What Can Home Care Package Funds Be Used For?

July 30, 2021

The government’s My Age Care - Home Care Packages Program helps elderly Australians access care services and funding to help maintain a safe and comfortable lifestyle at home.

But what can home care package funds be used for, and what won’t be covered?

Here’s what you need to know about accessing and allocating your Home Care Package subsidies.

older woman receiving physiotherapy from a young female physiotherapist.

About Home Care Packages

First, let’s start with the basics and what you need to know about home care and government-subsidised Home Care Packages.

What Is a Home Care Package?

My Aged Care defines a Home Care Package as “a coordinated package of care and services to help you to live independently in your own home for as long as you can.”

Through this government funded care plan, you will work with a service provider to select the specific health care services and additional support you need. From there, your care services will be delivered to you in your own home.

Who Can Access Home Care Packages?

Home Care Packages are designed to support ageing in place for elderly Australians who wish to remain at home rather than relocating to an aged care residence.

You’ll need to have an Aged Care Assessment to determine your eligibility for a Home Care Package. My Aged Care provides the steps to applying for an Aged Care Assessment.

The Aged Care Assessment will specify which home care package level will best meet your needs:

  • Level 1 is intended for people with basic care needs
  • Level 2 supports people with low-level care needs
  • Level 3 is designed for people with intermediate care needs
  • Level 4 provides support for people with high-level care needs

Understanding the Costs

What can home packages be used for? Here's what you need to know about the funding basics.

How Much Do Home Care Packages Cost?

Home Care Packages are predominantly paid through government subsidies. The actual costs will depend on the package level and the types of services required.

Expenses you may need to cover include a basic daily fee, an income-tested care fee if you can afford it, and any fees for additional services above your package that you agree to.

What Is the Maximum Government Subsidy for a Home Care Package?

The government subsidises each Home Care Package level up to a certain amount. The annual subsidy limits are approximately:

  • Level 1: $9,026
  • Level 2: $15,887
  • Level 3: $34,550
  • Level 4: $52,337

What Is the Maximum Income-Tested Fee for a Home Care Package?

In addition to covering the basic daily fee, Home Care Package recipients with the financial means to do so may also be required to pay an income-tested fee.

This is decided through an income assessment, but maximum rates do apply. Any income-tested fee you’re required to pay will lower the amount of funding you receive.

  • Full pensioners do not have to pay this fee
  • The maximum income-tested fee is $5,667 per year for part pensioners with income below $54,220
  • The maximum income-tested fee is $11,335 per year for self-funded retirees with income above $54,220

How to Use Your Funds

Now, let’s explore the question of what can home care package funds be used for, and what care and services are not covered.

What Can a Government-Subsidised Home Care Package Pay For?

The government’s Home Care Package fund helps keep elderly Aussies well, independent, safe and connected.

The home care funding you receive will be sent directly to your approved provider. The funding is intended to cover the cost of the care services needed following your Aged Care Assessment.

Subsidies can be used for:

  • Personal care services (e.g., bathing and dressing)
  • Social support, transportation and errands
  • Skin integrity management (e.g., changing bandages and dressings)
  • Meal preparation and nutrition
  • Continence management
  • Allied health, therapy and nursing care
  • Telehealth services
  • Aids for dexterity and mobility
  • Assistive technologies
  • Other equipment and aids (e.g., minor home modifications)

What Services Are Not Covered by Home Care Package Funds?

When understanding what can home care package funds be used for, keep in mind that the government won’t pay for everyday expenses that are not related to your care needs.

Costs that may not be covered by government subsidies include:

  • Utility bills
  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Regular grocery purchases
  • Travel and lodging fees
  • Entertainment expenses
  • Other types of care funded by the government

Can You Access Any Other Subsidies or Supplements To Cover Home Care Services?

The government offers a range of supplements and subsidies that eligible Australians can apply towards the costs of home care. Examples include supplemental funding for veterans, people undergoing enteral feeding and home care recipients with dementia.

Who Can Help You Understand How To Spend Home Care Package Funds?

The real answer to the question of “What can home care package funds be used for?” will differ from one person to another. Luckily, your service provider will help you understand how to allocate your funds.

Everything will be specified in your home care agreement as well, so that you and any involved family members have a clearer understanding of what to expect.

Live Life Your Way With Home Care From Mayflower

Navigating the ins and outs of home care is easier said than done. If you need any help at all -  from getting started with an Aged Care Assessment to understanding the costs of home care - our friendly team at Mayflower is here to help.

Contact us at Mayflower to learn more about our home care services in Melbourne.