What can Home Care Package funds be used for?
How to spend your Home Care Package funds
The number one question we get asked is ‘What can Home Care Package funds be used for?’ We understand it can be confusing to understand how Home Care Package funding works and what exactly can be approved and what can’t be.
Here we explain what you can use your Home Care Package funds for and the items that are excluded.
How does Home Care Package funding work?
When you are assessed for home care, you will be approved for a package level with a different funding amount. The package levels are based on your needs and range from basic to high care needs.
The current package funding levels (as of July 2022) are:
Level 1 – Basic care needs $9,179.75 per year
Level 2 – Low care needs $16,147.60 per year
Level 3 – Immediate care needs - $35,138.55 per year
Level 4 – High care needs - $53,268.10 per year
Although you will be categorised into a package level, it doesn’t mean you spend your money the same way as other people on your level. How you choose to spend your funds will depend on your needs and the care plan you have developed with your package provider.
You choose how to spend your funds
During your research of Home Care Packages, you may have come across the term ‘Consumer Directed Care’. This means you have more choice, flexibility and control over:
- the type of services you receive
- how you receive those services
- who provides those services
- when you receive those services
Home Care Packages are flexible. However, the products and services you receive need to be directly related to keeping you well and independent in your home.
Common services and products include:
- Bathing, hygiene and grooming, including help to get in and out of bed, into the shower and help with dressing.
- Cleaning, laundry and chores to keep your home liveable, including making beds, dusting, vacuuming and mopping.
- Maintenance to keep your home and garden in a safe condition, such as fixing uneven floors, cleaning gutters and yard work.
- Changes to my home to maintain your safety, including installing grab rails, ramps and easy access taps.
- Meals and food preparation to make sure you eat well, including meal delivery services and help with meal preparation.
- Aids to help you stay independent, including bed rails, walking aids and pressure relieving mattresses.
- Nursing to treat minor conditions at home, such as wound care, someone to help you take medication, and help with other assessments.
- Allied health services to help you maintain movement and mobility, including podiatry, occupational therapy and physiotherapy.
- Help with impairments, such as continence or dementia advisory and vision and hearing services.
- Transport to get you out and about, including a driver service or transport vouchers.
- Social outings to help you stay connected, such as arranging activities, providing a companion or help to set up communication services to keep you in touch with loved ones.
What else can Home Care Packages be used for?
There may be other things not covered in the list above that your package funds may pay for.
These products or services must:
- be linked to your needs and goals which were outlined in your care plan
- improve your health and wellbeing
- be necessary to help you live independently and safely in your home
- be delivered in your home care package budget
- be considered an acceptable use of government funds
For example, if you have a respiratory issue, you may be approved for a qualified cleaner to remove mould from the main areas of the home you access such as your bedroom or living room, as long as your package funds allow it.
However, if you didn’t have any respiratory issues you wouldn’t get approved for this cleaning service because it would be considered a homeowner’s expense to remove mould. There needs to be a direct relationship between the need and goals.
What if I have other special needs and my Home Care Package doesn’t cover it?
The government also pays supplements to approved providers to help with some specific care needs. These care needs include:
- Dementia and cognition supplement for people with moderate-to-severe dementia
- Enteral feeding supplement for people who have a medical need for enteral feeding
- Oxygen supplement for people who have a medical need for continual oxygen therapy.
Speak to Five Good Friends about these supplements if you believe you have specific care needs.
What can’t Home Care Package funds be used for?
The government has a list of services and products that you can’t use your home Care Packages funds for. These include:
- Items you’d normally buy from general income
- Food except as part of enteral feeding requirements
- Payment for permanent accommodation including helping buy a house, mortgage payments or rent
- Payment of home care fees
- Paying fees and charges for any type of care whether funded or jointly funded by the Australian Government
- Home modifications that aren’t related to your care needs
- Travel and accommodation for holidays
- Entertainment activities like club memberships and sporting event tickets
- Payment for anything covered by Medicare of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Would you like to know more about services we provide at Five Good Friends? Get in touch with us or request a call back and we can answer all your questions.
Learn more: How to choose a home care package provider?