Commonwealth Home Support Program vs Home Care Packages: Know the differences

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The fundamental difference between Commonwealth Home Support (CHSP) and Home Care Packages (HCP) lies in the level of care and support provided even when you live at home. CHSP is ideal for those requiring basic personal care and minimal support, often at a lower cost or for free. In contrast, HCP offers a higher level of care, including specialised services tailored through a comprehensive assessment, with potential subsidies based on financial circumstances.


It is important to prioritise your own and your loved one’s well-being. Connect with our experts to explore tailored in-home care needs options and make an informed decision for their comfort and support. Get in touch with Wise Choice!


Commonwealth Home Support (CHSP)

In the arena of senior care, two prominent options are often considered: the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and Home Care Packages. These services are essential for elderly individuals seeking assistance to lead a comfortable and dignified life in their later years. In this complete guide, we will delve into the nuances of both the CHSP and Home Care Packages, elucidating the key differences and helping you make an informed decision. Let’s start!


Key Difference between CHSP and HCP

The key differences between CHSP and HCP lie in factors like the Level of Care provided, Eligibility Assessment, Funding model, the Impact made on the Aged Care Services, Services provided, the scope of social support and care, and the difference in the Cost. Let’s look at them in depth below-


Different Levels of Care

The most notable difference between the two programs is the level of care they provide. CHSP offers basic, entry-level support services, such as assistance with daily living activities and community engagement.

Home Care Packages, in contrast, provide support to individuals with more complex care needs, including clinical care, allied health services, and equipment provision. The difference in care levels ensures that clients receive appropriate and targeted support.


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Differences in the Funding Model

CHSP providers operate on a grant-based funding model. The Australian government allocates a budget to providers, and these organisations deliver services to eligible clients. This funding model is intended to ensure equitable access to basic home support services for those who need them.

Home Care Packages operates on a consumer-directed care (CDC) model. This means that recipients of the package have more control over how their funding is used. They can choose their service providers and tailor their care plans to suit their specific needs and preferences. The government allocates funding to the individual, and the recipient decides how to use their allocated budget.


Different Impacts Made on the Aged Care Sector

CHSP plays a crucial role in offering essential support to older Australians, especially those who do not require the level of care provided by Home Care Packages. By providing entry-level services, it has helped reduce the pressure on higher-level care programs, making them more accessible to those with more complex care needs.

Home Care Packages, on the other hand, have revolutionised the aged care sector by putting consumers in control of their care and fostering competition among service providers, resulting in improved service quality.


Difference between CHSP and home care services catered

Another difference between home care and Commonwealth support lies in the scope of services. CHSP services often encompass social support and basic care needs, ensuring that individuals can continue to live independently at home with minimal support. The CHSP offers a range of basic support services, which include but are not limited to:

  • Personal care (e.g., assistance with bathing and dressing). 
  • Domestic assistance (e.g., cleaning and meal preparation).
  • Transport services (e.g., getting to medical appointments).
  • Social support (e.g., group activities and outings).
  • Respite care (temporary relief for caregivers).


HCP, on the other hand, extends a broader range of services, including specialised care for medical conditions. This means that HCP is better suited for those who require comprehensive care, combining medical assistance with daily living support. Home Care Packages provide a wide range of services, which can be personalised to meet the needs of the recipient. These services can include:

  • Personal care (e.g., assistance with bathing and dressing). 
  • Nursing care (e.g., wound care and medication management).
  • Allied health services (e.g., physiotherapy and occupational therapy).
  • Domestic assistance (e.g., cleaning and meal preparation).
  • Mobility aids and home modifications.
  • Social support and companionship.
  • Respite care for caregivers.


Eligibility Assessment Differences

CHSP eligibility is assessed by the Regional Assessment Service (RAS). To access CHSP services, individuals must be over the age of 65 (or over 50 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) or over 50 (or over 45 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) if they require services related to the impact of disability. CHSP is assessed through the Regional Assessment Service (RAS), which evaluates an individual’s needs and determines the level of support required in the care services.

Check Your Eligibility for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme

What if you do not meet the eligibility criteria? 

In such a scenario, if you require additional information, you can reach out to My Aged Care. Their aged care assessment team will be able to assist you further by discussing your specific situation and providing guidance and a greater level of support!


Home Care Provider eligibility is determined by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). The ACAT conducts a more comprehensive assessment, considering a broader range of care needs, to determine the appropriate care level for HCP recipients. To be eligible for a Home Care Package, individuals must be over the age of 65 (or over 50 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) or over 50 (or over 45 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) if they require services related to the impact of disability. Eligibility for HCP is assessed through the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT), which evaluates an individual’s needs and assigns them a care level.


What’s the Difference in Cost?

The financial aspect is also a key differentiator. CHSP services are generally more budget-friendly and, in some cases, even free, making them a cost-effective option for individuals with limited financial resources.

In contrast, Home care services come with a fee structure. However, government funding is available based on your financial circumstances, which can help alleviate the cost and provide access to higher levels of care and support.

Also Read: Cost of Home Care Packages in Sydney


Guide to Commonwealth Home Support Programme

The Commonwealth Home Support Program is a government-funded initiative designed to offer a range of entry-level home support services for older Australians, as well as those with disabilities. CHSP was introduced as part of the 2015 aged care reforms and is administered by the Department of Health. This program primarily targets individuals who require basic assistance with daily activities but do not need a higher level of care provided under Home Care Packages.

Demographics: CHSP government subsidy recipients are typically older Australians aged 65 and above, with a significant proportion being over 80 years old.


Guide to Home Care Packages

Home Care Packages, on the other hand, are designed for older Australians and individuals with disabilities who have more complex care needs. These packages offer a higher level of support than CHSP and are tailored to individual requirements. HCPs are allocated based on the level of care needed, with four levels of home care packages available, ranging from basic to high care.

Also Read:


home care package

Can you access the Commonwealth Home Support Program and Home Care Packages at the same time?

Is it possible to access both CHSP and Home Care Packages simultaneously? Well, in most cases, it’s not recommended to receive funding from both CHSP and HCP concurrently, although there are exceptions to this rule. These exceptions include:

  • If you are already receiving a Level 1 or 2 Home Care Package with a fully allocated budget, you can access additional short-term Allied Health and Therapy services or Nursing services through CHSP. These services are aimed at aiding your recovery after a setback.
  • For individuals on a Level 1 to 4 Home Care Package with a fully allocated budget but with carers needing respite, you can access planned respite services through CHSP on a short-term basis.
  • If you are on a Level 1 to 4 Home Care Package and face an emergency situation (such as your carer being unable to continue their caregiving role) with a fully allocated budget, you can receive additional services through CHSP on an emergency or short-term basis. They are time-limited and subject to review.
  • In the case of Home Care Package level 1 or 2 recipients who are waiting for a Level 3 or 4 HCP and have a fully allocated home care package budget, additional home modifications can be accessed through CHSP.


When seeking assistance for your home care needs, you don’t need to navigate the process alone. Get In touch with us, and we can engage in a discussion about your specific requirements. We are here to provide guidance on home care packages, support to older individuals wishing to maintain independence in their homes, eligibility for CHSP, and a range of care options within the aged care system.


Get started with Home Care Packages through Wise Choice!

Choosing between the Commonwealth Home Support Program and Home Care Packages depends on your specific needs or those of your loved ones. Now we know that the CHSP is ideal for seniors seeking light support, while Home Care Packages are better suited for individuals with more complex care requirements. Assess your needs carefully, and consider your financial situation to make the best choice for a comfortable and well-supported senior life.

Remember, Wise Choice is here for you, always ready to provide personalised care solutions in NSW. Get started with our Quality In-Home Aged Care in Sydney today! 

Let us be there for you! Book an appointment with Wise Choice.

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