MOBILE ATTENDANT CARE SERVICE

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Why is there a MACS?
How does MACS operate?
How is MACS different from other Service Providers?

About Joining MACS

Who does MACS assist?
How do I apply?
What are the benefits of the MACS model?
What are the drawbacks?
So, I can have assistance any time I like?
What’s the difference between set times and call ins?
What if I want a different set time?
What if I need extra assistance?
What if I need to cancel a visit or several visits?
Can I keep my set time if I don’t need assistance?

About NDIS, Payments & Billing

How does MACS charge?
Why is there a travel time charge?
Under what circumstances could I be charged for cancellations?
I am an NDIS participant, what should I request on my plan?
How will I be billed for services under the NDIS?


Why is there a MACS?

MACS was formed in 1992 by a small group of people with physical disabilities who wanted to live more independently in the community. At that point night-time assistance was primarily done through shared accommodation and sleepover support shifts. Resources were pooled together to pay for a support worker to travel between multiple homes allowing more flexible assistance times, call in assistance and more cost effective support

Over time this service delivery model expanded to the six night-time shifts currently operating.

How does MACS operate?

While it’s quite difficult to arrange a short night-time visit for a single person, it’s easier to “piggyback” this onto a longer shift where one support worker assists multiple people in a row. MACS has a network of overlapping shifts travelling throughout the night. This means that rather than the standard minimum 1 hour start time, we can be cost effective from 15 minutes plus travel time.

We also offer a call-in service, day-time drop-in support, and daytime personal support

How is MACS different from other Service Providers?

We are contactable 24/7, 365 days a year. Your disability doesn’t take holidays or disappear at the end of the business day, so nor do we.

We are a consumer driven service, with people with physical disabilities involved in the governance of MACS since it was founded. When it comes to the lived experience of disability, we “get it.”


 

Joining MACS

Who does MACS assist?

We assist people that:

  • have a physical disability
  • are aged between 18-65 years old (at the time of joining the service)
  • live within our North Brisbane catchment area
  • have the ability to instruct our staff
  • be in receipt of funding to pay for support e.g. NDIS, NIISQ, Third Party, or have capacity to pay the fees for our services.

How do I apply?

Contact our friendly office team by phone 07 3359 9596, email macs@macsinc.org.au, or fill out our enquiry form.

I’m over 65 and want to join MACS?

MACS’ primary target group is people with a physical disability. While we would like to assist everyone, we unfortunately are not aged care specialists.


 

The MACS service model

What are the benefits of the MACS model?

  • A coordinator to organise your services;
  • Qualified and trained staff;
  • Consistent staff;
  • Reliable – all our staff must sign on when they start their shift and this is monitored by the coordination team;
  • Flexible assistance – if you need a change to your assistance time you can contact the office during office hours and they will adjust your time, if it is during the night then you can contact your shift and they will accommodate your request;
  • Responsive – a number to contact anytime of night for call-in assistance; a regular assistance time on a usual shift; the phone number of your shift provided to you;
  • Staff member showing up on time – 90% of the time our staff arrive within 5 minutes of your scheduled assistance time *arrival times reviewed daily by coordination team;
  • If staff are going to more than 10 minutes late they will call you with an ETA;
  • Staff member that you know – staff who work your shift will have 3 buddy shifts with senior staff so that they become familiar with your routine before going out on their own.
  • Task focused drop-in support – your assistance will include all the things that you need and nothing you don’t

What are the drawbacks?

  • Your regular assistance will need to fit in with the flow of our shifts and therefore may not be the exact time you are looking for;
  • when we receive call-ins this can make us late for your regular assistance;
  • when another service user is away we may need to alter your assistance time to ensure the efficiency of our shift;
  • when a service user wants to change their assistance time for a once off we may contact you to ask you to change your assistance time to accommodate the other person’s request;
  • when you have a change to your usual assistance or a call-in you may be assisted by someone that you have not met before.

So, I can have assistance any time I like?

  • You can have this assistance when our shifts are operating which is currently from 5.30pm – 12 noon the following day;
  • our coordination team will identify the best fit time for you from what we have available in your area

What’s the difference between set times and call ins?

  • Your regular assistance will be scheduled onto our rosters for a set time and staff will show up within 10 minutes of that time (if they are running late they will provide you with an ETA).
  • Call-ins are when you have other needs that pop up and you phone in to the designated number and staff will schedule in unplanned assistance for you, this could take some time to reach you depending the priority of your call and our location

What if I want a different set time?

If you would like to change your time then please contact our coordination team and let them know your preferences. One of our friendly team will look at how we can accommodate your request. If we cannot accommodate your request we will record your preferences on your file and contact you as soon as a suitable place becomes available.

What if I need extra assistance?

Staff will stay for extra time if you require it and then the additional time will be added to your bill.

What if I need to cancel a visit or several visits?

Please contact the office during office hours to cancel your shift or the afterhours numbers if you need to cancel after hours; our cancellation policy will apply for billing purposes.

Can I keep my set time if I don’t need assistance?

If you don’t require regular assistance (7 days) then our call-in option may be more suitable for you as we are not able to reserve vacant time on our shifts.


 

NDIS, Payments & Billing

How does MACS charge?

Customers are charged for the actual time they are assisted.   Our minimum shift is 15 minutes.  20 minutes of travel time is also charged with each drop-in assistance provided.  This is charged at the same rate as the hourly rate of the assistance provided.

E.g. if you have a 15 minute shift you will be charged 35 minutes in total.

Why is there a travel time charge?

As MACS provide a mobile service, travel time is an important billable for us to continue to be able to deliver this service.  It is essential for us to cover costs associated with staffing our shifts.

Under what circumstances could I be charged for cancellations?

If a phone call is not made to the office to advise of cancellation before 3pm the day before the scheduled service. In this instance, MACS will charge for 90% of the price for the cancelled shift

If the customer is not home for their assistance and does not inform the office that they will not be home, they will be charged for the assistance plus travel time as if they were assisted.

Cancellations made ‘on the doorstep’ (without notice) at a scheduled assistance time will be charged to the customers plan as if they were assisted.  Scheduled assistance plus travel.

I am an NDIS participant, what should I request on my plan?

People that wish to use MACS services will need to ask the NDIA for a minimum of 1 hour per drop in assistance.  However, if your assistance time exceeds 40 minutes you will need to request the actual assistance time plus 20 minutes travel.

How will I be billed for services under the NDIS?

MACS rates are in line with the NDIS Price Guide.

How your services will be billed will depend on how your plan is ‘managed’. When we talk about managing a plan, we mean the way you manage the financial transactions involved with accessing supports as part of your plan.

There are four ways to manage plan budgets:

1. Agency Managed – When the NDIA manages your plan, the NDIA will directly pay MACS for the support we provide to you.

You can only use NDIS providers if the NDIA manages your plan.

2. Plan Management – If you have funding for a Plan Management service included in your plan the NDIA will pay your Plan Manager, who will directly pay for all supports you have asked them to manage. Being plan managed allows you to choose any provider, whether they are registered with the NDIS or not.

3. Self-managed – means the NDIS will pay you directly for the supports you claim under your plan’s budgets. You generally pay for the supports in the first instances and claim the expense back from the NDIA via the ‘my place portal’.  Being self-managed allows you to choose any provider, whether they are registered with the NDIS or not.

4. Combination – All above three options can be used together. No matter which option you choose, you remain in control of which support providers you ultimately choose and engage.

Tell us about your needs