What Can Home Care Package Funds Be Used For?

If you have been approved for a Home Care Package, congratulations. But what can Home Care Package funds be used for exactly? Read this article to find out.

Updated on Apr 23, 2024
5 min read

Your Home Care Package budget is made up of two types of contributions.

The first is the government contribution, which depends on your Home Care Package level. 

The second is your contribution, which we will discuss later. 

What you're interested in right now is how much you will get from the government and how exactly you can use these funds. 

There are certain care services you can use your funds for, while others are not covered by your Home Care Package budget. 

What can Home Care Package funds be used for exactly? This article will give you all the information you need before the next step of your Home Care Package journey.

Explaining Your Home Care Package Budget

According to My Aged Care, your Home Care Package budget consists of two types of contributions:

  1. Funds contributed by the Australian Government
  2. Funds contributed by you 

When you add up these two types of funds, you get your Home Care Package budget, which you can then use to spend on various Home Care Package services. 

Keep in mind that the funds won't be directly allocated to you. They go to your Home Care Package provider once you choose one. 

Your Home Care Package can depend on:

  • Your eligibility for government assistance
  • Your short-term and long-term care needs
  • The specific services included in the package

The budget may cover services provided by professional caregivers, equipment and aids, and other support services.

Government Contribution

The first thing you need to know about the government contribution is that it depends on your Home Care Package level. 

There are four HCP levels you could be assigned to, depending on your care needs. 

This is how much the Australian Government contributes per day for each level:

  1. Level 1 - $28.14
  2. Level 2 - $49.49
  3. Level 3 - $107.70
  4. Level 4 - $163.27

As you can see, the higher the level, the higher the contribution. 

You can also check out the fortnightly government contribution:

  1. Level 1 - $393.96
  2. Level 2 - $692.86
  3. Level 3 - $1,507.80
  4. Level 4 - $2,285.78

Note that the government contribution changes on 1 July every year. These figures are up to date from 1 July 2023 to 1 July 2024. 

You can use these funds to pay for the care services you want to receive. 

Your Fees

Now, let's talk about what you contribute to your Home Care Package budget. 

As a Home Care Package recipient, you are expected to pay certain amounts. These amounts include:

  • An income-tested care fee
  • A basic daily fee
  • Additional fees

Not everyone has to pay the income-tested care fee. Since it's means-tested, it's different for everyone. 

When we're talking about income assessment, we also mean your pension. 

Note that those with an income or pension of up to $32,819.80 are not required to pay an income-tested care fee.

But if you are eligible to pay this fee, your government subsidy will be reduced by this amount.

A basic daily fee is a fixed fee determined by the government. It can vary from 15.68% to 17.50%. 

It also changes every year in March and September in line with the Age Pension.

Some Home Care Package providers, like Inclusive Home Care, don't charge a basic daily fee. 

When it comes to additional fees, they depend on your Home Care Package provider. These are services that wouldn't otherwise be covered by your HCP budget.

You won't know your exact fees until you have an income assessment and a Home Care Agreement.

What Can You Spend Your Home Care Package On?

Your Home Care Package funds are meant to be used for care services you want to receive. 

As a Home Care Package recipient, you are entitled to spend your funds on in-home care. Rather than moving to an assisted living facility, you will be able to receive those services at home. 

They may include:

  • Home maintenance, modifications, and light housekeeping 
  • Assistance with activities of daily living, such as help with personal care
  • Help with household chores
  • In-home respite
  • Nursing and medication management 
  • Social support and companionship care

You may receive services not on this list, depending on your needs. After all, your Home Care Package will be tailored to meet your needs. 

The point of in-home care is to enable you to live an independent life at home, as much as your disability or old age allows for.

Home Care Package Supplements

Home Care Packages can also be used to pay for supplements. They provide extra support for people with specific conditions.

These include:

  1. The dementia and cognition supplement
  2. The veterans' supplement
  3. The enteral feeding supplement
  4. The viability supplement
  5. The top-up supplement

The supplement amounts are included in your HCP budget and monthly statements. 

You must meet specific requirements to get supplements as part of your package. 

What Can't Home Care Package Funds Be Used for?

Your Home Care Package budget has its limitations, meaning that you can't use it for whatever you want.

The general rule is that you can't use your funds for expenses you would pay using your income. 

You can only spend your budget on home care services that help you live an independent life. 

That's why you can't spend your funds on:

  • Medical expenses - doctor's visits, prescription medications, or medical treatments
  • Non-care related expenses - household bills, rent or mortgage payments, groceries, or personal expenses
  • Recreational activities unrelated to care and entertainment
  • Luxury items or services - vacations, expensive electronics, or high-end personal care products

If you have any questions, you should ask My Aged Care or your Home Care Package provider. 

Exceptions

There are some exceptions to what you can and can't use your funds for. This can apply to:

  • Special circumstances
  • Emergencies
  • Medical supplies and equipment
  • Transportation 

If you have complex care needs, you may need support beyond the typical scope of a Home Care Package. In such cases, exceptions may be made to ensure that your needs are adequately met.

There might be emergency situations where urgent care or support is needed. In this case,  your Home Care Package funds become flexible.

Home Care Packages generally don't cover medical expenses. But, there may be exceptions for certain medical supplies or equipment.

For example, if a specific medical device or equipment is required for your mobility or health management, it may be funded through your Home Care Package.

Home Care Packages also don't cover general transportation expenses. But transportation for care-related purposes may be funded as part of the package. This includes attending medical appointments or therapy sessions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I buy a fridge with my Home Care Package?

In general, purchasing a fridge would not be covered by a Home Care Package. It's considered a household item rather than a care or support service.

Can I buy a TV with my Home Care Package?

The same goes for TVs and other electronic devices. They are not covered by your HCP budget. 

Can a Home Care Package pay for medication?

Medication is typically not covered by your HCP budget. Medication falls under the domain of healthcare services typically covered by other programs, such as Medicare or private health insurance.

What happens to unspent funds?

Unspent Home Care Package funds typically remain allocated to your care plan and are carried over to future periods. If you stop using home care services, they are returned to the government. 

What Can You Spend Your Home Care Package On

Your Home Care Package funds are intended to make your life at home easy and comfortable. That's why you can use them for a variety of care services, from personal care to specialised nursing care. 

Inclusive Home Care provides you with a transparent Home Care Package Agreement. You will know exactly what your funds are spent on. 

We also don't charge a basic daily fee, so you will have more funds to spend on necessary care services.

If you want to know more about what to spend your HCP funds on, we're here to answer any questions and address your concerns. Don't hesitate to reach out.

Schedule a free personalised consultation now.

Learn what options suit you with a free, no-obligation consultation.