Confused about the difference between the Commonwealth Home Support Program and the Home Care Package Program? We don’t blame you!
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 can be difficult to navigate and is likely to depend on your individual and financial circumstance.
Commonwealth Home Support Program
Funded by the Australian Government, the CHSP is an entry level home help programme for older 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, often when an individual is on the waitlist to be assigned a Home Care Package.
The CHSP is considered an ‘entry-level’ program as it provides (low intensity) small amounts, or 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:
- Choose from a set menu of services – 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
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.
The Home Care Package holder will have to choose a provider to host their package, who will develop a care plan and individualised budget that will be used to deliver the care and services the individual needs.
With a HCP you:
- You get your own funds to use and can decide how to spend it, rather than choosing from a menu
- A Care Manager or Care Coordinator helps you understand the system and work out a Care Plan that suits your individual needs and preferences
- Once you have a package, it stays in place for the long term
- Your eligibility is assessed by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT)
Interaction between a HCP and a CHSP
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.
Who determines if a HCP client requires additional CHSP services?
In the first instance, My Aged Care will need to establish the circumstances of the HCP client and whether they are seeking additional services due to a further decline in functionality or an emergency situation of the carer being unwell.
How many CHSP services can clients who are waitlisted for a HCP receive as an interim measure?
Clients who have been assessed and approved as eligible for a HCP, but who are waiting to receive that package can receive some services under the CHSP as an interim arrangement
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?
The hourly fee for CHSP is generally $8 an hour. If you are receiving a HCP your services will be paid out of your package.
Will I be charged anything if I accept my HCP?
With a Home Care Package some providers will charge you a daily fee, which is equal to 17.5% of the full aged pension, at Let’s Get Care we don’t charge the daily fee. If you aren’t on the Full Pension, 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