There are 2 types of care needs for home help:

Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) (Entry-level care)

If you are able to manage, but need support with a few tasks, you could be eligible for subsidised support services through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP).

This program aims to help those who need a low level of support to keep living independently.

Home Care Packages
(HCP) (More complex care)

Home Care Packages are for those with greater or more complex care needs. If you need care and support services on an ongoing basis, you may be eligible for a Home Care Package.

A Home Care Package can provide a wide range of services that are designed to help you to continue to live independently in your own home longer.

After your face-to-face assessment, the Aged Care Assessment Team will send you a letter.
The letter will contain: the assessment decision – confirming whether you are eligible for a Home Care Package, the level of package you have been approved for, if eligible the reasons and evidence supporting the decision a copy of your support plan developed during your assessment. (what assistance you require moving forward).

Next step if you are eligible


There is a lot of demand for Home Care Packages. So, although you are approved for a package, there may be a wait before one can be assigned to you. Packages are allocated fairly through the national priority system, based only on date of approval and priority for care. You are placed in the system from the date stated on your approval letter.

Once you decide to make an application the wait for approval is often difficult or distressing so it is always wise to start your application – before your care needs become critical. You can move up to a higher level of care as your needs change. (You will need to be reassessed).

Home Care Package levels, funding and approximate waiting time


Funding for the Level 1 – 4 Packaging and approximate waiting time for a medium priority is as follows:

Home Care Package Levels;

  • LEVEL 1 Basic Care Needs – $10,588.65 a year (may take 3 – 6 months)
  • LEVEL 2 Low Level Care Needs – $18,622.30 a year (may take 9 – 12 months)
  • LEVEL 3 Intermediate Care Needs – $40,529.60 a year (may take 9 – 12 months)
  • LEVEL 4 High Level Care Needs – $61,440.45 a year (may take 9 – 12 months)

Priority level

Those with urgent circumstances are approved as high priority. This ensures they get access to care much quicker.
As well as the level of package you are eligible for, your letter also indicates your priority for receiving services. Your assessor assigns your level of priority after considering your needs and situation.
If you disagree with the level you have been given, you can appeal the decision. Your letter will have your assessor’s contact details.
If your waiting to find your place in the national priority system and your expected wait time: Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.

Need care sooner?

There are a few options you can explore to get help earlier:

Interim packages

You may be able to get help sooner by choosing to receive an interim package. An interim package is a Home Care Package of a lower level than the one you’re approved to receive. Wait times can be shorter for lower package levels. Agreeing to an interim package means you’ll be able to access care services sooner, while you wait for your approved Home Care Package to be allocated.

The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)

Another option is to seek help through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme. Tell your assessor if you would like to explore this option, and they will help you find out if you’re eligible for specific services.

What should I do while I wait?

Contact a few of the service providers in our guide to discuss what they can do for you. Find out about fees, availability and any concerns you may have. You will be pleasantly surprised at how helpful they will be.

How will I know when my package is available?

  • You’ll receive a letter about three months before you receive your first package.
  • Contact your provider of choice and confirm availability in the coming months.
  • Your next letter will include your referral code, which is your key to receiving services, your provider will ask you for this to proceed. They will then be able to see your assessment information, support plan and package level.

(You have 56 days to enter into a Home Care Agreement with your chosen provider or your package will expire).

If you are not eligible – what can you do?

If you’re not eligible for a Home Care Package, your letter will tell you why, and who to contact for help. If you want to fund your own care, please call your local private service provider.
If you are unsure, you can call the Aged Care Made Easy helpline on 1800 811 188 for more information.

Non government-funded services (private)

These services may be an option if you need care while waiting for your approved or interim package to become available. There are a lot of private Aged Care Service providers that would be happy to help.

What if I need more help at home?

If you’ve had a face-to-face assessment in the past, there may come a time when you need to be reassessed.  The assessment you had would have been based on the needs that you had at that time. However, circumstances can change. Perhaps some other daily tasks have become more difficult for you.
You should contact your current services provider to review your care plan.
They will review your care plan and see if there’s something more they can do to support you.
Your service provider will contact your My Aged Care assessor.  Your assessor may amend your support plan to meet your changing needs or they may determine that a reassessment by ACAT is required.