3. What can a Government Subsidised Home Care Package pay for?

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What can a Home Care Package pay for? Seeing as Home Care Packages are Consumer Directed you might think it can pay for anything you need or want; however that is NOT the case. Home Care Packages are funded by Tax Payers’ money, so they are “Consumer Directed within the Government’s Home Care Package Guidelines”. It is NOT as simple as, “if the item is on the list below, your Home Care Package can pay for it”. You need to get prior approval from your Care Manager and they will apply these tests:

  1. Does the service / item meet the Home Care Package Program Rule Guidelines? Here is a link to the Guidelines for Consumers produced by the Government. Be aware that we attend training to interpret the Guidelines, so our understanding is deeper than the Consumer Guidelines.
  2. Does the service / item meet an ASSESSED CARE NEED & GOAL which is documented in your Care Plan?
  3. Clinical CARE is always the top priority of a Home Care Package, then CARE, and then non-care services like lawn mowing, cleaning-only services etc.
  4. Is there sufficient Unspent Funds available to pay for the service / item?
  5. When there are insufficient funds to meet all goals / needs / wishes, clinical care trumps all other wishes. When care needs change your Home Care Package may need to cease paying for services that are non-care services so there is more budget to pay for clinical care and care services.
  6. The cost must represent value because tax payers are paying.
    Please: Do not organise any third party services unless your Care Manager has approved these services in advance. If you are unsure talk to your Care Manager.
  7. Is the service being provided by a family member or friend? Your family cannot be paid by taxpayers to pay for your care. Family provides free care because they are family and they love you.


This brief list applies to all 4 levels of Home Care Packages.

A. Care services Care can include:
Personal care services Personal care assistance, including individual attention, individual supervision, and physical assistance with:

  • bathing, showering including providing shower chairs if necessary, personal hygiene and grooming, dressing and undressing, and using dressing aids
  • toileting
  • mobility
  • transfer (including in and out of bed/chair/wheelchair)
Activities of daily living Personal assistance, including individual attention, individual supervision and physical assistance with:

  • communication including assistance to address difficulties arising from impaired hearing, sight or speech, or lack of common language, assistance with the fitting of sensory communication aids, checking hearing aid batteries, cleaning spectacles and assistance in using the telephone
Nutrition, hydration, meal preparation and diet Includes:

  • assistance with preparing meals
  • assistance with special diet for health, religious, cultural or other reasons
  • assistance with using eating utensils and eating aids and assistance with actual feeding as necessary
  • providing enteral feeding formula and equipment
Management of skin integrity Includes:

  • providing bandages, dressings and skin emollients
Continence management Includes:

  • assessment for and, if required, providing disposable pads and absorbent aids, commode chairs, bedpans and urinals, catheter and urinary drainage appliances and enemas
  • assistance in using continence aids and appliances and managing continence
Mobility and dexterity Includes:

  • providing crutches, quadruped walkers, walking frames, walking sticks and wheelchairs
  • providing mechanical devices for lifting, bed rails, slide sheets, sheetskins, tri-pillows, and pressure relieving mattresses
  • assistance in using the above aids
B. Support services Support services can include:
Support services Includes:

  • in home respite care (such as our Live in Care or Overnight Care services)
  • medication management
  • support for consumers with cognitive impairment, including individual therapy, activities and access to specific programmes designed to prevent or manage a particular condition or behaviour, enhance quality of life and provide ongoing support
  • transport and personal assistance to help the consumer shop, visit health practitioners or attend social activities
  • advising the consumer on areas of concern in their home that pose safety risks and ways to mitigate the risks
  • arranging social activities and providing or coordinating transport to social functions, entertainment activities and other out-of-home services.
  • cleaning
  • personal laundry services, including laundering of the consumer’s clothing and bedding that can be machine-washed and ironing
  • arranging for dry-cleaning of the consumer’s clothing and bedding that cannot be machine washed
  • gardening to keep access to your home safe
  • rehabilitative support, or helping to access rehabilitative support, to meet professionally determined therapeutic need
  • emotional support including ongoing support in adjusting to a lifestyle involving increased dependency and assistance for the consumer and carer if appropriate
  • providing 24-hour on-call access to emergency assistance including access to an emergency call system if the consumer is assessed as requiring it
  • home maintenance, reasonably required to maintain the home and garden in a condition of functional safety and provide an adequate level of security^
  • modifications to the home, such as easy access taps, shower hose or bath rails^
  • assisting the consumer, and the homeowner if the home owner is not the consumer, to access technical advice on major home modifications^
  • assistance to access support services to maintain personal affairs

(^ Please note a Home Care Package cannot pay for capital modifications to your home such as a NEW kitchen, bathroom or roof.)

Leisure, interests and activities Includes:

  • encouragement to take part in social and community activities that promote and protect the consumer’s lifestyle, interest and well-being

(A Home Care Package cannot pay for tickets to the Opera / Football / entertainment but it can pay for transport to and stand-by-assistance during an event.)

C. Care management Can include:

  • reviewing the care recipient’s Home Care Agreement and care plan, co-ordinating and scheduling care and services, ensuring care and services are aligned with other supports, liaising with the care recipient and the care recipient’s representatives, ensuring that care and services are culturally appropriate, and identifying and addressing risks to the consumer’s safety.
D. Clinical services Can include:
Clinical care Includes:

  • nursing, allied health and therapy services such as speech therapy, podiatry, occupational or physiotherapy services
  • other clinical services such as hearing and vision services
    Note: The Government has confirmed that your HCP cannot pay for hearing aids or glasses
Access to other health and related services Includes:

  • referral to health practitioners or other related service providers

Excluded items that your Government Subsidised Home Care Package cannot pay for

The following services or items are outside the scope of the Home Care Packages Programme and must not be paid for by a Government Subsidised Home Care Package (by any of the four levels of the home care).

Excluded items Items:
Excluded Items
  • use of the package funds as a source of general income for the consumer. Another way to think of this is that your HCP cannot pay for general living expenses that are unrelated to your assessed needs and goals in your Care Plan.
  • purchase of food, except as part of enteral feeding requirements*
  • payment for permanent accommodation, including assistance with home purchase, mortgage payments or rent
  • payment of home care fees (Basic Daily Fee or Income Tested Care Fee)
  • payment of fees or charges for other types of care funded or jointly funded. For example, your Home Care Package cannot pay for services or equipment when you are in hospital, transitional care or respite care.
  • home modifications or capital items that are not related to the consumer’s care needs
  • travel and accommodation for holidays
  • cost of entertainment activities, such as club memberships and tickets to sporting events
  • payment for services and items covered by the Medicare Benefits Schedule or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). For example your Home Care Package cannot pay for your “out of pocket expenses” on medications on the PBS.
  • gambling activities
  • illegal activities

Clarification About Meals

*Meals – The government subsidy for a Home Care Package can be used to pay for the preparation and delivery of meals. This could be through the consumer’s home care provider, a CHSP service provider (for example, under a sub-contracting arrangement with the home care provider) or by a private service provider. However, the consumer is expected to pay for the cost of the food. Services such as Meals on Wheels ask the consumer to pay for the food and the consumer can ask for their Home Care Package to pay for the preparation and delivery, when it is itemised separately on the invoice.

Your Home Care Package can pay for a Caregiver to shop for ingredients and to prepare your meals, however the consumer must pay for the food from their own money.

Important Note About Clinical Care

If you need clinical care such as services provided by Registered Nurses or Allied Health staff (such as a Physio, Occupational Therapist, Dietician) the Government Guidelines are very clear that clinical care must be prioritised over less essential services such as gardening or cleaning.

GST and Home Care Packages

Every service or item your Home Care Package pays for is GST-free. We pay the whole bill inclusive of the GST but we only deduct the net GST-free amount from your Home Care Package. Our Handling Fee for paying Third Party Services is 10% (equivalent to the GST you would have paid).

Remember Private in Home Care has no limitations like the excluded items list above.

Here is a framework that you and your Care Manager can use to help you decide if your Home Care Package can pay for the item/service you would like.

The Definitive Guide to Government Funded Consumer Directed In Home Aged Care Packages

1. What is a Consumer Directed Care (CDC) in Home Care Package?

2. How many hours of support or care can I receive for my Home Care Package?

3. What can a Government Subsidised Home Care Package pay for? Current Page

4. What are the costs of a Consumer Directed Care (CDC) Home Care Package?

5. What does Consumer Directed Care (CDC) Home Care Package mean?

6. Consumers’ 9 New Rights under Consumer Directed Care (CDC)

7. How do you apply for a Government Subsidised Home Care Package?

8. Are you approved or assigned a Government Funded Home Care Package?

9. Should Self-Funded Seniors accept a Level 2 Home Care Package?

10. Should Self-Funded Seniors accept a Level 3 or 4 Home Care Package?

11. Should a Pensioner accept a Level 1 or 2 Home Care Package?

12. How do I start my Home Care Package?

13. How do I transfer my Home Care Package to Daughterly Care Community Services?

14. How do I know if the Home Care Package fees I’m being charged are fair?

15. How will Consumer Directed Care (CDC) benefit my loved one?

16. Is Consumer Directed Care (CDC) working?

17. Will Consumer Directed Care (CDC) make it easier for my loved one to stay at home?

18. What happens to the Unspent Funds in my Government Funded / Subsidised Home Care Package?

19. If I hold a DVA Card can I have an In Home Care Package too?

20. Can I take leave from my Home Care Package?

21. Frequently asked questions about Consumer Directed Care (CDC) Home Care Packages

Discover the secret to getting more out of your Consumer Directed Care (CDC) Home Care Package!

Do you have a question that isn’t answered here or just looking for more information? Browse our FAQs.

4. What are the costs of a Consumer Directed Care (CDC) Home Care Package?

Need more information? To know more about us, read why we started Daughterly Care and take a look at our services.

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Contact us for a confidential chat about your in-home care needs or to organise your free no obligation consultation by emailing: claireg@daughterlycare.com.au or ring us on (02) 9970 7333.