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Comparison of CHSP and HCP with icons for services like transport, meals, home maintenance, and a bar graph showing support levels.

The difference between Home Care Packages (HCP) and the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)

The Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) is subsidized by the government, but you need to contribute to the overall cost. Home Care Packages (HCP) receive funding based on a tier system, requiring only small fees to your care provider. HCPs need an ACAT (Aged Care Assessment Team) assessment, while CHSP only requires a RAS (Regional Assessment Service) assessment. In this article, we’ll go cover how each works, look at CHSP interaction with HCP, how to transition from CHSP to HCP, and explain whether CHSP or HCP is right for you.

What is the Commonwealth Home Support Programme?

The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) is an Australian Government funded program which assists senior Australians with accessing entry-level support services to live independently in their own homes. This program ensures that senior Australians can maintain their independence by accessing care services at a subsidised rate. My Aged Care has prepared a CHSP booklet which you can read over to learn the basics, as well as a full CHSP manual if you need in-depth information.

Who is eligible for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme?

CHSP is designed for senior Australians who need a small level of support to improve their health and independence. To be eligible for CHSP, you must be:

  • 65 years or older
  • 50 years or older (for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people)
  • 50 years or older, and homeless, at risk of being homeless, or on a low income
  • 45 years or older, and homeless, at risk of being homeless, or on a low income (for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people)

You can check if you can receive services by using My Aged Care’s eligibility check, or apply for an assessment online if you are ready.

How much is Commonwealth Home Support Programme funding?

The average funding per person in the CHSP is roughly $3000, but there is often a significant variation in funding from person to person. Those receiving CHSP services are asked to contribute towards the cost of their care if they can afford it by contributing through an income tested fee. This contribution will differ significantly from person to person, but is on average $300 per year for personal care. For more information on the types of care available and the average fees for each service type, read over the CHSP fact sheet.

How do I find a Commonwealth Home Support Provider provider?

Each provider is free to set their own prices and fees, and may only provide specific services and in specific locations. You can use My Aged Care’s find a provider tool to find and compare CHSP providers.

How do I transition from the Commonwealth Home Support Program to a Home Care Package?

In most cases, you cannot access a Home Care Package and Commonwealth Home Support Programme services at the same time. This ensures that as many people as possible receive entry level care services. Those who have been assessed as eligible for a Home Care Package can receive CHSP services as an interim agreement while they wait to be assigned a package. In most cases, CHSP services will cease once you start your Home Care Package.

What is a Home Care Package?

To assist senior Australians with living independently in their own homes, the Australian Government has created the Home Care Packages Program. This program allows senior Australians to receive the care they need, from the services they choose, for as long as they choose to, in partnership with care providers.

These packages range from level 1 (for basic care needs) to level 4 (for high care needs). This program is designed for senior Australians who require greater levels of assistance than what is available from the CHSP to remain independent and healthy.

Who is eligible for a Home Care Package?

Any older Australian who needs coordinated services to remain healthy and independent in their own home is eligible for a Home Care Package. Younger Australians who have a disability, dementia, or other care needs which are not met through other specialist services are also eligible.

Eligibility for a Home Care Package is determined through an ACAT assessment.  The ACAT assessment is the first step in getting a Home Care Package.

How much is Home Care Package funding?

A Home Care Package provider receives a yearly subsidy from the government based on the Home Care Package level that a consumer has been assigned, which is used to budget their care plan. These levels and their government subsidies are outlined below:

Similarly to the CHSP, those who can afford it are asked to contribute to their care through an income-tested fee. Whether you must pay this fee or not will be determined through a formal income assessment by Services Australia.

Additionally, providers may ask their customers to pay a basic daily fee to receive services from their Home Care Package. They may also charge additional costs, fees, and surcharges. At Trilogy Care, we don’t charge a basic daily fee, and have no hidden costs or fees. We only charge a flat 15% rate of your Home Care Package, giving you the funds to double your care hours compared to a traditional provider.

What can Home Care Package funds be used for?

A Home Care Package helps senior Australians in living safe, healthy, independent lives in their own home. Package funds are used to pay for services which meet a person’s individual care needs. Each person’s care needs are identified on a case-by-case basis through an ACAT assessment and care plan meeting. Available services include:

  • Personal care
  • Nursing services
  • Allied health and therapy services
  • Food preparation and nutrition
  • Cleaning and home maintenance
  • Minor home modifications such as grab rails or easy access taps
  • Assistive technology such as walking frames
  • Transport services
  • Social support services

At Trilogy Care, we will assign you a dedicated Care Manager who will work with you to design a care plan which best meets your individual care needs. Make sure you know what home care package funds can be used for, and have a look through our available services for a great explanation on which services will work the best for you.

How do I find a Home Care Package provider?

My Aged Care’s find a provider tool is a great tool for finding available Home Care Package providers in your area, their pricing schedule, and the package levels that they can service. Trilogy Care services all package levels for a competitive 15% flat rate with no hidden fees, and is available Australia-wide!

Is a Commonwealth Home Support Program or Home Care Package right for me?

If you require only one or two specific basic services, then the Commonwealth Home Support Programme is for you. If you require more advanced care services to live healthily and independently in your own home, then a Home Care Package is the right option.

A Home Care Package will provide you care and services which go beyond what the CHSP services can provide. If you choose to self-manage your Home Care Package, you can choose the best services that work for you at a much lower rate than at a traditional provider who only offers fully managed packages.

If you require ongoing daily care but cannot live at home, a nursing home may be more suitable.

If the terms self-managed and fully managed are new to you, then you will love our article on the difference between self-managed and fully managed home care packages! If you're ready to start out, make sure you know what questions to ask when choosing a home care package provider.

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Contact Trilogy Care

Please contact Trilogy Care on 1300 459 190 for any further information.

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