The difference between HCPs and CHSP
Understanding your home care options
Share this page
The difference between HCPs and CHSP
If you’re looking into aged care options, you’ve likely heard of Home Care Packages. They’re a great option for government-subsidised aged care, but it’s not the only one.
Mari is a Team Leader at our 24/7 Contact Centre and says Silver Chain can help you understand the different programs and how they can help you continue to live at home as you get older.
“Many of us want to stay living in our own homes,” says Mari, “and we may just need a bit of support to do so. Both a Home Care Package (HCP) and the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) are designed to do exactly that.”
So, what’s the difference?
First, they are used to address different levels of support.
“The CHSP is for people who need a little bit of help every week or fortnight with everyday tasks or activities, or a short burst of care for an immediate need.
"Home Care Packages are for people who need more regular help, or higher levels of support.”
With a Home Care Package, there are four levels of care available, from level 1 for basic care to level 4 for more complex care.
“For each level of care there’s a corresponding budget allocated,” explains Mari. “The higher the package number, the more care you are eligible for, which equals more funds.”
The two programs both have different payment systems as well. With a Home Care Package, each level aligns to a set amount of funding each year. You can check these amounts on the My Aged Care website. Depending on your financial circumstances you may be expected to contribute to the cost of your care.
With CHSP, you’ll receive a government subsidy for the services you need but will be asked to contribute to the cost of your care.
“CHSP contributions depend on your personal situation, so you should give us a call to understand how it would affect you. But as an example, if you’re receiving a full pension, you are expected to pay $8 per visit,” says Mari.
How do you find out if you’re eligible? For both programs you need to have an assessment.
“Lots of people have heard about the ‘ACAT’ assessments”, says Mari, “which stand for Aged Care Assessment Team. This is a comprehensive assessment which you need to be approved for a Home Care Package.”
For CHSP funding, you need a ‘RAS’ assessment – Regional Services Assessment.
So how do you know which one to get?
“To get either assessment, people need to register with My Aged Care. They will chat to you over the phone, and refer you for the option they think you need.”
Lastly, Mari says your ability to manage and tailor the services you receive differs.
“With CHSP, the services you are eligible for will be prescribed by your RAS assessor from a set menu of basic services including domestic, personal, and respite care. So while you get to choose your provider, you can’t really change the services you receive (without getting another assessment). You also only pay for the services you use.
"With a Home Care Package, you are given a ‘bucket’ of funding, and how you spend it is up to you, so it’s more flexible.”
Mari recommends you call Silver Chain for free advice to make sure you really understand your options.
“By getting to know you, we can understand what’s important and what you need, and can give you advice for your individual situation.
For example, if you’re receiving CHSP and you feel like it’s no longer meeting your needs we can arrange for you to be reassessed for more services or for a Home Care Package.”
Our friendly Care Team are available 24/7 to help you with any questions you may have.
Call us on (08) 9242 0119 or 1300 650 803 for country callers to discuss your needs.
If you’ve been approved for a Home Care Package, we can come to your home to meet you in person and walk through how we structure our packages and the benefits you’ll gain with Silver Chain.
Both options are free of charge – we’re here to help you get the best outcome from your home care support.