What is a Home Care Package?

An older woman sits on the couch using her tablet.

Home Care Packages (HCP) are a government funding program through which older Australians can access care services to help them live independently at home, especially for those with more complex care needs.

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.

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

The first step to applying for an HCP is to determine if you are eligible for it. To be approved for a Home Care Package, you would first complete a comprehensive aged care assessment, conducted by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT), which will discuss your current care needs and supports. Find out how to prepare for your ACAT assessment.

Once you’re deemed eligible, you are assigned a package, and you need to find a home care provider who will work with you to:

  • Choose care and services that best meet your assessed needs and personal goals
  • Allow you to self-manage your care and services.

Depending on the level of the Home Care Package you are eligible for and get, you can find support for many kinds of services.

What services can you get with a Home Care Package?

You can purchase many different support services with your home care package, including:

  • Personal services: this includes assistance with personal activities such as hygiene maintenance, mobility and communication
  • In-home support: this includes assistance with nutrition, hydration, meal preparation and support to maintain a clean home environment
  • Continence management: this includes assistance using continence aids or disposable pads
  • Transport: this includes assistance shopping, attending personal appointments and transport to social activities
  • Mobility: this includes costs for crutches and mobility aids such as walking frames, walking sticks and mechanical devices
  • Nursing, allied health and therapy services: this might include occupational therapy, psychology support, podiatry or physiotherapy.

Levels of Home Care Package

There are four levels of a Home Care Package, depending on the level of support you need, ranging from basic care needs (Level 1) to high-level care needs (Level 4). The ACAT team decided the best level of Home Care Package for you. Find out more about the levels of home care packages and how they differ from each other.

How to access a Home Care Package

There are five steps to access a Home Care Package.

Step 1: Receive the outcome of your ACAT assessment

Step 2: Choose a Home Care Package provider and work out costs

Step 3: Be assigned a Home Care Package

Step 4: Enter into a Home Care Agreement

Step 5: Begin your services

Explore in detail how to access your Home Care Package to start connecting with supports. You can also download our Home Care Package fact sheet.


A home care package doesn’t include funds for things like mortgage payments, travel and accommodation for holidays, gambling, buying food, etc. For more information on this, visit MyAgedCare.

You can find support through Mable, and pay privately for support services, even if you’re not eligible for a Home Care Package. Find out more about paying privately for support through Mable.

Respite care can be useful in giving you and your carer a break for a short period of time. There are different types of respite care that you may or may not be able to fund through your Home Care Package. We recommend calling MyAgedCare on 1800 200 422 to confirm.

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.