Does it seem like you just can’t stretch your home care package funds far enough? That you always seem to have to prioritise between getting the lawn mowed or the house cleaned?

If you find that watching your statement has become a part of your daily routine, we have outlined below a number of options worth exploring to make your home care funding go further. Some of these are accessible through either your GP, councils, state, or federal funding while others can be directed by you.

Personal options

  • Review the hourly costs of contractors and explore options to employ carers directly, thereby avoiding agency fees. Visit our recent post finding carers for more information on various ways to find carers.
  • Explore the fees/charges of your current home care package provider.  Five years ago, non-care related management fees ranged from 25% to 55%, averaging 35%, now with transparency and competition it is now approximating 10% – 40%, averaging under 30%. Every % less means more care hours for you!
  • Consider moving from a fully managed package to a self-managed package where a family member or friend manages the package thereby making more funds available for care
  • Ask family, and/or friends to take on more unpaid responsibilities
  • Consider live-in carers, considering they get “Board” the direct payment to them from the home care package is significantly lower
  • Explore sharing a house and care costs with other Home Care package recipients.

Government funding options

  • Take a look at Local Council services that may be of value to you  i.e. transport, carer support groups, respite services, group activities (shopping tours, exercise, cooking workshops), home library services, community centres, pensioner concessions, men’s shed, etc. Your local council website is a great place to start.
  • Submit an Aged Care Assessment (ACAT) request for higher package and funding (contact your Care Manager to initiate this process).  You have to demonstrate the current package is fully utilised / spent and there is a need for more care.
  • Look into a half price taxi card – different schemes apply to each state, generally it is a 50% discount on taxi fares, information can easily be found online.
  • Accessing Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) by contacting your local council directly OR My Aged care to arrange an assessment via the local Regional Assessment Service Team (RAS).

Level 1 +2 holders who have exhausted all their package funds, can temporarily access additional short term or episodic Allied Health and Therapy and Nursing services via CHSP (discuss with your local CHSP provider). Those waiting for a higher package can access CHSP for minor home modifications.

Level 1-4 holders can in an emergency or when a carer requires assistance, can seek to access planned respite services or additional services on a short-term basis via CHSP if HCP funds have been fully exhausted. These services will be time limited, reviewed and monitored regularly.

  • Apply for residential respite funding If a carer would like to arrange for residential respite services, contact the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on 1800 052 222. The Carers Gateway provides practical information and support, accessed via
  • Explore the following different supplements opportunities

Veterans’ Supplement – funding for veterans with a mental health condition accepted by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) as related to their service

Oxygen Supplement – for people with an ongoing medical need for the continual administration of oxygen. This does not apply for short– term illnesses such as bronchitis, or for intermittent use of oxygen

Enteral Feeding Supplement – for people who need to be fed by a tube on an ongoing basis.

Viability Supplement – intended to help meet the higher costs of delivering care and services for people living in rural or remote areas

Hardship Supplement – available to home care recipients in genuine financial hardship who do not have the ability to pay their care fee (not charged by many home care providers, or income-tested fee) due to circumstances beyond their control.

Dementia and cognition supplement see GP accessed schemes

Schemes accessed through your GP

  • The Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS), which provides a payment of $623 per annum to eligible people, to help with some of the costs of buying continence products. You cannot use CAPS funding AND Home Care Package to pay for continence aids, as both are funded by the Australian Government.
  • Dementia and cognition supplement to assist with the cost of caring for people who have moderate to severe cognitive impairment and is paid directly to the care package provider. This is subject to meeting eligibility requirements including assessment by a GP or other suitably qualified person using the prescribed assessment tools such as the Psychogeriatric Assessment Scales (PAS).
  • Chronic Disease Management program can provide access to up to 5 Medicare rebated appointments per calendar year for allied health services
  • The Mental Health Program lets you claim up to 20 sessions with a mental health professional each calendar year. To start with, your doctor or psychiatrist will refer you for up to 6 sessions at a time. If you need more, they can refer you for further sessions.

Every single care hour is important, making every avenue worth exploring. With a bit of creative thinking and armed with some options to pursue, you can find ways to stretch your package further.