What’s the difference between CHSP and HCP?
Commonwealth Home Support Program vs Home Care Packages: What’s best for me?
Researching government funding for home care can be quite overwhelming. There are a few different types of government-funded programs and it's hard to work out which one is best for you, depending on your needs.
Here we look at the difference between the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and Home Care Packages (HCP) and explain how to get the help you need.
What is the Commonwealth Home Support Program?
The CHSP was launched in July 2015 and is the entry level tier of the Commonwealth aged care system.
This means it’s usually considered the first step for older Australians to get some help at home. It’s designed to provide a small amount of funding for people who need a little extra help to live safely at home.
It’s not income or means tested. You will need to make a small financial contribution to your service though and the government subsidises the rest. You receive your services in a care plan and it’s usually limited to a few hours a week.
To be eligible, you must be aged:
- 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.
Find out more about applying for the Commonwealth Home Support Program.
What are Home Care Packages?
Home Care Packages (HCP) are the second tier of support in the aged care system. They’re designed to provide a coordinated package of services to help you live in your home for longer.
There are four levels of support ranging from basic to high care needs. The Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) in Victoria will need to assess you. After your assessment, you will receive a letter advising you whether they have approved you for care and at what level.
Home Care Packages are designed to be flexible. Once you’ve received your assessment and chosen a provider like Five Good Friends, we will help you work out what you need to be safe and independent in your home and remain connected with your community.
For example, you might need some help with bathing or perhaps a cleaner to come around once a week. You might need someone to take you out to do some shopping or help you attend a community event.
There is a waiting list for accessing HCP so you can use CHSP funding while you wait.
Find out more about applying for a Home Care Package.
What are the differences between CHSP and HCP?
The support provided by the CHSP and Home Care Packages is fairly similar. They both can help you with everyday tasks and provide you with support to help you live at home.
The fundamental difference is how much support you need and how long you need it for. If you think you only need one or two services a week, then the CHSP might be a better option for you.
If you think your needs are a bit more complex, it may be best to apply for a Home Care Package.
Can you access CHSP and Home Care Packages at the same time?
In most circumstances, you shouldn’t get CHSP and HCP funding at the same time. However, there are some exceptions. They are:
If you are on a Level 1 or 2 HCP and your budget has been fully allocated, you can access additional, short-term Allied Health and Therapy services or Nursing services from the CHSP. These specific services must be to help you recover after a setback.
If you’re on a Level 1 to 4 HCP and your budget is already fully allocated however your carer needs respite, you can access additional planned respite services under the CHSP (on a short-term basis only).
If you’re on a Level 1 to 4 HCP and find yourself in an emergency (including if your carer can’t maintain their caring role) and your HCP budget is already fully allocated, you can receive extra services under the broader CHSP on an emergency or short-term basis. These instances must be time limited, monitored and reviewed.
If you’re on an interim Level 1 or 2 package and are waiting for a Level 3 or 4 HCP and your home care package budget is already fully allocated, you can access additional home modifications from the CHSP.
If you need some help at home, you don’t need to manage the process alone. When you get in touch with Five Good Friends, we can have a chat with you about your needs and help guide you through the application process.
Engage our team's expertise to reduce the complexity of managing home care day-to-day. Call us today on 1300 787 581.
Learn more: How to prepare for an ACAT assessment.