September 11, 2023


How much funding can I get for CHSP services or Home Care Package funding?

There are two different funding streams that older people living at home can access to receive support. These two funding streams are the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and the Home Care Package (HCP) program.

The CHSP program is assessed by the Regional Assessment Service (RAS) and the Home Care Package program is assessed by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). However, the ACAT as the comprehensive assessing team can also approve for CHSP services and support

The CHSP program is designed for older people who need very basic in home support. It is regarded as an entry level program. The Home Care Package program also recognises older people who have basic needs, but a home care package provides more coordinated support than similar services available from the CHSP program. A home care package also provides greater flexibility and choice for the kind of services and support you're wanting to access.

The assessing service who approve for CHSP support is known as the RAS and they are a non clinician workforce, meaning they have a basic understanding of the aged care program, but are not equipped with the knowledge and skills for a more detailed or thorough assessment.

The more detailed and thorough assessment comes from the ACAT, a team of experienced clinicians who have a deeper understanding of the domains of older persons' care.

The RAS approve for services and support under CHSP funding.

CHSP services and support are delivered by different providers across the country and include not for profit organisations, for profit organisations, State health services and local Councils. Being a Commonwealth funded program, CHSP services are the same anywhere across the country, but the organisations delivering these services are likely to be different. For example, in Queensland, most local Councils are not providers of CHSP services but in Victoria and parts of WA, rural NSW and Tasmania local Councils provide CHSP services.

Not all providers offer the full range of CHSP funded services either. And there are usually waiting lists in each local area for people waiting to be offered services from CHSP funding.

CHSP services and support are fragmented, meaning that although you may receive a number of referral codes for services under this funding, it is likely a number of different providers will be offering those services. For example, at the end of a RAS assessment, the RAS assessor will approve a number of referral codes. These referral codes could be for transport, domestic assistance, social support, yard maintenance, allied health support, nursing support or a continence assessment.

One provider of CHSP services in your local area may only have funding for one or two of these types of services.

So with all these referral codes, it is possible you may receive these services from 3 or more providers.

Sometimes RAS assessors will forward those referral codes on your behalf to the local providers of those CHSP services. It's important to be aware of this so when you receive a phone call from a service provider, you know who is contacting you and why. And sometimes RAS assessors don't forward these codes to the local CHSP providers, they'll leave it up to you to source your own CHSP services from a provider.

It is important to understand that you can choose which CHSP provider you'd like to receive your support from and you can change providers if you're not happy...but ensure your preferred CHSP provider has availability for the type of service you are seeking before you leave your current provider.

To receive a home care package, you must have been assessed by the ACAT.

Only an ACAT can approve for a home care package. At the end of the ACAT assessment, the ACAT assessor will have a good idea of what level of home care package they will be approving you or your loved one for.

The lower level packages are the level 1 and 2 packages and the higher level packages are the level 3 and 4 packages. The funding allocation for each level of home care package is listed in the table below.

This is the annual amount of funding allocated to each level of home care package as of July 1st, 2023.


Care needs














When the ACAT has completed their assessment, they'll approve you for the level of home care package they believe will meet your current needs. The ACAT will generate a letter advising you of the outcome of your assessment and approval. This letter usually arrives within two weeks from your ACAT assessment.

You'll then join the queue of other older people waiting to have their home care package assigned. Depending on the priority that the ACAT has approved for, you may be waiting anywhere from one month to six months or more for your home care package to be assigned.

When you are getting closer to having your home care package assigned, you'll receive another letter advising you of this. Then you'll receive the important letter advising you that you've been assigned your home care package.

The letter will state you have 56 days to choose a provider and enter in an agreement for your home care package.

If you haven't already begun researching options for a provider, you'll need to action this now. 56 days goes quickly.

When you've chosen the provider who will manage your home care package, you'll need to have a discussion with them about the support you'd like to receive, using your package funding. You might decide that you want to continue with similar services that you were receiving from CHSP, such as domestic assistance and yard maintenance, or you might prefer to use your funding to purchase mobility aids or to pay for nursing or allied health services. The services and support you receive within your home care package should be much more personalised than the services you were receiving from CHSP.

This is the benefit of receiving a home care package, it provides you with greater choice and flexibility with the funding.

The other benefit of receiving a home care package is that the services are more coordinated than CHSP services, meaning you are more likely to have continuity of staff, should this be your preference.

In summary, the services and support you receive from either CHSP or home care package funding can be similar or very different, depending on what support you choose at the time you enter into an agreement with your home care package provider.

If you're happy to retain domestic assistance or yard maintenance within your home care package, you're certainly able to do this, but if you'd prefer to purchase a mobility aid or have your supplements reimbursed from your naturopath, this is entirely up to you.

The home care package will give you greater flexibility to utilise the funding for your individual needs.

We'd love to hear from you

We're passionate about ensuring people understand the aged care system

Not sure what service you need?

Send us a message and we'll contact you to help you decide.