Commonwealth Home Support Program vs Home Care Packages

Which is the better option for you? Learn about all the differences between CHSP and Home Care.

Haisey Home Care
November 18, 2022
x min read

The types of services available through the Commonwealth Home Support Program and Home Care Packages are similar, and their aim is the same- to enable participants to live as full and as independent a life as possible. 

The main differences between them are the level of care that they entail. 

The Commonwealth Home Support Programme is an entry-level support for people who have previously been living independently.

For example, if you’ve been able to care for yourself, but you have found certain tasks beyond your capabilities, then you will likely qualify for CHSP support.

Home Care Packages are for people with more complex care needs.

For example, if you’ve recently been diagnosed with a medical condition affecting your ability to live independently, you might qualify for a Home Care Package. Or if you have been receiving CHSP before but your needs are now too complex to be covered by the level of services it provides.

This article will give you a comprehensive breakdown of both packages, their eligibility criteria, and what they include.

Commonwealth Home Support Program vs Home Care Packages

What is the Commonwealth Home Support Programme?

What is the Commonwealth Home Support Programme?

The CHSP is funded by the Australian government and is designed to provide basic care services for older Australians, helping them maintain as much independence as possible.

What services are available under the CHSP?

The services offered depend on the individual's specific needs and challenges.

Most participants only need one or two services to help them stay independent.

CHSP services include things like:

  • help with household tasks
  • transport (to and from appointments)
  • meal preparation
  • personal and hygiene care
  • home modifications
  • nursing and allied health
  • planned respite care.

If you're having trouble with your day-to-day tasks and feel that a little support could help your health and well-being, the Community Home Support Program could be your best option.

Am I eligible for the CHSP?

Your eligibility for the CHSP depends on your age and support level.

Applicants must be:

  • aged 65 years or older (50 and over for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples), have functional limitations and need assistance
  • prematurely aged (50 years or older; 45 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples) and on a low income, homeless, or at risk of being homeless due to housing stress/ not having secure accommodation.

Once your CHSP application has been accepted, you will need to choose a service provider to provide the services you require. There are approximately 1,400 CHSP providers in Australia.

The Australian government subsidy covers most of the CHSP funding. However, you may be asked to contribute if you can afford to do so.

What is a Home Care Package?

What is a Home Care Package?

The HCP program is also funded by the Australian Government, designed to support older people with more complex care needs than those that the CHSP can cater for.

There are four levels of Home Care packages, according to the level of support needed. The Aged Care Assessment Team determine which level is appropriate based on a face-to-face assessment.

Package Levels of care needs

Level 1 Basic care needs – $9,026.45 a year

Level 2 Low care needs – $15,877.50 a year

Level 3 Intermediate care needs – $34,550.90 a year

Level 4 High care needs – $52,377.50 a year

What services do Home Care Packages provide?

Home care packages can be used for a wide variety of supports, including (but not limited to):

  • home modifications
  • nursing
  • respite care
  • meal delivery
  • help with household tasks
  • laundry
  • grocery shopping

Am I eligible for a Home Care Package?

To be eligible to receive government funding for Home Care Packages, you must meet certain eligibility criteria. The criteria vary depending on your age and whether or not you have a disability.

You can apply if:

  • You are 65 years of age or older, even if you don't have any disabilities
  • You are between 16 and 64 years of age and have a physical or mental condition preventing you from performing everyday tasks
  • You are under 16 years of age and have a disability

How much does a Home Care Package cost?

Each HCP level attracts a different level of subsidy, provided by the government.

You'll be expected to contribute to the cost of your care, too, if you can afford it. Your contribution is made up of different types of fees which are paid directly to the home care provider, including a basic daily fee and an income-tested care fee.

How will I receive services through CHSP or HCP?

Once you've been approved for CHSP programs, you'll be able to select a provider for each type of program you qualify for. You may only get one or two kinds of programs, but you can choose which ones you want to participate in. When you're ready to start scheduling appointments, you can call local providers directly and set up an appointment.

If you're eligible for a Home Care Package, you start by choosing a provider, then meeting with them to create your Care Plan. 

Your Care Plan will establish what care you need and how often you'll receive services. Your service provider is then responsible for managing the funds and arranging your care. There are also self-management options available.

Can I combine CHSP and HCP services?

Normally they are two separate services, catering for two different levels of need. However, there are exceptions- for example, if you have been approved for the higher-level Home Care Package but have a long waiting period, you may be able to access a lower-level package alongside CHSP in the meantime.

If you'd like any more information on aged care, don't hesitate to give our friendly customer care team a message here, and we'll get right back to you!