About the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)

The CHSP provides entry-level support for older people who need some help to stay at home. Service providers work with them to maintain their independence. Support can include help with daily tasks, home modifications, transport, social support and nursing care.

What is the CHSP?

The CHSP is an entry-level home support program that helps older people to live independently in their homes and communities. It also provides respite services to give carers a break.

The program aims to:

  • help people live as independently as possible
  • focus on working with them, rather than doing things for them
  • give a small amount of help to a large number of people

Most people in the CHSP only need 1 or 2 services to help them stay independent.

If you’re an older person who needs some help at home, see My Aged Care for how to access the CHSP and what services you could get.

The CHSP replaces 4 programs. They were:

  • the Commonwealth Home and Community Care (HACC) program
  • planned respite from the National Respite for Carers Program (NRCP)
  • the Day Therapy Centres (DTC) program
  • the Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged (ACHA) program

Why is it important?

Most people want to stay at home for as long as possible as they get older. To support this, we subsidise a range of in-home aged care services.

These services help older Australians to:

  • stay independent and safe in their own homes
  • delay or avoid high-level care such as residential care in an aged care (nursing) home
  • stay socially active
  • stay connected with their community

The CHSP is an important part of the government-subsidised aged care system that also offers:

Who is it for?

The CHSP is for frail older Australians who need support to live independently at home and are either:

  • aged 65 years or over (50 or over for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples) and have functional limitations and need assistance
  • prematurely aged (50 years or older; 45 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples) and are on a low income, homeless, or at risk of being homeless as a result of housing stress or not having secure accommodation

The CHSP also supports carers by providing planned respite services for CHSP recipients. This allows carers to take a break from their caring duties.

Continuity of Support (CoS) and CHSP

The CHSP can fund services to people under the Continuity of Support Programme.

See Integration with other aged care programs.

What services can the CHSP provide?

The CHSP can provide services such as:

  • help around the house
  • transport
  • meals
  • personal care
  • home modifications
  • social support
  • nursing and allied health
  • planned respite care

Find out more about CHSP services.

How does it work?

CHSP is available across Australia and funds a large variety of organisations (called service providers) to deliver care and services. The program aims to build on people’s individual strengths and abilities to help them remain living independently and safely at home.

Under the CHSP, trained assessors (Regional Assessment Services) work out what support each person needs during a face-to-face assessment in the home.

Service providers must:

  • work with the older person to develop their care plan based on their support needs
  • support the older person to safely keep doing things for themselves where they are able to
  • review support services every 12 months to make sure they are meeting needs
  • meet quality standards

What does it cost?

CHSP providers receive Australian Government funding through grant agreements. They then provide subsidised services to older people.

Clients pay a contribution or fee (which varies between providers) towards the cost of services. Clients are expected to contribute towards the cost of the services they receive, if they can afford to do so. Clients will not be asked to cover the full cost of services and any fees must be agreed between the client and the service provider before services commence.

We expect providers to have a publicly available client contribution policy that outlines how they determine their fees. Clients will not be denied services if they are unable to contribute to the cost of the services. Providers have their own arrangements for protecting those least able to contribute towards the cost of their care.

Client contributions totalled around 10% of total CHSP funding in 2018–19.

Who provides CHSP services?

There are around 1,400 CHSP providers in Australia. Most of them (70% in 2018–19) are not-for-profit organisations.

If you are looking for a CHSP provider, use Find a help at home provider on the My Aged Care website.

Who manages the program?

The Department of Health manages and develops policy for the CHSP. We also plan and run CHSP grant rounds. We work with Funding Arrangement Managers in the Department of Social Services (DSS) who manage the CHSP grants. DSS also manages the Data Exchange where service providers submit reports.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission assesses the services to make sure providers meet quality standards.

Last updated: 
22 January 2020
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