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Learn about CHSP


Commonwealth Home Support Programme

What is it?

The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) helps senior Australians access entry-level support services to live independently and safely at home.

CHSP works with you to maintain your independence rather than doing things for you.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for this program, 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.

If you’re eligible for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP), you will find out at your assessment.

Your assessor will tell you what services you’re eligible to receive or explain why you’re not eligible.

Does My Aged Care handle Commonwealth Home Support Programme?

Yes, to access CHSP funding you will need to access the My Aged Care system either online or by calling the My Aged Care Contact Centre on 1800 200 422.

What kind of assessment will I get?

For Commonwealth Home Support Programme you’ll have a home support assessment with a RAS assessor. 

The assessor will talk to you about your needs.  The assessor will have a copy of the information you gave to the My Aged Care contact centre. This gives them an idea of what support you might need to help you return to, or keep the level of independence needed to manage your day-to-day life. They’ll also ask about:

  • what support you already have, and if it will continue
  • your health, lifestyle and any health concerns
  • how you’re going with completing daily tasks and activities around the home
  • if you have problems with your memory
  • any issues relating to home and personal safety
  • family and community activities
  • speaking to your GP or other health professionals.

Your assessor may give you information about service providers that can offer the care you need in your area. If you receive a home support assessment, your assessor may also provide you with referral codes for services. They may also talk to you about the possible costs of your services and where you can find more information.

Ready to apply for an assessment?

Before you can access government-subsidised aged care services for the first time, you need to apply for an assessment. Using the online application is quick and easy and will only take 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

Home Support Assessments involve collecting information on the client’s:
• family, community engagement and support
• health and lifestyle
• level of function
• cognitive capacity
• psychosocial circumstances
• home and personal safety
• level of complexity and risk of vulnerability
• goals, motivations and preferences.

Follow the link to apply for an assessment.

Does CHSP have an Income or Assets test?

This programme is NOT Income OR Asset Tested.

What if I am a DVA client?

DVA (Department of Veteran Affairs) Clients with gold cards etc are NOT assessed by RAS Assessors and will need to call My Aged Care.

What is a referral code and why do I need it?

A referral code is your unique reference number for receiving services. Your assessor will give you one referral code for each service you’re eligible for. This information will be included in your home support plan. If you lose your code, you can log in to your My Aged Care Online Account to see it.

The Client must have a separate referral code for every service needed. There also may be a waitlist for Providers as not every provider is available to start immediately. People with a higher level of care may be offered the service first.
There are around 1,400 CHSP Providers in Australia most of them are not -for profit organisations.

Once you choose a provider, you will need to give them your referral code(s). With the code they can view your client record, accept the referral, and start organising services for you — if you choose to accept their services.

Difference between Home Care Package Referral Code and CHSP Referral Codes

If you get a letter with multiple different codes, they are CHSP Referral Codes. 

When applying for Home Care Package, you receive a single Referral Code.

What services can I get?

– Meals and food preparation

– Bathing, hygiene and grooming

– Nursing

– Podiatry, physiotherapy and other therapies

– Help with impairments or continence

– Day/overnight respite

– Changes to my home

– Home or garden maintenance

– Cleaning, laundry or other chores

– Aids to stay independent

– Transport

– Social outings, groups and visitors.

When will I start receiving services?

You may not receive services immediately, as they aren’t always available. If this happens, there may be a delay before a provider offers you services. You may wish to stay in contact with local providers or My Aged Care to check on availability.

What fees do I have to pay for CHSP services?

How much you contribute depends on your income and the type and number of services you need. Simple services like meals might cost a small amount, whereas more complex services like home modification work will cost much more. You’ll discuss the fee with your provider before services start. Services will not go ahead without you agreeing to the fee first.

Difference between Home Care Package and CHSP

CHSP provides entry level support for older people in Australia. It is designed to build on people’s individual strengths and abilities to help them remain living independently and safe at home, with a few services to help stay socially active and stay connected with their community, with the focus on working with them rather than doing things for them.

Home Care Packages (HCP) are one of the ways that older Australians can access affordable care service to get some help at home. They are designed for those with more complex care needs that go beyond what the Commonwealth Home Support Programme can provide.

Read here about the difference between Home Care Package and CHSP.

How to find a Provider?

The Client goes onto the My Aged Care Website and clicks on (Find a Provider) tab and they can compare up to 3 Providers using this tool. Also, the Assessor at the time of assessment may advise the client of Service Providers in the area and advise of any wait times. Clients can always ring the RAS Company that did the assessment for help with this also.

Should I get a home care package or access the CHSP?

It depends on the level of care you or your loved one requires. Read the question above “Difference between Home Care and CHSP”.

Can I get subsidised respite care on CHSP?

Community respite is provided under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) to those found eligible. The CHSP supports the relationship between you and your carer through a range of planned respite services that allow carers to take a break from their usual caring duties.

Community respite is best suited if you need occasional carer support for some day-to-day tasks or activities. It is available during the day, overnight, or for the weekend:

Centre-based respite is available during the day. It provides you with the opportunity to talk and interact with other people, and usually takes place at a day centre, club or residential setting. Day respite often runs from 10am to 3pm and may include transport to and from the centre. 

Cottage respite is available overnight or over a weekend. It takes place in the community or in the home of a host family. It can be taken for two to three days at a time. 

Flexible respite is available in the day or overnight. It can be provided in your home or in the community. It usually involves a paid carer coming to your home so that your usual carer can take a short break. 

If you are looking for a respite, please click here.