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Department of Health services and costs – Home case aged care

Veterans and war widows/ers, as Australian citizens, also have the right to access non-DVA administered home and community based support services (or ‘mainstream’ services) offered by the Department of Health (Health), that include:

When a veteran or war widows/er’s care needs change, e.g. increase or become more complex, they may require additional services or more targeted services.  This means the veteran or war widow/er may need to transition to services which are the responsibility of Health, such as Home Care Packages or residential aged care.  DVA clients can access both DVA services and ‘mainstream’ services supplied by Health, as long as there is no duplication of services.

Eligibility for Health-managed aged care services is different to the eligibility requirements for DVA services; these requirements are based on age, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people required to be over the age of 55 and non-indigenous people must be over 65.

Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)

The Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) is administered and managed by Health. CHSP helps people who need assistance with daily tasks in the home, or entry level care. CHSP services include:

  • Social support
  • Transport
  • Domestic assistance
  • Personal care
  • Home and garden maintenance

A free assessment by a member of a Regional Assessment Services (RAS) is required to access services provided by the CHSP.

For additional information on the CHSP please visit the CHSP page of the My Aged Care website, or call the My Aged Care contact centre on 1800 200 422.

Cost:

People receiving CHSP may be asked to pay a contribution to the cost of delivering these services.

The process for accessing CHSP services is outlined below:

Contact my aged care, your needs will be assessed, you chose an approved service provider and then you receive the services

For more information about the Commonwealth Home Support Program please visit the My Aged Care website or call the contact centre on 1800 200 422.

Home Care Packages

Home Care Packages are available for people (including veterans and war widows/ers) who have more complex needs and wish to remain living in their homes.                        

There are four levels of packages to cater for different needs. Funding is allocated to each level of service package by the Department of Health for home care for older clients, in accordance with need, as outlined below.

Care Eligibility Weekly Govt. Subsidy Total Yearly Subsidy
Home Care Package funding levels
Home Care Level 1 (basic care needs) $152.38 $7,924.15
Home Care Level 2  (low level care needs) $277.26 $14,417.50
Home Care Level 3 (intermediate care needs) $609.55 $31,696.60
Home Care Level 4  (high care needs) $926.61 $48,183.65

The same type of care and services are provided under each level. The hours of care are increased at each level of care; more hours of care and services are delivered under Home Care Package level 4 compared to level 1.

A free assessment by a member of an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT, or Aged Care Assessment Service, ACAS, in Victoria) is required to access Home Care Packages.

In some areas there may be a waitlist to receive a Home Care Package.  In these cases veterans and war widows/ers are encouraged to contact DVA to determine if interim services are able to be provided.

From 27 February 2017, funding for a Home Care Package will follow the client, allowing them to direct funding to the approved provider of their choice. These changes replace the previous arrangements whereby Home Care Packages were allocated to approved providers who determined whether they had the capacity to take on a client once they were approved for a Home Care Package by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).  A new process, managed through My Aged Care, will deliver a consistent national system for assigning Home Care packages to eligible clients. All Home Care Packages continue to be delivered through a Consumer Directed Care (CDC) approach. This approach allows clients to have greater control over their package in terms of the services to be accessed and the delivery of these services.

Cost:

DVA clients accessing Department of Health aged care services will be asked to contribute to their care based on what they are assessed as being able to afford.  Costs can be estimated by using the following My Aged Care link Fee estimator for Home Care Packages.

Fees are payable for every day you hold a Home Care Package, and generally paid fortnightly or monthly. The Government also pays subsidy and supplements to the provider every day. Your fees and the contribution made by the government go towards the overall funding of your package and contribute to the provision of services on the days you receive them.

Please note that DVA covers the Daily Fee cost for former Prisoners of War (POW) and Victoria Cross (VC) recipients requiring a Home Care Package.

Home Care income assessments

DVA is responsible for completing the home care income assessments for the following eligible members of the veteran and war widow(er) community:

  • Veterans, their partners and war widow(er)s in receipt of one of the following income support pensions - Service Pension, Income Support Supplement or Age Pension administered by DVA;
  • Veterans, and partners of veterans, in receipt of DVA Disability Pension and who have Qualifying Service (QS); and
  • War widow(er)s in receipt of the War Widows Pension and who have QS.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is responsible for completing the home care income test assessments for all other DVA clients (e.g. Veterans or war widow(er)s who do not have QS or are not paid an income support pension by DVA).

In order to ensure the income data DVA includes in your assessment is up to date, you will need to provide an update of your details by completing a SA456 – Aged Care Fees Income Assessment form which is available from the DHS website, or may be provided to you by the ACAT officer.

Once DVA completes your income assessment, the information is provided to the DHS which will complete the applicable aged care fee calculations.  DHS will then send you, your nominee and home care provider letters advising the applicable home care fees payable.

Assessment of DVA Disability and War Widow(er)s pensions as income

It is important to be aware that unless you have had your Qualifying Service determined and accepted by DVA, then your Disability pension and/or War Widow(er)s pension will be included as income in your aged care means test assessment.

If you are unsure of whether you have previously had your Qualifying Service determined, please contact DVA on 133 254.

For further information regarding Qualifying Service and how to submit an application to determine your QS refer to the following DVA factsheets:

If you are a member of a couple, half of the combined income of you or your partner are taken into account for the assessment.

It isn’t compulsory to submit a Home Care Income Assessment form but if you choose not to do so, you may be asked to pay the maximum fees.

The process for accessing Home Care Packages is detailed below:

Contact My Aged Care and get an assessment for level 1-4, you choose a provider and start to receive the services

The Australian Government has a publication to help older people, families and carers understand the process for accessing a Home Care Package.  The 'Five steps to accessing a Home Care Package' booklet outlines five steps to follow and what to do at each step.

For additional details on Home Care Packages visit My Aged Care or call the My Aged Care contact Centre on 1800 200 422.

Transition Care

Transition Care is for older people who have been in hospital, but need more help to recover. Transition Care provides short-term care that may include:

  • low-intensity therapy such as physiotherapy (exercise, mobility, strength and balance) and podiatry (foot care)
  • access to a social worker
  • nursing support for clinical care such as wound care
  • personal care

Transition Care is available to all older Australians after they leave a hospital.  To receive Transition Care, a person will be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) while still in hospital and the ACAT will determine if a person is eligible.

Cost:

There is a Daily Fee cost associated with Transition Care, which is based on the location where the care takes place. This could be approximately $10 per day if in a community setting or approximately $50 per day if in a residential facility.

Please note that DVA covers the Daily Fee cost for former Prisoners of War (POW) and Victoria Cross (VC) recipients requiring Transition Care.

The process for accessing Transition Care is outlined below:

Before leaving hospital you are assessed. Based on your needs you may be recommended for transition care. You choose a service provider and start to receive the services

For more information about Transition Care please visit the Transition Care page of the My Aged Care website or call the My Aged Care contact centre on 1800 200 422.

Short-Term Restorative Care

Short-Term Restorative Care (STRC) is a new kind of flexible care designed to assist older people regain independence and function after a setback, like an illness or a fall.  Unlike Transition Care, STRC is intended as a preventive measure that will reduce and/or delay hospitalisation or premature entry into residential aged care for many older clients by providing services for a short period of time (up to 56 days). STRC services can be delivered either in the home, in an aged care setting, or a combination of both.  There will be no prescriptive services for this program, rather all services must align with the principles of ‘re-ablement’ and a ‘multi-disciplinary and coordinated’ package of services.

Cost:

Like Transition Care, STRC has an associated basic daily fee (client contribution).

Please note that DVA covers the Basic Daily Fee cost for former Prisoners of War (POW) and Victoria Cross (VC) recipients requiring STRC.

The process for accessing STRC is outlined below:

You have a short-term incident trigger such as an illness or a fall. You call My Aged Care for an assessment. Based on your needs you are recommended for STRC either in your home or at an aged care facility and receive the services

For further information about Short-Term Restorative Care (STRC), please visit the Department of Health’s STRC website.

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