3414.0 - Guide to Migrant Statistical Sources, 2011 (Edition 2)  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/03/2011   
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Management of Expenditure and Resident Link Information Network (MERLIN)


Community Aged Care Packages (CACPs) are Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) funded aged care places programs designed to provide assistance to enable frail or disabled older people with complex care needs to remain living in their own homes. CACP providers receive a federal government subsidy to supply and coordinate care services including personal care, social support, transport to appointments, home help, meal preparation, and gardening.

The Management of Expenditure and Resident Linked Information System (MERLIN) records the administration of payments to providers of CACPs. It contains information on the characteristics of CACP recipients and their service providers. The data are used primarily by DoHA, its state and territory offices, Medicare Australia and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Data on CACPs have been published by the AIHW since 1998-99.


The scope of this collection is all persons receiving a CACP.

Note: Data on service outlets receiving flexible funding under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Aged Care Strategy and on Multi-Purpose service outlets are not available as their recipients are not included in the current national database.


Information is obtained from an 'Aged Care Client Record' which is completed by an Aged Care Assessment Team delegate, in consultation with the applicant and signed by either the applicant or someone on behalf of the applicant.

Data items include:

  • Care recipients and their characteristics
  • sex
  • date of birth
  • Indigenous status
  • birthplace
  • preferred language
  • pension status
  • usual residence status
    • Service provider outlets and their characteristics
  • location (from Statistical Local Area level)
  • size, classified by number of CACPs provided
  • financial hardship target percentage

    • State/territory
    • Statistical Division
    • Statistical Subdivision
    • Statistical Local Area
    • Local Government Area

    Data are disseminated on the basis of the location of the service outlet. The address of the service outlet is geocoded to a Statistical Local Area (SLA).

    Note: The location of a service outlet may be in a different SLA to the usual residence of the care recipient, and as such, care should be taken in the interpretation of these data.


    The data are included in AIHW publications such as the yearly report, 'Community Aged Care Packages in Australia: A statistical overview'.


    The website for the Department of Health and Ageing can be found at www.health.gov.au and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare is found at www.aihw.gov.au.