility for the content of the linked website(s). It is your responsibility to make your own decisions about the currency, completeness, accuracy, reliability and suitability of information contained in linked websites.