CHSP and Home Care Packages: The Difference Explained

If you’re a senior looking for help to stay in your own home, you probably already have an idea of the services you’d find helpful. How do you fund it though?

There are really two options if you’re looking for government funding to help with the costs of aged care assistance at home. Depending on the level of support you need, you may be eligible for either the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) or a Home Care Package. Here’s some information about each one to help you understand the differences and decide which one would suit you best.

The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)

The CHSP provides entry-level assistance for seniors living at home. It’s the first rung on the support ladder. As such, it works with you to help you maintain your independence.

If you’re finding everyday tasks more difficult and think that some support would be helpful to your health and wellbeing, then the CHSP might be just what you need.

Who is the CHSP for?

The CHSP is for older Australians who need a small amount of support – just one or two services – to help them stay in their own home.

It could be for you depending on your support needs and age. To be eligible, you need to be:

  • 65 years or older (50 years or older for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people), or
  • 50 years or older (45 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) and on a low income, homeless, or at risk of being homeless.

If you meet the age criteria, then it’s time to look at your support needs. You may be eligible for the CHSP if you have:

  • Noticed a change in what you can do or remember
  • Been diagnosed with a medical condition or reduced mobility
  • Experienced a change in family care arrangements, or
  • Experienced a recent fall or hospital admission.

What services are available?

You can access a range of services through the CHSP in order to keep you:

  • Well and independent
  • Safe in your home (with additional services for people experiencing homelessness)
  • Connected to your community.

Many, many things fall into these categories. You can receive help with:

  • Food preparation or receiving pre-made meals
  • Showering, self-care, hygiene and grooming
  • Managing medicines and accessing healthcare
  • Household chores
  • Home and garden maintenance
  • Home modifications to improve access and safety, such as installing ramps and rails
  • Equipment and devices such as wheelchairs, walking frames or shower chairs
  • Transport to get you to and from appointments or social activities.

Remember that the CHSP is an entry-level support program designed for people who need just one or two services to help them stay at home.

Who provides the services?

The government subsidies many service providers across the country. Each one has to meet a strict set of regulations and quality standards imposed by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. 

How do I apply for the CHSP?

To check your eligibility for the CHSP, answer the questions on MyAgedCare’s eligibility checker.

If you meet the requirements, then you can apply for the CHSP online.

Home Care Packages

If you need many different care and support services on an ongoing basis, then a Home Care Package is your best option. These packages are designed for people with more complex care needs who need a number of different support services. They provide a higher level of support than the CHSP.

Who can have a Home Care Package?

Home Care Packages are available to:

  • Older people who need coordinated services to help them stay at home
  • Younger people with a disability, dementia or other care needs not already being met through specialist services.

You can use MyAgedCare’s eligibility checker to see if you’re eligible for a Home Care Package.

What funding levels apply to Home Care Packages?

There are 4 levels of Home Care Packages, each with different funding amounts. That’s because Home Care Packages can range from basic support to high care needs.

Once you apply, you’ll have a face-to-face assessment to determine what level of care you need.

LevelNeedFunding (approx)
1Basic$9,000 per year
2Low$15,750 per year
3Intermediate$34,250 per year
4High$52,000 per year

Eligibility is based on your need, not your financial situation. However, your financial situation does affect how much you’ll be asked to contribute towards the cost of your care.

What services are available?

There’s a similar range of services to the CHSP – it’s just that you can use more of them with a Home Care Package.

You can use a range of services that will help you to stay:

  • Well and independent – such as personal care, nursing services or allied health
  • Safe in your home – such as cleaning, home maintenance, home modifications and assistive technology
  • Connected to your community – transport and social support.

There are some restrictions on how you use your Home Care Package funding. Generally speaking, you cannot use that funding for items unrelated to your care needs, such as paying rent, buying food, buying medicines covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme or accessing services provided through Medicare.

Who provides the services?

Often, exactly the same providers as you’d use in the CHSP operating to the same quality and safety standards.

How do I apply for a Home Care Package?

If you meet the requirements, then you can apply for a Home Care Package online.

How Focused Health Care can help

If you have a Home Care Package or receive support through the CHSP, then you can choose your service provider.

Many organisations provide a similar range of services but we don’t all do it in the same way.

Focused Health Care is owned and operated by Registered Nurses, meaning you can rely on our caring ethos and clinical skills.

We could see that large care providers had become too rigid and bureaucratic to respond to people’s individual needs. We decided to be a positive change. We’re an agile, family business built around your needs for high quality clinical care, flexible services, and the personal touch.

What does that mean in practice? It means client-focused management decisions like setting a 1-hour minimum shift so that, if you have funding for three hours of care each week, you can spread it over several days rather than having to use it up all at once then wait another week.

It also means client-carer matching. We want you to look forward to seeing your carers, feel at ease with them and enjoy their company so we get to know you and try to pair you with carers who share similar interests or the same sense of humour.

We also provide a high level of client service with:

  • No waitlists – we get people started with us as soon as possible
  • A dedicated 24/7 phone line – we are contactable 24/7 to help wherever needed
  • Direct access to staff at the other end of the phone ready to talk – we don’t outsource to a call centre.

If you’d like to learn more about how we may be able to help you, then please call Focused Health Care on 1300 201 351 for a free in-home consultation.  We have two locations in Queensland – Brisbane and Townsville.


All information is general in nature.

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