The Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) is the entry-level help at home for the ageing. It’s for those who need a little bit of help at home in order to continue living independently.
If you’re thinking about getting some additional help at home, your first point of call is My Aged Care. My Aged Care is the first point of contact for accessing government-funded aged care services in Australia. When you call My Aged Care, they will arrange an assessment for you to determine your eligibility for services, based on your current needs.
Depending on the level of support that you require, you’ll either be assessed by the Regional Assessment Service (RAS), or the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). You can arrange an assessment by calling 1800 200 422 or visiting www.myagedcare.gov.au.
The basic eligibility criteria for the Commonwealth Home Support Program includes the following:
You’re 65 years or older
Or you’re 50 years or older if you identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
You’re 50 years or older and are a low-income earner, homeless, or at risk of homelessness
You still live in your home
You require help at home in order to continue living independently.
Once you’ve arranged an assessment through My Aged Care, an assessor from the Regional Assessment Service (RAS) will call you to arrange an assessment time for a home support assessment.
When they speak with you, a support plan will be put into place. At the time of the assessment, it’s determined that your needs are more complex, an assessment with ACAT for a home care package may take place, based on your current needs.
Your assessor will let you know what services you’re eligible to receive. Then, you can contact those providers who can deliver the CHSP. You may consent to your assessor sending a referral to relevant providers or you might want to search for providers yourself.
Your assessor will provide you with referral codes for services that you are eligible for, and you can search for providers on the My Aged Care website.
CHSP services could include the following:
Allied health support services such as Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Speech Pathology, Occupational Therapy, and Dietetics.
Food services such as meals at a community centre, assistance with shopping/ meal preparation/ cooking, or meals delivered to your home.
Community and home support such as domestic assistance, personal care, home modifications/ maintenance, nursing care, social support, and transport assistance.
Respite care is care provided for you while your carer has a break.
CHSP is subsidised by the Government, but there will be small costs involved in accessing the services. You can discuss these costs with the service provider that you’re going to receive the services from.
Once you have referral codes, you can access services through a provider, as long as they have availability. Stay in contact with service providers and My Aged Care to keep checking on the availability of services.
For further information about Government-subsidised aged care services, navigate the Retirement Now Aged Care Page, or go to www.myagedcare.gov.au.
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