Carer Gateway FAQs

Q: What is Carer Gateway?
A: Carer Gateway is the national service for carers, funded by the Australian Government.
It includes a website and phone or online services for carers to access practical information and face-to-face services, to assist and support them in their day-to-day roles.

Q: Who can access the Carer Gateway services?
A: Carers of all ages are able to access Carer Gateway services. This support is available to anyone providing unpaid care for older people, people with chronic illness, people with disability, people with addictions or people living with mental illness.

Q: Is the Carer Gateway up and running?
A: Yes, this service has been operating since the 6th April 2020.

Q: What are the operating hours for the Carer Gateway call centre?
A: You can contact Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737, Monday to Friday from 8am – 6pm.

Q: For after-hours support what number to carers call?
A: You can still call the same 1800 422 737 number, there is an after-hours team on call.

Q: Do carers have to reside with the person they are caring for?
A: No, they do not to reside in the same household.

Q: If a person has two carers, are both carers eligible to access Carer Gateway Services?
A: Yes, during the assessment phase our team will define what kind of support these carers are eligible for.

Q: What is the expected timeframe from initial phone call, assessment and referral to services?
A: This depends on the client’s needs and the urgency of required services. Emergency respite can be organised within 24 hours.

Q: If a carer has been referred from a different organisation, e.g. My Aged Care, does their information get forwarded to Carer Gateway?
A: No, it does not.

Q: Are there any age restrictions for carers to access services?
A: No, carers of all ages can access Carer Gateway services.

Q: Are there any services to assist young carers to complete their applications/assessments?
A: Yes, one of our staff will complete a client assessment together with the young carer.

Q: Is an assessment required to access all of the services that are provided e.g. phone counselling?
A: Yes, regardless of the service the normal assessment process must be completed.

Q: Can the STAR assessment be completed face-to-face?
A: Yes.

Q: What intake and registration options are available for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) carers?
A: We have a multilingual intake team and access to interpreter services.

Q: If a carer is not deemed eligible for a specific request e.g. respite care, are there channels to review additional outcomes?
A: We assess each case individually and usually find services for all our clients. If we cannot meet a client’s request, we look for other options such as referring to other services.

Q: Are carers able to register for future needs, to avoid having to do so if an emergency situation arises?
A: We would encourage carers to register with Carer Gateway before reaching crisis point. This is the main objective of Carer Gateway – to encourage carers to access support early.

Q: What services are available as part of the Carer Gateway?

  • Emergency Respite
  • Carer Directed Support
  • In-Person Peer Support
  • In-Person Counselling
  • Facilitated Coaching

Q: Who are the Carer Gateway service providers and what regions do they cover?

  • The Benevolent Society in partnership with Your Side (NSW1 – Sydney metropolitan area; and Northern, Eastern and Western Sydney suburbs)
  • Wellways Australia (NSW2 – South-Western Sydney including Campbelltown and Liverpool; and the Nepean and Blue Mountains regions)
  • Live Better (NSW3 – South-Eastern NSW including Goulburn and Wollongong; the Murrumbidgee region including Griffith and Wagga Wagga; and Western NSW including Bourke and Broken Hill)
  • Carers NSW (NSW4 – Hunter, New England and Central Coast regions including Armidale, Newcastle and Tamworth; and the North Coast region including Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie

Q: Are carers able to access funding for multiple care recipients?
A: Yes they are. Each situation will be assessed on an individual basis.

Q: Are there any exclusions if the person being cared for has a Home Care Package?
A: No, a carer can still receive support from Carer Gateway, regardless of any other funding received, including a Home Care Package.

Q: Is Carer Directed Support income tested?
A: No, it is not income tested.

Q: What does the Carer Directed Support include and cover?
A: It consists of a $3,000 annual amount for the carer to use to purchase a range of practical supports to assist them in their caring role. Examples of these practical supports could include a cooking class to learn how to cook for a care recipient, plus ongoing support e.g. respite, personal care, etc.

Q: How often can carers access the Carer Directed Package?
A: Once every financial year. After the first Carer Directed Package has been accessed, additional access will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Q: What support options are available for CALD carers?
A: The same as for non-CALD carers. We have access to interpreter services where required.

Q: Are there any additional services for Indigenous Australians?
A: No.

Q: What does the one-off practical support include and cover?
A: It consists of a one-off $1,500 amount that can only be used for the purchase of small asset items to assist carers in their continued education and support them in their caring role. Examples include the purchase of laptops, technical equipment needed for a carer’s role, courses to enhance their skills i.e. a course on personal care, etc.

Q: What is the criteria for accessing emergency respite?
A: Emergency respite can potentially be accessed at short notice if care can no longer be given,
e.g. due to hospitalisation of the carer, illness or injury. It is recommended that carers create an emergency care plan with Carer Gateway prior to an emergency occurring.

Q: How quickly are carers able to access emergency respite?
A: Within 24 hours depending on when the request is submitted. Requests submitted out of normal business hours may take longer than 24 hours.

Q: Is Your Side still funded to provide flexible regular weekly respite in home as previously, or is the expectation that carers will have to access respite using home care packages or NDIS plans?
A: Yes, Your Side is accepting MAC referrals for flexible respite.

Q: Does Carer Gateway replace the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) respite services?
A: No, it does not.

Q: Does Carer Gateway replace Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres?
A: Yes it does. Most current carer services like the CRCC will be transitioning to the Carer Gateway.

Q: If a carer receives funding from elsewhere, can they still seek help through Carer Gateway?
A: Yes, carers may access support through Carer Gateway regardless of any current funding they are receiving.

Q: Are the counselling sessions on top of the Medicare 10 sessions?
A: Yes, they are over and above the Medicare sessions and specifically for carers.

Q: How does the Carer Gateway work with My Aged Care for the over 65 population?
A: We can support carers to make a referral to My Aged Care.

Q: Are face-to-face sessions offered in-home or in Your Side offices?
A: Depending on a client’s needs and their location, sessions can either be in the home or at Your Side’s offices.

Q: Is a carer able to access multiple services, e.g. Carer Directed Support and counselling, at the same time?
A: Yes, depending on the needs of the carer, multiple services can be accessed at one time.

Q: Is there a cost for the Carer Directed Support package?
A: The guidelines as supplied by Carer Gateway do allow for the provider to ask for a contribution towards the package if the recipient is in a financial position to do so.

Q: Are there any brochures that can be given out to carers?
A: Yes, you can request brochures by emailing carers@yourside.org.au