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Easy Guide to Australia's Aged-Care Funding and Programs

Written by Ashleigh Ford, Senior Admissions Manager with integratedliving

Navigating aged-care funding programs and packages can be confusing. This guide will help

There are key differences between the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and the Home Care Package Program (HCP), but they both have the same goal which is to help you live happily and independently at home for as long as possible. The main difference is the level of support and types of support you can obtain, depending upon your financial circumstances and your care needs.  

Then there is the Short-Term Restorative Care (STRC) program, which is an eight-week program designed to help people recover from injury or illness. 

Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) 

The CHSP is funded by the Federal Government as an entry-level program for help at home. It supports people who generally live and cope on their own but require a small amount of assistance. Often people who are on a waitlist to receive their Home Care Package (HCP), may access some CHSP services in the interim. 

How does the funding work? 

  • The services are subsidised by the Federal Government and offered at a reduced rate, but you will still pay a co-contribution for each service. 
  • You only pay for the services you use. 
  • You can start and stop different services as you need them. 
  • Under CHSP, you are approved for specific services that you can receive. 

Home Care Package (HCP) 

This is the next level of support and provides our clients with a coordinated and tailored approach to help people with more complex care needs. A Home Care Package means you will have a set amount of funding approved and you can select services to be paid out of this package.    

A case manager will be assigned to you to help develop a Care Plan that helps you to continue living independently at home with more complex support.  

There are four levels of HCP, with each level providing a different subsidy amount dependent on the individual’s care needs.  

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How does the funding work? 

  • You will be assessed through My Aged Care by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) to determine your level of needs and what services are best suited to you. 
  • A funding package will be approved and a case manager will assist you to develop a care plan that suits your individual needs and preferences. 
  • Once you have a package, it stays in place for the long term and the services you select will be included in your care plan and budget. 
  • There are four different levels of HCP you could be eligible for wand as your needs increase, your case manager can assist you to seek approval for a higher-level HCP. 
  • You pay a case management fee each month out of your allocated funds. 
  • If you are on a part pension or a self-funded retiree, the Government may require you to pay an Income-Tested Fee towards your services. Full Australian Aged Pensioners are not required to complete the Income-Tested Care Fee assessment. 

How do I move from CHSP funding to HCP? 

  • You will need to be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) which can be organised through My Aged Care.  
  • ACAT will complete an assessment to determine what level of Home Care Package approval is required. 
  • If approved, you will be added to the HCP waitlist. Once you reach the top of the waitlist you will be assigned your Home Care Package. 
  • Your CHSP services will cease and the services you will require will be funded out of your HCP.  

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Increasing your services doesn’t mean losing your independence. On the contrary, the more we can help you to keep doing the things you love doing every day, the more capable you will feel. While you may be quite mobile at the moment, adding some exercise, physio or occupational therapy, may help you retain your strength and flexibility for longer.

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Where does Short-Term Restorative Care (STRC) fit in?

Short-term Restorative Care (STRC) is designed to help you recover from injury or illness. Funded by My Aged Care, this fully subsidised eight-week service brings together a team of health experts to get you back on track.  

How do I apply for STRC funding? 

  • You need to be referred to My Aged Care and assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) to determine what level of support you need and if you are eligible for government funding. 
  • You are able to receive your normal CHSP services but you cannot be a recipient of a Home Care Package (HCP). 

What if I don’t know what services I need? 

Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 and request an assessment. The team can assist and offer advice on the best ways to keep you supported in your home. You can also contact the integratedliving team on 1300 782 896. 

Download a copy of our Guide to Aged-Care Funding and Programs

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Where are you at in your aged care journey? Get started with us.