Gratis explains the difference between the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and Home Care Package (HCP)

When navigating the aged care industry, it can be difficult to understand what all the different terms mean. This may leave you feeling confused about which home care services will be best for you. A couple of terms you may come across when beginning your aged care journey is the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and Home Care Package (HCP). But what exactly are these services?

The Commonwealth Home Support Programme is a government program providing support for older Australians requiring assistance to keep living independently at home and in their own community. The CHSP is designed to provide entry level support to those who may find themselves seeking a little bit of help with some everyday tasks. Rather than doing things for you, the aim of the CHSP is to work with you to maintain your independence.

Home Care Packages on the other hand are designed to support those who require more complex aged care needs that go beyond what the Commonwealth Home Support Programme can provide. Home Care Packages offer a coordinated approach to the delivery of your in home care and can be tailored to suit your individual needs.

There are four levels of HCP support, and your level will be assessed by a professional assessor using a nationally consistent assessment framework. The four levels are:

  • Level 1 – basic care needs
  • Level 2 – low level care needs
  • Level 3 – intermediate care needs
  • Level 4 – high care needs

Both the CHSP and HCP are funded by the government. This means that if you are assessed by My Aged Care and your care needs meet the criteria, you will receive money from the government to put towards your aged home care services.

The services you can receive on the CHSP and HCP are also similar. Depending on your care needs, you may require support in the form of gardening, showering, meal service or transport, for example.

What you need to know

It’s all about Choice, CHSP approved providers that are delivering services to you, also have access to your file via My Aged Care Provider Portal.

Why is Gratis sharing this information with you?

Your electronic file contains information relating to your assessments and referrals.  If you are waiting for an HCP package to be assigned to you, the CHSP provider will have an indication of when that will occur.

Why does this matter?

It matters because the CHSP provider is not automatically assigned to deliver that package! It is your choice who you choose to be your home care provider.  You are not required to transition your assigned package to the CHSP provider.

We encourage you to do your research! Once you receive your HCP approval letter you have 56 days to make a decision! Use that time and research the providers that will provide you with the care you are entitled to.

Here are some of the questions we encourage you to ask.

Please refer to Providers hourly rates for each service. Keep an eye out to see if the rates are charged by the hour or every 30 minutes.

Please also ask your provider about their Case Management and Care Package Fees. These fees can eliminate thousands from your home care package, leaving you minimal hours of care to be provided.

For example, we recently visited a customer who is currently being charged $5,000 above the Gratis rates. That’s $5,000 that could have been spent on your care.

This includes travel time, outsourcing charges and additional case management charges that may be based on fixed hours per month. For example, 4 hours allocated for case management per month and if you require additional time, you are charged for every 30 minutes of service.

Ask your provider about their recruitment practices and their baseline qualifications they require from each of their workers.

Ask your provider how many workers are assigned to my care. Do I get a choice who comes to my home?

Ask your provider if you will receive regular workers to your home.

Do they charge an Exit fee and how long will it take to come out of contract with the provider?.

Exit fees can range up to $2,000.00! This will come straight out of your package funds and can take up 3 months to come out of your contract.

Does your provider charge the Basic daily fee?

This is an additional fee on top of your package. You may be asked to contribute $10.56 per day to your package!

The Australian Government Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission monitors every government-funded aged care provider.  Providers who fail to meet the minimum standards are placed under investigation, however, are still able to operate.  Please refer to the website below and check if your nominated provider is under investigation.


Who determines if an 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 an HCP receive as an interim measure?

Clients who have been assessed and approved as eligible for an HCP, but who are waiting to receive that package can receive some services under the CHSP as an interim arrangement

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