Home Care Packages
Does the Government fund in-home care?
As you might expect, government subsidised care is available to a great many people but not everyone. So if you don’t already receive funding, you will first need to find out if you are eligible. But don’t worry – it’s straightforward and we can help you understand the process. Call us on 03 9827 8899 and we can talk you through the steps.
What is a Home Care Package?
The Home Care Package programme is intended to help you continue to live independently in your own home. The Government provides a subsidy (an amount of funding) allocated to you but paid to the provider of your choice
The level of care (and therefore funding) you will be provided, is determined by a Care Assessment. Exactly what type of services you will receive and when, will be worked out between you and your chosen provider in an Individual Care Plan based on your goals and lifestyle. Access to Home Care Packages is through the Government’s My Aged Care service
How much will I get in my Home Care Package?
There are four levels of Home Care Package available depending on your needs and each level attracts a different government subsidy amount. You will have a Care Assessment to determine your level of needs
Level 1: Basic care needs: $8,000
Level 2: Low-level care needs: $14,000
Level 3: Intermediate care needs: $32,000
Level 4: High-level care needs: $48,000
Will I have to pay a contribution?
The Government has established a co-contribution that individuals will contribute towards their care. This takes the form of two different ‘Fees’ which are paid to your chosen provider
1. The Basic Daily Fee, which is 17.5% of the single person aged pension rate.
2. You may also have to pay an income-tested care fee if your income is above the following approximate amounts:
• individual person – $25,792.00
• member of a couple but now separated due to illness (individual income) – $25,324.00
• member of a couple living together (combined income) – $40,050.40
The income tested fee will never be more than 50% of your income above the basic age pension rate. There are also annual caps and a lifetime cap which will be indexed and increase over time. Once these caps are reached, you cannot be asked to pay any more income-tested care fees
Your total Package Budget will be made up of your Government subsidy plus these fees
What can my Home Care Package be used for?
Home Care Packages are designed to help you live independently in your own home for as long as you can. Key areas in which you may need support include;
- Personal care such as help with showering or bathing, dressing and mobility
- Support services such as help with washing and ironing, house cleaning, gardening, basic home maintenance, home modifications related to your care needs, transport to help you with shopping, medical appointments or social activities, assistive technology
- Nursing, allied health and clinical such as hearing and vision services, medication management, wound management
- Care coordination and case management by your chosen care provider
- Contingency or savings unspent funds can be set aside each month for future use
How much will my chosen care provider charge for these services?
Approved care providers will charge their services against your Package Budget. There are a number of elements which they may charge for including ongoing administration and case management fees (see below). When choosing a provider it is important to find out how much they will charge for each of these elements.
Set-up Fee: This is the cost of setting your care up as a HCP client
Administration Fee: This is intended to cover back office administrative costs associated with running the business and billing and reporting to Government
Case Management Fee: This covers costs associated with coordinating your care and services such as home visits for assessments and reviews, care plan development, liaising with your medical professionals or other service providers where necessary
Care Hours and Services: This covers the actual hours of care you receive from your care provider
Exit Fee: Some providers will charge a fee if you decide to move your Home Care Package to another provider. Check you are happy with this fee before you sign up with a provider
Am I eligible for a Government Home Care Package?
This will depend on both your needs and your income
To find out, you will need to be assessed through the My Aged Care service. This is a straightforward three-step process
Step 1. A telephone discussion with My Aged Care
Step 2. A care assessment at home. This will identify what type and how much support you require. In Victoria this is carried our by the Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) and is set up through My Aged Care
Step 3. A financial income assessment. This is carried out by the Department of Human Services (DHS) or Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). If you already receive a means-tested income support payment (eg the Aged Pension) they will already have all the information they require. If you don’t, you will need to complete the Aged Care Fees Income Assessment form
Remember! You get to choose who you want to provide your care services and you do not have to make a decision on the day you receive your ACAS at-home assessment
If you’d like to talk it through before contacting My Aged Care or want some support through the process, our Client Services team are available for a phone discussion or can visit you in your home. Call us on 03 9827 8899. Please be aware however, that we cannot formally assess your eligibility on behalf of My Aged Care or ACAS
Is my Home Care Package paid directly to me?
No, Home Care Package funds aren’t paid to you directly. Instead, you choose an approved provider to administer the funds on your behalf and give you case management support and advice. They will charge the Government directly
But don’t forget, you still have control over how your money is spent. Your provider must agree an Individual Care Plan with you and cannot spend your package on anything not included in this plan without your approval
They must also give you a monthly statement showing what your package has been spent on and any unspent funds that month. Unspent money can be rolled over for use later for periods of increased care or larger one-off costs
Is there any other government funded home care apart from Home Care Packages?
The Government’s Home Care Packages Programme is intended to help you live independently in your own home
The Government also provides the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, which is an entry-level home help programme, After Hospital (Transition) Care and Carer Counselling. More information on these is available from My Aged Care – the Government’s central portal for accessing care programmes and services. You can contact them online at or by phoning 1800 200 422