The Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) is a government subsidised program that provides in-home aged care services for older Australians.
Let’s look at how the CHSP can support us to live independently and safely at home, for as long as we can.
What is CHSP?
The CHSP is a government subsidised, entry-level home support program that can help older people to:
- Keep living independently and safely at home.
- Stay socially connected with their community.
- Delay or avoid higher-level home care and residential aged care.
- Access respite help when carers need a break.
CHSP was established in 2015 to consolidate and replace:
- the Commonwealth Home and Community Care (HACC) program.
- planned respite from the National Respite for Carers Program (NRCP).
- the Day Therapy Centres (DTC) program.
- the Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged (ACHA) program.
CHSP versus Home Care Packages
The Australian Government funds both the CHSP and the Home Care Package Program.
The key difference between CHSP and Home Care Packages is the level of care delivered:
Commonwealth Home Support Program:
Most people accessing CHSP only require one or two services to help them live independently.
Home Care Packages:
People accessing Home Care Packages generally have higher care needs and are allocated funding across four levels to accommodate basic, low, intermediate, and high/complex care needs.
Here’s more information about Home Care Packages:
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Frequently asked questions about the CHSP
How does the CHSP work?
The CHSP provides basic, entry-level services to help older Australians live independently and safely at home. The CHSP focuses on supporting an individual’s strengths and abilities (rather than doing things for them) as well as helping them stay socially connected with their community.
CHSP services are delivered by around 1,400 different providers across Australia, many of them not-for-profit organisations.
What does the CHSP cost?
Services provided through the CHSP are partially funded by government subsidies and grants.
To maximise the number and value of services provided, individuals contribute to the cost of services they receive, if they can afford to do so.
This contribution fee varies between providers and is negotiated between the provider and care recipient. People who cannot contribute towards their services will not be excluded from the program.
The CHSP is not income or asset tested.
More information about CHSP client contributions can be found here: Commonwealth Home Support Programme costs | My Aged Care
Am I eligible for the CHSP?
The CHSP supports Australians aged 65 years and over (50 or over for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples) who need a little help to live independently at home.
People aged 50 years and older (45 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples) can also access CHSP services if they are on a low income, homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless.
Trained assessors (Regional Assessment Services) determine the support an applicant needs during a face-to-face assessment in the home.
How do I apply for the CHSP?
To apply for the CHSP follow these steps:
Step 1: Complete an initial assessment on the My Aged Care website: Apply for an aged care assessment | My Aged Care or by calling My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
Step 2: Schedule a face-to-face assessment based on your level of need.
Low-level needs: if your initial assessment determines that you have low-level needs you will be contacted by the Regional Assessment Service (RAS) for a CHSP assessment.
Higher needs: if you are considered to have higher, more complex needs, you will be contacted by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) for a Home Care Package Assessment. ACAT Assessment | Aged Care Assessment | Aged Care Decisions
Step 3: Complete a face-to-face assessment to discuss your current abilities and care needs. This will most likely be conducted in your home and will take around an hour.
Step 4: Be approved for CHSP and develop a personal support plan with your RAS Assessor. At this stage you will receive a referral code to forward to providers.
Step 5: Find and engage home support providers.
A list of CHSP providers can be found here: Find a provider (myagedcare.gov.au)
What services will the CHSP pay for?
A range of basic home and community care services are delivered via the CHSP, including:
Home help – domestic assistance with household jobs such as cleaning and laundry.
Transport – for errands, appointments, and social activities.
Personal care – help with showering, dressing, hair care and personal hygiene.
Home maintenance – gardening, small maintenance tasks and minor general repairs.
Home modifications – installation of safety aids such as alarms, ramps, and support rails.
Food services – meal preparation, home delivery (e.g., Meals on Wheels) and meals served at a community centre.
Social support – community group social activities and day programs.
Nursing care – home visits for dressing changes, care advice and basic care needs.
Allied health support services – physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapy, podiatry, dietician, and other allied services.
Housing support – assistance with housing options for vulnerable older people.
Respite care – support for carers by providing respite care options.
Who provides CHSP services?
The Department of Health manages funding and develops policy for the CHSP.
Individual assessments and the allocation of CHSP funding is coordinated by My Aged Care.
Around 1,400 providers participate in the CHSP. In 2021-22, 68% of CHSP providers were not-for-profit organisations.
Information for providers can be found here: Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) | Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care
Where can I find a CHSP providers list?
If you have been approved for the CHSP and are looking for providers, you can start your search here: Find a provider (myagedcare.gov.au)
Can I access CHSP while I’m waiting for my Home Care Package?
If you’ve been assessed and approved for a Home Care Package but it has not been assigned (or funded) yet you may be eligible to receive some basic, entry-level services under CHSP while you’re waiting.
To explore this option, start by contacting My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
How do I find providers once my Home Care Package is assigned?
Connect with Aged Care Decisions to find the Home Care Package provider that best suits your needs.
Our professionally trained Placements Specials will use your specific care needs, location, budget, and personal preferences to match you with appropriate and available home care package providers, using our custom-built software.
We can email you a unique Options Report within about half an hour, with zero stress and at zero cost to you.
Our service is 100% FREE for individuals and families because providers pay us a set, industry-standard fee on placement. This means we are also 100% independent and unbiased. Our priority is finding the Home Care Package Provider that best suits your needs.