Commonwealth Home Support Programme Services- What Can CHSP Funding Be Used For?

The CHSP Helps Seniors Maintain their Independence

What is the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)?

When you need support to continue living comfortably at home, but you don’t qualify for a Home Care Package, the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) provides funding that can help you live independently as you age.

CHSP funding offers entry-level support for elderly Australians who need occasional or short-term support. It replaces four previous programs: the Commonwealth Home and Community Care Program (HACC), the National Respite for Carers Program, the Day Therapy Centres program, and the Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged program.

The CHSP combines all those prior programs into a comprehensive package for entry-level elder care. Through CHSP, the Government provides subsidies that can help you pay for in-home services.

What is the CHSP? It helps seniors maintain their independence

What Services Can You Receive with the Commonwealth Home Support Programme?

The available services include a variety of services from CHSP providers that will help you live at home as your needs change. These include:

Support for activities of daily living

  • Help with grocery shopping and preparing meals
  • Help with home cleaning and maintenance
  • Help with personal care such as toileting and hygiene

Support for health needs

  • Help with medications and general care from a Registered Nurse
  • Help from allied health professionals such as an occupational therapist or podiatrist
  • Help from specialist health professionals for specific conditions such as dementia

Support for social life and community involvement

  • Help with respite care to temporarily replace your usual caregiver
  • Help with transport to community activities and health appointments 
  • Help with accessing resources and housing if you’re experiencing housing insecurity or homelessness

Support for necessary equipment and maintenance

  • Help with home maintenance and modifications to keep your home safe and accessible for your mobility needs or other health needs
  • Help purchasing equipment or assistive technology

What are the Differences Between the Commonwealth Home Support Program and Home Care Packages?

Both the Commonwealth Home Support Program and ​Home Care Packages ​provide subsidised funding to help elderly Australians purchase services that will help them live at home. However, the CHSP offers low-level funding, while an HCP is for people who need more comprehensive care. Read on for more information on the Commonwealth Home Support Program vs. Home Care Packages.

Differences in Assessment

The assessment process is one of the biggest differences between the two programs.

Both require a health assessment before you can begin receiving your funding. However, the assessment for HCP is much more comprehensive than the assessment for CHSP.

An HCP assessment is performed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT), which includes a healthcare clinician. Your assessment for CHSP is performed by a Regional Assessment Service (RAS), and the assessor is not a clinician.

For CHSP, you’ll find out the results of your assessment during your assessment appointment, and you can begin care immediately. For HCP, you’ll receive a letter after your assessment appointment telling you your eligibility, and there’s often a waiting period to begin care services.

Your assessment for a HCP also includes an income assessment, which isn’t necessary for CHSP services.

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Differences in Care

Although the types of care available are similar for both CHSP and HCP subsidies, the amount of care you can receive is different.

The Commonwealth Support Program is primarily for occasional or short-term care. It provides temporary services such as ​postoperative care​, or entry-level support such as a weekly visit from a specialist.

Home Care Packages provide more comprehensive, ongoing care such as ​24-hour care​ or support for enteral feeding.

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Differences in Choice

Both programs are consumer-driven, which means you have the right to choose your provider and to change providers at any time. However, with a Home Care Package, you have to choose a single agency to provide all your services as a package. In a Commonwealth Home Support Program, you can choose a variety of CHSP Service providers if you prefer. Your choice of providers is more flexible with CHSP.

On the other hand, the services you can receive are more flexible in a Home Care Package. An HCP gives you a set amount of funding which you can spend on any services you choose, and you can personalize the services to match your needs. With CHSP, your assessor will give you a list of approved services you can receive.

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Commonwealth Home Support Program

Commonwealth Home Support Service Eligibility

1. Who is Eligible for CHSP Funding?

Commonwealth Home Support Program eligibility requres that you are 65 or older (or 50 or older if you’re Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander). You can also receive a CHSP subsidy if you are 50 or older (45 if Aboriginalor Torres Strait Islander) and low income, homeless, or at risk of homelessness.

In addition, you must have had recent changes in your health status that affect your ability to perform daily tasks. This could be a change in your medical status or mobility, a recent fall or hospital admission, or simply a change in the family care you have available.

If you have difficulty with daily tasks such as eating, cooking, shopping, cleaning, or taking medicine, then you may qualify.

If you’re unsure, use the My Aged Care ​eligibility checker​ to find out whether you could be eligible for support.

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CHSP service providers offer different prices for different services- the cost will vary depending on the agency

2. What is the Cost of CHSP Services?

Although the Commonwealth Home Support Program provides funding to help pay for home care services, it may not mean that services are free for you. Usually, your subsidy will cover only a portion of the cost, and you’ll need to contribute some of your income as well.

You’ll only pay for the services you use, with no entrance or exit fees, no daily fees, and no contracts. In addition, your subsidy is not considered income, so it won’t affect your age pension.

The cost of services can vary widely between providers, so choosing a cost-effective provider will mean you can get more hours of care.

If you have trouble paying your portion of the cost of services, talk with your provider.

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Your Guide to Commonwealth Home Support Program services- how to receive services

3. How to Begin Receiving CHSP Services

If you believe you’re ​eligible​ for CHSP services, the first step is to create an account with ​My Aged Care​.

Next, you’ll need to apply for a Regional Assessment Service assessment (RAS). When your application is received, an assessor will call you to schedule your assessment at a time that’s convenient for you.

For your RAS, the assessor will come to your home and ask you questions about your health needs and the care support you have right now. If you want, you can have a friend or family member at your assessment with you to help you answer questions. The RAS assessor will work with you during your appointment to write a Support Plan that outlines the care and services you need. After you complete the plan together, the assessor will tell you what services you’re eligible for, and they’ll give you a referral code for each type of service.

After your assessment, you can begin scheduling services. To do this, you’ll need to choose a provider for each service you need. You can choose one provider for all the services if you prefer. Contact the provider and give them your referral code for the service you want them to provide, and you’ll be able to schedule your care appointment as soon as a carer is available.

If at any point you lose your referral codes, you can find them by ​logging into your account​ at My Aged Care.

If your care needs change, or if you find that your CHSP services aren’t meeting your needs, then you can ask your assessor to refer you for a comprehensive ACAT assessment to determine your eligibility for an HCP.

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How to Choose a CHSP Provider

4. How to Choose Your CHSP Provider

You’ll need to choose an approved provider to receive your Commonwealth Home Support Program care. You can do this during your RAS assessment by simply asking your assessor; they are usually familiar with providers and can refer you to one that offers the services you need. Or, you can ​find a provider​ yourself by searching the My Aged Care directory.

It’s important to choose a good provider. Carers will come directly to your home, so it’s important to be sure they’re ​well-trained and professional​. Cost is also a factor, since the portion you pay for CHSP is determined by the provider. In addition, you may find it more convenient to choose a single provider who can offer all the services you need.

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Here’s what you should ask when choosing a CHSP provider:

  • When are services available, and what is the scheduling process? Is there a waiting period for the services you need? Make sure that the provider can offer ​scheduling​ at a time that’s convenient for you.
  • Does this provider offer all the services you’re eligible for? If so, can they offer you a package discount if you purchase all your CHSP services from them?
  • Do they offer any ​quality guarantees​?
  • What is the ​cost​ to you?
CHSP services

CHSP Services offered by The CareSide

The CareSide offers all eligible Commonwealth Home Support Program services. We are also an approved provider for Home Care Packages, so if your needs change, you can top up your services or request an ACAT assessment to increase your services without having to find a new provider. The CareSide offers the best value care with both the CHSP and HCP.

Companion Care​: Help with housekeeping, meal preparation, shopping, or transportation.

Personal Care​: Support for personal grooming, hygiene, and toileting tasks.

Post-Hospital Care​: Short-term care after an operation or illness. 

Respite Care​: Additional help to provide respite for your family carers.

Ready to find care? Contact us to make The CareSide your CHSP provider.