What is the Home and Community Care (HACC) Program?

Most people want to live in their own home, but some frail older people and people with a disability can find this difficult without support. Help can be provided by carers (family and friends) and by HACC and other services. HACC can provide basic support services so that frail older people and people with a disability can continue to live in their community. These services provide eligible people with help at home, support in getting out into the community, and a break for carers. HACC services are offered in your home or local community and may be provided by a HACC agency, community health centre or local council.

What are HACC services?

HACC services provided in the community include:

  • Centre-based day respite
    Care, company and group activities in the centre, and may include short trips away from the centre.
  • Transport
    Helps people get out and about to a day centre, shopping or appointments.
  • Social support
    Gives clients a hand by taking them shopping, banking or to appointments, or just providing company for a chat.

HACC services provided at home may include:

  • Domestic assistance (home help/home care)
    Household jobs like cleaning, clothes washing and ironing.
  • Personal care
    Includes help with bathing or showering, dressing, hair care and toileting.
  • Home maintenance
    Home maintenance is general repair and care of a client's house or yard (for example, changing light bulbs, fixing door locks).
  • Home modification
    Services can install safety aids like alarms, ramps and support rails in your home.
  • Community nursing
    Provided in your home by a qualified nurse (eg. wound dressing, continence advice).

Some HACC services can be provided either at a community centre or in your home:

  • Food services
    If it is hard for you to prepare meals, these services may include:
    - providing meals at a community centre or day centre
    - helping with shopping for food, preparing and storing it
    - delivering meals to your home
  • Allied health services
    For people having problems with their feet or speech, for example, or needing help with ongoing problems resulting from an accident or illness. Services include physiotherapy, podiatry, speech pathology, occupational therapy and advice from a dietitian.
  • Respite care
    Gives carers a break from their caring role. A respite worker looks after the person needing care so the carer can enjoy other activities and interests. This service can be provided at a day centre or in your home.
  • Support services for carers
    As well as respite care, there are other support services for carers. You can get details of these in the HACC brochure "Are you caring for someone at home?" Ask your local service provider for a copy.

Who is eligible for a HACC service?

HACC services are for people who need help to continue living at home in the community because: they are frail older people who have difficulty with everyday tasks, such as showering, getting dressed or doing housework, OR they are a younger person with a moderate to severe disability, AND they are at risk of having to go into a nursing home or aged people's hostel. HACC services are also available for people who are caring for a frail older person or someone with a disability.

How do I get a HACC service?

You, your doctor, a family member or friend can contact: Commonwealth Carelink Centre to discuss your needs, OR your local HACC services coordinator for an assessment of your needs. For contact details see this page.


In order to assess your needs, a person from a HACC agency talks to you about how you are coping with your daily living. The information you provide is written in the HACC Ongoing Needs Identification (ONI) form. This is used by the HACC agency to decide whether you are eligible for a service and what type of service you need to assist you to remain living at home.

Will I have to pay for a HACC service?

Each HACC service has its own policy on fees, but most services ask for a small contribution, depending on your situation. Special consideration is given to people with limited finances.

Need more information?

To find out about HACC services in your area, contact: Commonwealth Carelink Centre* on 1800 052 222** (Freecall business hours)
Your doctor: Your doctor can work with other services to assist you to ask for the care you need.
Or visit

* Provides free information about community aged care,
disability and other support services.
** Calls from mobile phones are charged at applicable rates.