What do I need to know about home care services?

Living independently at home for as long as possible is a common goal for senior Australians. The Australian Government makes this possible through the Home Care Package program.

What do I need to know about home care packages

What is a Home Care Package?

A Home Care Package delivers affordable care and support services in the home, to enable elderly Australians to keep living at home for longer.

A Home Care Package provides a set amount of money for care services, determined by your level of need, that is paid to an approved provider of your choice.  You and your provider work together to decide how best to spend the money on services you need, and to coordinate delivery of these services.

Home Care Packages provide a consumer-directed care approach, tailored to individual needs and goals.  With a Home Care Package, you have choice and control over the types of services you receive, who provides the services and how and when the services are delivered.

In Australia, there are a large number and variety of home care providers.  Choosing the right provider for you is a challenging task – and this is where Aged Care Decisions can assist.

Our team of aged care specialists can help you find a Home Care Package Provider, with less stress and running around and at ZERO cost to you.

Click here to learn more about our service. 

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How are Home Care Packages different to CHSP?

While entry level support services can be accessed via the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP), Home Care Packages differ as they are designed to meet more complex needs.

Here is more information about the CHSP: All about CHSP – the Commonweath Home Support Program (agedcaredecisions.com.au)


What do the different Home Care Package levels mean?

Home Care Packages are assigned at different levels depending on your assessed needs.

There are four levels of Home Care Packages, each with a different level of funding. Depending on the level of care you are assessed for, the service provider you choose is paid a subsidy to arrange care services to meet your needs.  The Packages cover basic needs through to high care needs.

Package level Care level
Level 1 Basic care, allocated $10,271.10 annually
Level 2 Low care, allocated $18,063.85 annually
Level 3 Intermediate care, allocated $39,310.50 annually
Level 4 High care, allocated $59,593.55 annually


Based on your care needs, your home care provider will work with you to decide on the most appropriate ways to spend your package funding.

Here is more information about the support provided by each Home Care Package level:

The support delivered by Home Care Package levels 1-4 (agedcaredecisions.com.au)


What can I receive as part of my Package?

Home Care Packages provide a range of services to keep you:

  • Well and independent (eg. allied health, personal care, nursing services)
  • Safe in your home (eg. cleaning, assistive technology, home maintenance and modifications)
  • Connected to the community (eg. social support services, transport)

Find detailed information about what can and cannot be funded with a Home Care Package here:

What can my home care package funds be used for? (agedcaredecisions.com.au)


How much will I need to pay towards my Home Care Package?

The Australian Government subsidises Home Care Packages and pays providers directly for services delivered.  Over and above government contributions, you may be asked to pay the following fees to contribute towards the cost of your care:

Basic daily fee:  maximum $12.53 a day as of 20 September 2023

Income-tested care fee:  maximum $35.95 a day as of 20 September 2023

Additional fees:  home care providers may charge ‘extra care and service’ fees not covered by your Home Care Package.

Here is the current Schedule of Fees and Charges for Residential and Home Care, outlining the fees that may be applicable to Home Care Packages:

Schedule of Fees and Charges for Residential and Home Care

To get an idea of how much you may need to contribute to home care costs, you can use the My Aged Care fee estimator, or call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.

My Aged Care has more information about fees and how you can use your Home Care Package here:

My Aged Care – Home Care Package costs and fees



Am I eligible for a Home Care Package?

To be eligible for a Home Care Package you must be 65 years or older (50 years or older for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people) and require coordinated care services to remain safely and comfortably living at home.  A face-to-face assessment by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) is conducted to determine your care needs and your eligibility.

You can use My Aged Care’s eligibility checker to quickly check whether you may be eligible or you can call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to discuss your eligibility.

Here is more information about ACAT assessments, and how you can be assessed, approved and allocated with a Home Care Package:

ACAT Assessment Guide – everything you need to know (agedcaredecisions.com.au)


How long will it take to receive a Home Care Package?

Once your ACAT assessment is completed, you will receive a letter from My Aged Care advising you of the outcome. If you receive approval for a Home Care Package you will also be advised which level you have been approved for.  At this point, you will go on a waiting list until a Package at your approved level becomes available.  While you wait for this, My Aged Care may offer you a Package at a lower level.

For people with a medium priority, the expected wait time for an approved Home Care Package is:

Package level Approximate wait time
Level 1 3 – 6 months
Level 2 3 – 6 months
Level 3 3 – 6 months
Level 4 3 – 6 months


When a Package at your approved level (or below) becomes available, My Aged Care will write to you advising that you have been assigned a Home Care Package and at what level it has been assigned. If you choose to accept the assigned Home Care Package, you have 56 days from the date on the letter to appoint a Home Care Provider.  The appointed provider will then liaise with you to organise your care and services.


How do I choose my Home Care Package Provider?

Choosing a good provider that suits your needs and preferences can be challenging.  It’s important to consider the services they offer, the standard of care they provide and the out-of-pocket expenses you may need to cover.

Aged Care Decisions can help to take the guess work out of this process.  We are Australia’s largest 100% FREE aged care placement and support service and using our extensive provider network, we can match you with home care options that suit your location and care needs.  Our experienced aged care specialists can also answer your questions, offer advice and help find the right home care provider for you.

Our service is 100% FREE for families because providers pay us a set fee on placement.  Every provider pays the same fee, so we are 100% independent and unbiased.  Our mission is to take the stress out of finding aged care options for Australian families.

Aged Care Decisions provides assistance to tens of thousands of families every month, at every stage of the aged care or home care journey. 

Contact us here to get started.


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