Am I eligible for a Home Care Package?

A man using a wheelchair out and about with his support worker.
The Home Care Package program aims to provide support to older people with complex needs so they can remain living in their home. However, in order to receive the support they need, they must be eligible for the program.

What is a Home Care Package?

A Home Care Package (HCP) is funding provided by the federal government that helps support older Australians to live independently for longer in their own homes. There are four levels of Home Care Package, and an individual is assessed for their eligibility for the appropriate level, based on their needs and capabilities.

A Level 1 Home Care Package provides for basic care needs at $9,026.45 per year, Level 2 provides for low care needs at $15,877.50 per year, Level 3 provides for intermediate care needs at $34,550.90 per year and Level 4 provides for high care needs at $52,377.50 per year. Find out more about the different levels of Home Care Package available.

As a recipient of a Home Care Package, you don’t receive the money directly in hand. Rather, it is administered by an HCP provider, who pays for the services you would receive out of your package.

Do you need a Home Care Package?

If you find that you are struggling with everyday tasks such as bathing, hygiene and grooming, preparing meals, light housework, laundry, and getting to and from appointments, a Home Care Package may be for you.

Your needs may be more comprehensive, such as requiring nursing care, podiatry, physiotherapy and other services that help with movement and mobility.

Perhaps you have mobility challenges such as you can no longer walk independently around your home. You may be experiencing difficulties with continence or find that you can’t shower yourself safely anymore because of a risk of falling or slipping.

These are all challenges that will be taken into account when being assessed for eligibility for a Home Care Package.

Who is eligible for a Home Care Package?

You may be eligible for a Home Care Package if you are aged 65 years or older (50 years or older if you identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander), living at home and need assistance to do the things you used to be able to do yourself.

To check whether you’re eligible and get started with your application , you first need to register with MyAgedCare, either over the phone or online. You can contact My Aged Care directly, or have a family member or other trusted person do so on your behalf. To find out if you are eligible, the first step is to check if you meet the requirements for an assessment.

The Assessment eligibility checker on the My Aged Care website is a handy tool to check if you’re eligible for an assessment.

Once it’s clear that you are eligible for assessment, an ACAT assessment will be conducted by the Aged Care Assessment Team. An ACAT assessor — likely a nurse, social worker or healthcare professional — will typically visit your home to carry out the assessment. Ensure that you are prepared for the assessment.

After an ACAT assessment, if the assessor deems you eligible for a Home Care Package, you should receive an approval letter from ACAT. If not, you will receive information about why you are ineligible. If you have had a comprehensive assessment and disagree with the decision, you can request a review from ACAT.

You can still find support via Mable if you’re ineligible, by paying privately.

Find out in more detail how to access a Home Care Package.

What if I’m not eligible for a Home Care Package?

If you’ve been deemed ineligible for a government Home Care Package at this stage, but you still feel you need support to go about your everyday life, you can connect with an independent support worker via the Mable website who can give you some assistance at home, take you to appointments or to social outings, help with light housework, and even travel with you.

Without a Home Care Package, you simply pay privately for the support you receive. With Mable, you have the freedom to negotiate the payment rate directly with your support worker, thus choosing what you want to pay, what services you want and when you want them.


As of 31 December 2021, 217,724 people had access to a Home Care Package.

As of March 2022, there are still more than 62,000 people waiting for a package at their approved level. The federal government is increasing the number of available HCPs every year to cater to demand.

You might have to contribute to the cost of your care. Your contribution is made up of three types of fees:

  • Basic daily fee

Your provider may ask you to pay a basic daily fee based on your Home Care Package level.

  • Income-tested care fee

Some people may also have to pay an income-tested care fee. Whether you pay it, and how much of it you pay, is determined through a formal income assessment from the Services Australia. If you have to pay this fee, there are annual and lifetime limits on how much you can be asked to pay.

  • Additional fees

Any other amount you have agreed to pay for extra care and services that wouldn’t otherwise be covered by your Home Care Package.

Find out more about Home Care Package fees and charges.

To be able to access a Home Care Package, you first have to undergo a telephone assessment. You can call the federal government’s MyAgedCare contact centre on 1800 200 422. The next step is a more comprehensive Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assessment. Someone from the team – a nurse, social worker or other health care professional – will visit you and if you like, a family member or other carer can be present too. Find out in detail how to access a Home Care Package.

Home care packages are allocated according to needs priority. A higher priority applicant will receive their HCP sooner. Once the Home Care Package level is determined, a medium priority individual may expect to wait 3-6 months for a Level 1 package and 6-9 months for Levels 2, 3 and 4.

It’s highly recommended that when you first start to feel like you need support, you begin the application process. In the meantime, you can pay privately for support by connecting with Independent Support Workers via Mable.