Expenses incurred under a Home Care Package must be considered an acceptable use of government funds. 

Home Care Package funding cannot be used as a source of general income. All expenditure must relate to aging and not be an expense that all Australian’s have.

A Home Care Package can only benefit the care recipient therefore funds cannot be spent on or seen to be benefiting carers or family members. This means that when it comes to shared living arrangements, any services such as cleaning are payable from the funding on a pro-rata basis.

To help guide you, we’ve listed specific items which are excluded under the Home Care Packages Program below.

Home Care Package Exclusions

Click on each category below for more information.

+ Beauty therapy (e.g. manicures) and hairdressing. Note: transport for a hairdresser to provide home hairdressing may be allowable due to being bedbound, however the actual hairdressing cannot be funded.

+ Wigs.

+ Grooming devices e.g. electric shaver.

+ Medicated skin creams and ointments, body wash, shampoo.

+ Toilet paper.

+ Continence aids if a participant is in the CAPS program (HCP can fund these items once CAPS funding for the 12 months has been utilised).

+ Sanitary pads

+ Cost of entertainment activities, such as club memberships and tickets to sporting events.

+ Travel and accommodation.

+ Supplies to participate in any activity, e.g. gardening or craft.

+ Meals during a social event or outing.

+ Gym or pool memberships/access costs when not prescribed for aged-related functional decline and monitored by health professional operating within their scope of practice.

+ Hobbies – any item that is essentially a personal hobby such as cameras, gaming device/ chairs, internet, club subscription, consumables etc.

+ Gambling activities.

+ Payment or gap payment for state/territory government funded programs, such as the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS)/ Medicare or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and/or aids and equipment schemes.

+ Gap payments on Private Health insurance claims.

+ Hospital costs, ambulance cover or private health insurance premiums.

+ Dentures, dentistry and dental surgery.

+ Prescription glasses, spectacles, contacts, eye tests, lenses and frames. Exception: specialised visual aids with an assessed care need regarding impaired sight.

+ Prostheses (e.g. artificial limb).

+ Diagnostic imaging, e.g. Xray or MRI.

+ Specialist appointments.

+ Natural therapies, including:

  • Alexander technique
  • Aromatherapy
  • Bowen therapy
  • Buteyko
  • Feldenkrais
  • Homeopathy
  • Iridology
  • Kinesiology
  • Naturopathy
  • Pilates (except sessions supervised by an exercise physiologist or physiotherapist)
  • Reflexology
  • Rolfing
  • Shiatsu
  • Tai chi (except sessions supervised by a Chinese Medicine Practitioner, exercise physiologist or physiotherapist)
  • Western herbalism
  • Yoga (except sessions supervised by an exercise physiologist or physiotherapist).

+ Massage from a beautician/beauty therapist.

+ Hearing aids available under the Hearing Services Program. Contact the Hearing Service Program (HSP) for guidance on hearing aid replacement and delegate approval for non-standard hearing aids. Exception: if care recipient is not a pension concession card holder, in which case a HCP may cover (like for like) a typical hearing aid covered by HSP in this case only.

+ Medications, vitamins and supplements, as well as items not covered by the PBS such as off-indication prescriptions, medicines not endorsed for listing by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) or medicines where the manufacturer has chosen not to list the product on the PBS.

+ All medical services delivered by medical practitioners (as regulated by Ahpra’s Medical Board of Australia) are excluded in the HCP Program unless the purpose of the visit is to seek evidence for the dementia and cognition supplement, oxygen and/or enteral feeding supplements and the physician bills privately for the session.

+ Psychiatry.

+ Private transport-related costs including vehicle registration, vehicle repairs, vehicle insurance and fuel.

+ Local transit costs of public bus, ferry or train fares.

+ Gap payment when using the half price taxi scheme.

+ Ride share, e.g. Uber.

+ Non evidence based items.

+ Gym equipment such as weights, bands, treadmills or exercise bikes.

+ Gaming chairs.

+ Massage table and guns.

+ Air purifier.

+ Diabetes related equipment.

+ Purchase of food or drinks (including products like Sustagen), except as part of enteral feeding requirements.

+ Vitamins, supplements and all medications (PBS or Non-PBS medications are not allowable).

+ Take away food, premade meals from the supermarket, food delivery services e.g. UberEATS.

+ Payment for permanent accommodation, including assistance with home purchase mortgage payments or rent, residential care (govt funded or privately funded).

+ Moving costs.

+ Home insurance, rates and household bills, such as water, sewage, phone, internet, gas and electricity costs.

+ Televisions and streaming services (e.g. Netflix or foreign language TV channels).

+ Purchase of toiletries, groceries, cleaning products.

+ Whitegoods and electrical appliances (except items designed specifically for frailty such as a tipping kettle) including but not limited to air-conditioning, heating, fridges, stove tops, ovens microwaves, televisions, food blenders, clothes lines and vacuums.

+ General mattress and frame for bed (exceptions for pressure relieving mattress or mattress/frame for an electrical adjustable bed or hospital bed).

+ Home repairs/maintenance/specialist cleaning performed by a tradesperson or other licensed professional such as pest control, treatment of mould, steam cleaning of carpets and soft furnishings.

+ Installation, replacement/repair /maintenance/servicing/professional cleaning of:

  • Water tanks
  • Solar panels
  • Fencing
  • Doors – internal, external or automatic
  • Gates
  • Roofs
  • Heating and cooling or hot water systems
  • Swimming pools
  • Power points – generally no
  • Fridges
  • General household furniture or equipment.

+ Home modifications or capital items that are not related to the care recipient’s aging-related care needs, for example:

  • Windows, roofs, pergolas, sunrooms, decking
  • Home modifications that don’t support ageing safely e.g., non-accessible bathroom and kitchen modifications; non-standard fittings in accessible bathroom modifications (e.g., mosaic tiles)
  • Home modifications requiring development applications
  • Major modifications, e.g. full bathroom renovation
  • Aesthetic modifications of any kind, (e.g. more expensive tile choices, heated towel rails or replacement of flooring) are excluded
  • Repainting the home
  • Major plumbing
  • Emptying of septic tank; remedying sewage surcharge (matter for water company/insurer)
  • Major electrical work, e.g., rewiring house
  • Replacement of entire floor and floor coverings throughout the home, some consideration can be given to safe passage for mobility equipment required or slip hazard reduction
  • Replacement of foundation e.g., concrete/cement slab
  • Significant changes to the floorplan of the home, such as adding a new bathroom or extension.

+ Extensive gardening services such as:

  • Planting and maintaining crops, natives and ornamental plants
  • The installation and/or maintenance of raised garden beds
  • Compost heaps
  • Watering systems
  • Water features and rock gardens
  • Landscaping
  • Tree removal
  • Removal of garden beds
  • Removal of shrubbery (unless preventing safe access and egress)
  • Excessive gardening in areas not immediate to the home, access and egress
  • Green waste removal.

+ Computers (desktop computers or laptops), ipads/tablets, home / mobile phones, e-readers, smart watches and similar.

+ Home renovations, modifications or capital items that are not related to the care recipient’s care needs.

+ Home maintenance services (such as those requiring a tradesperson) are typically the responsibility of the homeowner.

+ Purchasing or replacement of fixtures, equipment or fittings that are considered basic accommodation responsibilities of the homeowner, tenant or landlord.  This includes items such as security doors or cameras, flooring, painting, driveway maintenance, structural changes (i.e. moving walls or plumbing).

+ Replacing gutters or flyscreens.

+ Glass shower screens.

+ Smoke alarms and light globes. If purchased privately, installation can be paid for through the package.

+ Security related items such as doors, screens, cameras (external and internal), external lightning, doorbells.

+ Complete re-concreting is out of scope, however it is allowable to replace a specific, limited area of problematic cracked concrete which poses a safety risk.

+ Home Care Package Fees – i.e. basic daily fee, income-tested care fee and additional fees.

+ Solicitors or accountants for maintaining care recipients’ personal affairs.

+ Funeral costs and funeral plans.

+ Cash payments or gift vouchers/cards, including online vouchers and coupons.

+ Clothing including shoes.

+ Pet care and associated costs such as walking (if the client is walking their dog themselves, a support worker may accompany), grooming, pet food; toys, bedding and boarding/pet sitter expenses, registration, vet bills, medication, insurance taxidermy, cremation.

+ Service/s delivered by family members or live-in carers.

+ Death Doula services.

+ Case Management services.

I still have questions about allowable expenditure. What should I do next?