What’s the difference between CHSP and HCP?

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Confused about the difference between the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and the Home Care Package Program (HCP)? We don’t blame you! The distinction between CHSP and HCP can seem confusing at first. But there are some key points of difference between the two programs.

The good news is they both have the same overall objective… to keep ageing Australian’s living happily and independently at home.

Deciding which is the best for you depends on your individual and financial circumstances. In this blog post we will explain the programs in more detail and help you navigate which is best for you.


What is the Commonwealth Home Support Programme? 

Funded by the Australian Government, the CHSP is an entry level home help programme for older people. It typically supports people who are mostly – but not completely – able to live and cope on their own.

The CHSP is interim funding for low needs care services. This could be some gardening, cleaning or lawn mowing for instance. Often when an older Australian is on the waitlist to receive their HCP, they might get access to some CHSP services in the interim.

The CHSP is considered an ‘entry-level’ program as it provides a single service or a few services to a large number of older people who need only a small amount of assistance.

With a CHSP you:

  • Get access to a specific service for a specific duration at a specific cost – there isn’t much flexibility.
  • Only pay for the services you use.
  • Can dip in and out of the program as you need things.
  • Have your eligibility assessed by the Regional Assessment Service.
  • Pay a reduced subsidised rate for the services out of your pocket.

What are Home Care Packages?

The HCP program provides the second tier of support in the aged care system. The idea of the program is to provide a coordinated and tailored service to help older people with more complex care needs to continue living independently and happily at home.

There are four levels of Home Care Packages, with each level providing a different subsidy amount dependent on the individual’s care needs. You can find out more about the different levels of funding here: https://letsgetcare.com.au/what-are-the-different-home-care-package-levels/

Once you receive your package, you have a set amount of funding to spend on the care services you need to live safely and happily at home. The services are paid out of this package of funding.

The Home Care Package holder will have to choose a provider to host their package. This provider will then work with the client to develop a care plan and individualised budget. These documents will be used to guide the delivery of care and services to meet the individual’s care needs.

With a HCP you:

  • You get your own funds to use and can decide how to spend it, with your chosen Provider.
  • A Care Manager will help you understand the system and work out a Care Plan that suits your individual needs and preferences.
  • The services you select will be included in your Care Plan and Budget.
  • Once you have a package, it stays in place for the long term.
  • There are four different levels of Home Care Package you could be eligible for.
  • Your eligibility is assessed by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).

Interaction between CHSP and HCP. 

In general, the CHSP services you receive should not be provided when you accept your Home Care Package. This is to ensure that those who are not receiving services from a HCP have the maximum CHSP services available to them.

When you get assigned a Home Care Package and you choose a Provider to host the package, your CHSP services will cease, and the services you require will instead be paid out of your HCP funds.


How many CHSP services can clients who are waitlisted for a HCP receive as an interim measure?

You have to be assessed by My Aged Care to find out if you are eligible for either HCP or CHSP. To find out if you are, reach out to My Aged Care.

What’s the difference with the funding?

Home Care Packages, specifically levels 3 & 4 have a much larger pool of funding available, between $12,000 – $50,000. Whereas Commonwealth Home Support funding is much lower, as the care needs are significantly less.

How much do I have to pay for my care services?

How much you pay for your CHSP services will depend both on your income and the types of services you require. If you need simple services it will be a small cost, whereas more complex services will cost more.

If you are receiving a HCP your services will be paid out of your package. You will have funding to spend on your care and the cost of your services will be paid out of this package.

Will I be charged anything if I accept my HCP?

With a Home Care Package some providers will charge you a daily fee. At Let’s Get Care we don’t charge the daily fee. If you are on the part pension or a self-funded retiree the Government may require you to pay an Income Tested Fee. It’s good to do this calculation before accepting the Package, you can find an estimator here: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/estimate-fees-for-aged-care-services

If you are still confused call us on 1300 497 442 and a Care Expert will help assess your situation!