Home Care FAQ’s

How do I get started with Local Guardians?

Getting started is easy, once you’ve been approved for a home care package contact us and we’ll send you our simple, easy to read 4 page agreement. Once this has been completed and returned we’ll process it (generally within 1 business day) and be in touch regarding next steps.

What services can I get?

The intent of the Home Care Package (HCP) Program is to provide coordinated care and services that help senior Australians to live safely and independently in their own home for as long as they can. HCP funds cannot be used to pay for usual cost of living expenses, nor are they intended for the purchase of capital items or home renovations. In addition, expenditure must be considered as an acceptable use of government funds.

Allowable expenditure, and hence types of accessible services is limited to items that:

  • are directly linked to supporting the care recipient to help them live safely and independently at home
  • do not include expenditure that all Australians incur in their day to day living, not necessarily linked to ‘aging’ and a general personal expense
  • Be evidence based and represent good value for money

Oh, and don’t forget the ‘pub test’, if you heard of someone spending your tax paying dollars in a certain way, and don’t believe that’s fair, you are probably right!

Please see allowable Home Care Package expenditure

What if I am with a different company – can I switch to Local Guardians?

Yes! Switching is easy.

  • you’ll need to agree on an exit date with your existing provider, this might depend on your home care agreement, ie two weeks
  • provide the date to Local Guardians and the contact details of your existing provider to ensure home care package unspent funds can be transferred across</li

What is Care Management?

Care management is an essential practical and legislative function:

  • Care Plan and budget is completed (within two weeks of accepting agreement) and reviewed at a minimum annually.
  • Appropriate independent Care Providers have signed Provider Agreement with police check and insurance evidence; and
  • Care Providers / purchases scheduled in accordance with the budget limitations and monitored. (any expenditure more than budget limits is borne personally by Home Care Package holder)

All Care Management activities have a Care Management Coach and Local Guardians oversight.

What if I have questions about my home care package?

All questions should be directed to your Local Guardians Care Manager. They oversee all aspects of your home care package.

What is the difference between Local Guardians and Capital Guardians?

Local Guardians is an Approved Home Care Provider registered with the Department of Health to manage home care packages for Australians.

Capital Guardians manage all the financial payments of their clients. This is done in a transparent and efficient manner, with a simple invoicing process that enables invoices to be paid weekly. It acts as both storage for compliance documents such as police checks and insurance and as a source of sales leads.

Capital Guardians charge providers a 2% merchant fee, similar to Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, etc.

In exchange providers:

• are paid monies a month (30-40 days) in advance of the actual government funding. Home care is paid by the Government only after invoices are claimed the month following the service;
• are paid every Friday, for all approved invoices close of business Thursday;
• are promoted within the online service finder for thousands of homecare, aged care clients;
• share a single set of compliance documents, such as police check, ABN and insurance also allowing differentiation of their business's compliance through the provider finder;
• use a paperless, simple invoicing system with, no mail or postage; and
• access all transactions and payment history online.

Some providers might request they surcharge the merchant fee to their invoice, this will be the choice of the package holder.

How do I make a complaint?

You are entitled to make any complaint about the provision of services without fear of reprisal.

If you are dissatisfied about anything that occurs with the services, you can email us at complaints@localguardians.com or phone: 03 9008 9992, requesting the CEO or General Manager so that we can address the issue in accordance with our internal dispute resolution processes explained in the Home Care Handbook.

Alternatively submit a complaint form

How do I report an incident?

It is important we know about any incidents (including near misses), so we can review the occurrence, actions, and future mitigations and look to improvements. Even if in doubt as to whether there was an incident or not, please complete this incident form

How much will this cost?

We offer some of the lowest management fees in Australia which means you pay less in fees and get more care hours. See our pricing page for our fees.

How are home care packages / accounts funded?

Accounts are primarily funded through the Federal Governments Home Care Package Program, via Medicare. There are four levels of funding ranging from around $8,000 per year to over $50,000, depending on an assessment of need by an Aged Care Assessment Team.

Approved providers get paid once a month. The funding is claimed for all home care clients at the start of the month following and the money is transferred in a lump sum, within a few days with a remittance outlining the daily funding for every home care package.

Generally, all funding should be shown on a home care package statement in the first week of the month following the service period.

Where the Approved Provider has a daily fee and/or where Centrelink means testing requires compulsory individual contributions. Personal contributions are collected by direct debit. A direct debit is an authority a customer signs with an organisation, approved under banking rules, to take money directly from a nominated account under a set of specified conditions.

What is the basic daily fee?

The basic daily fee is set by the Government at a % of the single basic age pension. This fee varies depending on your Home Care Package level. The basic daily fee is added to the government subsidy to increase the funds available to you in your Home Care Package budget. Providers can ask you to pay a basic daily fee however at Local Guardians we do not charge this.

How long does it take for unspent funds to be transferred?

When you change providers, any unspent funds will be transferred by the previous provider to the new provider within 70 days from start of package (allowing time to reconcile any outstanding invoices).

It is unusual for money to be transferred sooner than 60 days. The Government pays operators once a month and may make several adjustments to the funding after closure. Home care package operators need sufficient time to ensure the unspent money is correct.

What is a cabcharge card and how do I order one?

Cabcharge cards are issued in client names and can be used in any taxi anywhere in Australia. Trip limits can be built into the card, and email notifications and maps sent for every trip. The Capital Guardians weekly statement will show details of all trips.

Spending on a Cabcharge Card must be payable by the home care package, hence the importance of managing the card to the budget, as any expenditure that cannot be paid by the government subsidy must be borne personally.

Follow this link to order a Cabcharge

Linking Providers of Goods and Services to Invoice

New providers of goods and services are invited to register (not entered, they enter themselves).

Select the Providers tab, or a client name. This allows a search of local providers within Capital Guardians.

Alternately, just invite a provider to register with their email address by selecting Invite.

Providers not invited can register at www.capitalguardians.com by selecting ‘Register’ top right of the website, and by then selecting Provider Registration. Here they select the Approved Home Care Packages Provider (community) or enter the client name. They will appear on your shortlist, however, cannot invoice or see clients name until an approved provider adds them to an account.

It only takes minutes for a Provider to register. The registration process will automatically confirm their AB. In addition, providers can upload their Police Check, Insurance and other forms, and can be seen in search and user logins.

Who needs a police check and insurance?

Police checks are mandatory for the visiting individuals of service providers who are visiting the home. These types of providers must have a valid police check that is less than three years old (as required in the Aged Care Act 1997). A valid police check should be provided prior to an individual commencing work.

A police check represents a police certificate, less than three years old, that does not preclude the individual from working in aged care. The Provider, or client can email this directly to Local Guardians or upload to their invoicing login.

Police checks are not required for service providers providing a once off service and are supervised by someone else other than the care recipient. They are not required for services provided in an organisation’s offices, such as a physio.

Trades people engaged to provide a service at a date and time determined by the person providing the service generally do not require police checks.

Insurance is required by all contractors to protect the care recipient / homeowner whereby damage might be caused to the home or persons.

Insurance, police and checks for contractors are identified on the Capital Guardians search and listed contractors for any home care recipient.

How are prepared meals paid for with a home care package?

The delivery and preparation of prepared meals can be paid by a home care package. Home care packages cannot pay for the food component, or any part of take away food. Industry standards have the food cost at approximately 30%, meaning 70% of prepared meals can be paid by the home care package.

This is then paid to the provider of the prepared meals when:

• the provider take a credit card for the 30% from the individual care recipient and invoices Capital Guardians the 70% directly. The larger meal companies do this, ie Tender Loving Cuisine, Meals in a Moment, Lite n Easy; or
• the provider invoices 100% and Capital Guardians take a fortnightly contribution of the estimate of 30% of the cost by direct debit from the care recipient; or
• the care recipient claims 70% reimbursement, using the Capital Guardians app to login and take a photo of the receipt and 70% calculated and marked as the reimbursement amount.

When will my monthly accounts be ready for viewing?

Accounts are in “real-time” and as soon as a supplier issues an invoice, the accounts are ready to view.

The monthly accounts will be complete and ready to view when all the service providers have uploaded their invoices. As a starting point, by policy, service providers need to have their invoices submitted within 7 calendar days of a calendar month end. This will cover services performed in that prior calendar month.

Where this timeline is not met, it will become a performance development item for the supplier overseen by the home care provider. This is part of their service delivery contract. Timely invoicing allows for quick identification of issues and helps everyone, including the supplier to be on top of their game.

All service providers, big and small, are provided with very simple efficient tools within local guardians to get invoices submitted, with or without accounting system support.

How do I see my monthly statements using a computer?

To view a statement, log in via the button top right corner of our site.

  • enter your email (that will be the email address you gave us as your contact)
  • enter your password

If you have forgotten your password, click on the “Forgot Password” link. Check your email inbox for the generated email to reset your password. If you don’t receive an email, contact your Care Manager or Local Guardians.

If you have multiple accounts, you can select the balance figure to view statements.

I don’t have a computer, so how do I see my monthly statements?

You can receive statements and balances, as follows:

  • from your care manager (they can print your statements)
  • any smartphone or tablet
  • relatives/friends
  • library (use your login details on any computer. This will be your email address or username plus your password).

How do I claim a reimbursement?

Home care recipients, who spend their own money, can request a reimbursement. Reimbursements cannot be used for providers who visit the home and are required to register with police and insurance evidence.

Firstly, Capital Guardians need to set up the individual to claim reimbursements, clients need to provide their bank account details (BSB and Account) for deposits.

To request a reimbursement account, follow this link : Reimbursement Account Request Form

After you have received a confirmation email, you can claim a reimbursement by:

- Logging into the Capital Guardians site using email address and password.
- In the menu on the left-hand side, select, “Invoice.”
- Enter the dollar amount claimed; description; date and attach the receipt (receipt mandatory).
- Click on “Send”.

If claiming the reimbursement on a smart-phone, use the camera to take a photo of the receipt to allow Care Manager approval.

For care recipients who don’t have computers, reimbursements need to be organised with the care manager. A process for providing paper-based requests and receipts will be setup.

Daily limits apply, contact your Care Manager for larger purchases or if you receive an error message