‍How many Home Care Packages are there in Australia?

Wondering how many Home Care Packages are available in Australia? This article tells you everything you need to know, from what they cover to how you apply.

By
Haisey Home Care
May 22, 2023
x min read

Home Care Packages offer a precious lifeline to elderly and disabled Australians, allowing them to receive the support they need while still living in the comfort and familiarity of their own home.

There are four levels of Home Care Packages available, according to the complexity of the participant's needs. This article tells you what these levels are and what they cover, as well as providing details on the application process.

How Home Care Packages work

It is a government-funded aged care programme that gives in-home care and services to help users stay connected with the community.

The Home Care Packages Program is designed for those whose needs go beyond that which the Commonwealth Home Support Programme can provide.

Wheelchair-bound person, with their carer in a grassy field at sunset.

Eligibility

To be eligible, you must be:

  • an older person who needs coordinated services to help them stay at home, or
  • a younger person with a disability, dementia or other care needs not met through other specialist services.

An assessment is taken to determine your eligibility and the level of support you are entitled to.

Your financial situation won't affect your eligibility, but you may be required to make a means-tested contribution to your care costs.

What the Home Care Packages will pay for

The packages are designed to be flexible around the specific needs of the user. The services need to be:

  • directly linked to your identified care needs and goals
  • something that will improve your health and wellbeing
  • necessary for you to remain living safely and independently in your home
  • something that can be delivered within your Home Care Package budget, and
  • considered an acceptable use of government funds.

A Home Care Package should not be utilised instead of, or in place of, other health programs to which you may be eligible. If and when you need them, you should continue to access these through your doctor and hospitals.

Things the Home Care Package CAN be used for

Dependent on the level of package, services include:

  • support for daily living and personal care (i.e. hygiene and grooming)
  • meal preparation and feeding
  • social support (i.e. transport to appointments and outings)
  • equipment and supplies (i.e. assistance with walking aids etc.)
  • home modifications related to your disability

Things the Home Care Package CAN NOT be used for

The packages can not be used for things you would be expected to pay for with your general income - for example, rent, food, and entertainment.

They can also not be used for services or items already funded by another agency of the Australian government- for example, the Medicare Benefits Schedule or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

The Four Levels of Home Care Packages

After you have chosen your home care service provider, the Government pays them a subsidy, dependent on the level of care that you require. There are four levels of care.

Level 1 - Basic care needs: $9,179.95/ year

Level 2 - Low-level care needs: $16,147.60/ year

Level 3 - Intermediate care needs: $35,138.55/ year

Level 4 - Complex care needs: $53,268.10/ year

Costs to pay

You’re expected to contribute an income-tested care fee if you can afford it. Your contribution is made up of three types of fees:

  1. A basic daily fee of up to $11.71
  2. An income-test care fee of up to $33.59- an assessment is made to determine if you need to make a contribution and, if so, how much. There are annual and lifetime limits on how much you will be expected to pay.
  3. Additional fees to cover any extra care or services not otherwise covered by your Home Care Package.

This fee estimator will give you an idea of what level of contribution you may be expected to make.

A man in a chair being taken care of by their carer.

How to apply/the application process

Using these links, you can check if you meet the requirement for an assessment and, if so, apply for an assessment now.

It is an easy, 3-step online application that takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. It establishes your situation, and after it is sent, you are contacted within 2-6 weeks to arrange a more detailed face-to-face assessment.

When the level of support and means-tested contribution has been decided, you then pick from the approved Home Care Package providers to manage the budget and coordinate your care.

How long will it take to get my Home Care Package?

Waiting times are usually between 3-6 months, with priority given to those with more urgent needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many Home Care Packages are there in Australia?

There are four different levels of support available, depending on the complexity of the users' needs.

What is the highest level of Home Care Package?

Level 4 provides the highest level of funding and caters for users with the most complex or challenging needs.

How long do I have to wait for my Home Care Package?

Within about 3 weeks of your initial online assessment, a face-to-face assessment is made to determine the level of care you are entitled to. After you chose your service provider, there is then a waiting time of approximately 3-6 months before your package starts (with priority given to those with more urgent needs).

How many home care providers are there in Australia?

As of June 2021, there were 939 approved HCP providers - includingHaisey Home Care.

What different types of Home Care Packages are there?

There are two different types of Home Care Packages - 'self-managed' and 'provider-managed'.

'Self-managed' packages mean you are responsible for the selection of your support workers and scheduling your support.

'Provider-managed' puts this responsibility in the hands of a service provider (usually for a flat percentage fee of the subsidy.

Which is best for you depends on a few factors. 'Self-managed' can be a good option if you don't mind the administration necessary to coordinate your support. It will mean a higher percentage of your subsidy goes towards the support itself.

However, the job of vetting support workers and coordinating all the different supports necessary can be an added stress you would rather leave to specialists. The downside is that this help uses some of the funding.

We hope this article has given you a good idea about all the levels of Home Care Package funding available. Of course, if you have any other questions, don't hesitate to contact us.