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The Australian Government Home Care Packages Program Explained

| Government

As Australia's premier home care provider, we would like to share some valuable information regarding the Australian Government's Home Care Packages (HCP) Program to help you better access the RightCare, Right at Home™ with government funded home care services.


What is the Home Care Packages Program in a Nutshell?

The Home Care Packages (HCP) Program is an Australian Government initiative to ensure continuum of care for older Australians to age safely and independently in their own home. Unlike Commonwealth Home Support Packages (CHSP), which assist with entry-level home support services, the Home Care Packages Program provides for more complex home care needs including personal care, nursing care, allied health and therapy services, medication management, meal preparation and dietetics, domestic assistance, home maintenance, minor home modifications, goods equipment and assistive technology, respite care, transport, and social support.  

The Home Care Packages Program is intended for Australians, aged 65+ and for First Nations peoples 50+, who need assistance to remain living independently in their own homes. 

The Home Care Packages Program is needs-based, designed to deliver care and services to meet an individual’s needs within the limits of their home care packages budget and the scope of the Program.  

The Australian Government's Aged Care Quality Standards require providers like Right at Home, to deliver safe and effective services and support for daily living that optimise your independence, health, wellbeing, and quality of life.  

Home Care Package Levels

There are four Home Care Package levels to help meet the varying levels of individual care needs – the lowest level of care being 1 and the highest level of care being 4. The types of care services are unchanged between each level, with allocated hours increasing or decreasing as required. 

Level 1 supports people with basic care needs, level 2 supports people with low care needs, level 3 supports people with intermediate care needs, and level 4 supports people with high care needs.

Each eligible person in the Home Care Package Program has the ability to apply for a Dementia Supplement, a Veterans’ Supplement for veterans with an accepted mental health condition, the Enteral Feeding Supplement, or the Oxygen Supplement for continual oxygen therapy as required. Right at Home can do the application for these assessed supplements on your behalf.

Right at Home can also assist you to apply for a Home Care Package level upgrade when your needs change and you require more support than what your current package level allows. The increased level provides more funding, which in turn allows more care hours delivered to you at home.

If you aren’t eligible for government funded home care, or if you are eligible but are waiting for the funding to become available, you can still access private pay home care. Right at Home is one of the few providers that can service private pay clients.

Home Care Packages - Government Subsidy

As of 1 July 2023, the government subsidy for each package level is as follows:


This means that the government subsidises the cost of home care for eligible recipients through home care packages to the following levels:

  • At Home Care Package Level 1, the daily government subsidy rate is $28.14, which accumulates to $10,271.10 per annum
  • At Home Care Package Level 2, the daily government subsidy rate is $49.49, which accumulates to $18,063.85 per annum
  • At Home Care Package Level 3 the daily government subsidy rate is $107.70, which accumulates to $39,310.50 per annum
  • At Home Care Package Level 4 the daily government subsidy rate is $163.27, which accumulates to $59,593.55 per annum

Fees and Charges

1. Basic Daily Fee

The basic daily fee is an amount that everyone can be asked to pay by their provider. This fee is set by the government at a percentage of the single basic age pension and varies from 15.68% to 17.50% depending on your Home Care Package level. The basic daily fee changes in March and September each year in line with the age pension.

From 20 March 2024, the basic daily fee by Home Care Package level is:

Package Level Daily Fee Fortnightly Fee
Level 1 $11.43 $160.02
Level 2 $12.08 $169.12
Level 3 $12.42 $173.88
Level 4 $12.75 $178.50

Some providers may ask you to pay a basic daily fee. Right at Home does not charge basic daily fees meaning you won't be out-of-pocket when you nominate Right at Home as your home care provider. 

2. Income Tested Fee

The income-tested care fee is an extra contribution that some people pay, as determined by the government through an income assessment. Some people will need to contribute more towards their home care. If you are asked to pay an income-tested care fee, the government subsidy will be reduced by the amount of income-tested care fee that you are eligible to pay.

For example, if your Home Care Package is assessed at $18,014.36 (the amount the government will pay) and your income-tested care fee is assessed at $5,000 (the amount you pay) then your Home Care Package subsidy will be $13,014.36 ($18,014.36 – $5,000 = $13,0134.36). The subsidy or Home Care Package funds won’t affect your pension as pensions are not considered income.

This fee is different for everyone. It’s based on your individual income, including your pension. However, full pensioners and people with an income up to $32,819.80 do not pay an income-tested care fee.

You could pay up to $18.30 per day, if you:

  • Are single earning over $32,819.20
  • Are a member of a couple living together earning over $25,420.20
  • Are a member of a couple living apart due to illness earning over $32,195.80

You could pay between $18.30 – $36.60 if you:

  • Are single earning over $63,351.60
  • Are a member of a couple living together earning over $48,432.80
  • Are a member of a couple living apart due to illness earning over $62,727.60
  • These cap amounts change with indexation on 20 March and 20 September every year and are up to date as of 20 March 2024.

Your income-tested care fee is calculated by Services Australia. This fee will reduce the subsidy the government contributes towards your Home Care Package. If your financial situation changes while you are receiving care, your income-tested care fee can change.

3. Package Management & Care Management Fees

The care management fee is for planning and managing the delivery of care services, including regularly assessing your needs, goals, and preferences. The package management fee is for administrative, organisational activities for managing a package.

Right at Home charges a minimal fee for care management and does not charge package management fees, which means there is more money in your budget for the delivery of care.

Note that these fees are paid for every single day that package funds are assigned to you, not just on the days you receive services. You may be asked to pay your home care fees on a fortnightly or monthly basis.

4. Home Care Budget

When you receive a Home Care Package, you have a budget to pay for the services you need. Your budget depends on the level of care you've been approved for and includes contributions from you and the government as follows: 

  • The Australian Government's contribution (the subsidy you have been approved for and any supplements if eligible).
  • Your contribution (the fees you may be asked to pay).
  • Your basic daily fee (which everyone receiving a Home Care Package can be asked to pay). Right at Home does not charge a basic daily fee.
  • Your income-tested care fee (if you have been assessed by the Government as being able to contribute).
  • Any additional fees you agree to.

Together, these funds cover your care services as well as the package management costs from your provider to organise and manage your package services. Right at Home does not charge a package management fee.

Your chosen provider will develop the budget with you based on your care plan. All care and services provided to you must be achievable within your package budget. You cannot use your package budget for services or items that are excluded from the program such as buying food, travel for holidays, or entertainment activities.

What sets Right at Home apart?

  • Right at Home does not charge a basic daily fee.
  • Right at Home does not charge package management fees.
  • Right at Home never used to charge a care management fee but it became compulsory to charge this fee in January 2023. Right at Home charges a minimal care management fee.
  • Right at Home employs its own care workers who are screened, trained, and insured. 
  • Right at Home matches care workers to clients to ensure a holistic level of care is delivered including meeting the wellbeing goals for each client.
  • Right at Home introduces you to at least two care workers who are available to deliver care to you at a time that is most suitable to you within the office's scheduling limits and you will get to know and enjoy the company of those carers as a friend.  
  • Right at Home services are delivered under a nurse supervised care plan, which is developed after a thorough assessment of your needs, goals and home environment, in consultation with you and your family.
  • Right at Home services and your care plan are reviewed regularly and we conduct supervisory visits to check that services are being delivered to your satisfaction. 

Acquiring a Home Care Package

Right at Home understands that navigating the aged care system can be difficult and confusing and so we offer free, at-home consultations to take you through the process from start to finish and assist you in getting registered with My Aged Care. 

Once you are registered with My Aged Care, you need to be assessed by an ACAT assessor to verify whether you qualify for a Home Care Package or not. The Assessor will either visit you at home or phone you. They will then provide their assessment to the government who in turn will decide whether you qualify for a Home Care Package or not. Right at Home can help you organise an assessment and explain the process to you. 

There is a waiting period of at least three to six months (sometimes longer) to hear back from the government on whether you qualify. You may be assigned a CHSP package if it is deemed your needs are not complex enough for a Home Care Package. You may receive a Level 1 Home Care Package to get you started and then later be re-assessed for a higher level.

If you hear back from My Aged Care that you qualify for a Home Care Package, you will receive two letters. The first letter lets you know that your funding has been approved and that you should start searching for a provider such as Right at Home. The second letter confirms the funding has been assigned to you and that you have 56 days to commence a package with a provider such as Right at Home. Within 56 days you need to have chosen and commenced a package with a provider or risk losing the funding.

For all questions related to the HCP Program, please contact your local office or call our national support office on 07 3177 9906 so we can direct you to the correct Right at Home office for personal help and guidance. 

Keep up to date with COVID 19 information on the following links: 

Australian Government Department of Health 

Victorian Health and Human Services 

NSW Health 

Queensland Health 

ACT Health 

WA Department of Health 

Tasmanian Department of Health 

Northern Territory Department of Health 

SA Health 

Founded in 1995, Right at Home offers in-home companionship and personal care, and assistance to seniors (elderly and aged care), and any adult who needs our care at home including adults living with a disability who want to continue to live independently or age in their home. Right at Home is your local expert for issues related to caring for your loved ones and is dedicated to keeping you informed about home care. With no package management fees, Right at Home allows you to get more care from your package or budget. 

Right at Home is a 'My Aged Care' government approved, home care provider for levels 1 – 4 and offers flexible in-home care services such as nursing care, after hospital care, post-operative care, respite care, dementia and Alzheimer's care. Right at Home also offers assistance with daily living and personal care such as grooming, hygiene, transport, shopping, meal prep, domestic services and social support, so your loved one can enjoy a more independent, vibrant life. Our nurses and caregivers are screened, highly trained, and insured prior to entering your home so you can trust us with the caregiving while you focus on your loved one. 

To find out more, please give us a call on 1300 363 802 or visit our website. 

Right at Home Offices in Australia: ACT & Queanbeyan; ACT Canberra; Adelaide Central; Brisbane Bayside; Brisbane North; Brisbane South; Brisbane West; Central Queensland & Wide Bay; Central West New South Wales; Darling Downs; Far North Queensland; Gold Coast North; Gold Coast South; Gosford; Greater Logan; Hunter & Port Stephens; Ipswich Lockyer Valley; Kalgoorlie Wheatbelt; Macarthur Penrith; Mackay; Melbourne Brighton: Melbourne Glen Waverley; Melbourne North; Moreton Bay Region; Newcastle; Noosa, Gympie & Hinterland; Northern Rivers; Padstow St George; Perth Midland; Perth Northern Suburbs; Perth South Eastern Suburbs; Perth West Coast; Southern NSW; Southwest Victoria; Sunshine Coast; Sydney Central & Eastern Suburbs; Sydney Five Dock; Sydney Inner West; Sydney Liverpool; Sydney Lower North Shore; Sydney Northern Beaches; Sydney Norwest; Sydney Parramatta; Sydney Ryde; Sydney Sutherland Shire; Sydney The Hills; Sydney Upper North Shore; Townsville; 

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