The government subsidises many aged care services in order to keep costs as affordable as possible. The costs vary depending on type of care and service provider accessed. Subsidies are available for both home care and for care in an aged care home.

Government subsidies

You’ll be pleased to know that there are government subsidies available for both Home Care and in an Aged Care Home.

The Australian Government’s Commonwealth Home Support Programme and Home Care Package Program help people live independently in their own home for as long as they can. The federal government also provides a range of subsidies for residents of Aged Care Homes. These subsidies are paid directly to the home.

If you’re considering an Aged Care Home, CareAbout has a free online tool to compare the specialties of different Aged Care Homes and their fees and charges. Or speak to an Aged Care specialist at CareAbout on 1300 721 855.

More information about subsidies is available in Understanding aged care fees. 

About government subsidies

The federal government subsidises many aged care services in order to keep costs as affordable as possible. The costs vary depending on type of care and service provider accessed. Those who are eligible for subsidies are expected to contribute to the cost of their care if they can afford to.

Subsidies are available for both Home Care and for care in an Aged Care Home.

Government subsidies help to take some of the sting out of aged care and widen the choices considerably.

 

Home Care subsidies

There are two main government programs that provide financial assistance for home care. They are the Commonwealth Home Support Programme and Home Care Package Program.

The Commonwealth Home Support Programme helps older people with low needs and is entry level care.

You may be eligible if you are:

  • having trouble doing everyday activities without help, and
  • need support to live independently in the community

and are:

  • 65 years or older (50 years or older and identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person) or
  • 50 years or older (45 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) and on a low income, homeless or at risk of being homeless.

Services provided come under several categories:

  • Community and home support
  • Meals and food services
  • Allied health support services
  • Respite care
  • Help with care and housing.

The Australian Government’s Home Care Package Program helps people live independently in their own home for as long as they can. There are four levels of Home Care Packages. Each level of Home Care Package provides a different subsidy amount.

PackagesAged care services for people with:Yearly subsidy up to approximate* value of
1Basic care needs$8,250
2Low-level care needs$15,000
3Intermediate care needs$33,000
4High-level care needs$50,250

Aged Care Home subsidies

The first thing to note is that federal government assistance is not provided for care in all Aged Care Homes. There are many privately funded aged care housing options that are not approved providers of aged care services and are therefore not funded by the government.

You may be eligible for government subsidised care in an Aged Care Home if you are:

  • an older person who can no longer live independently at home
  • a younger person with a disability, dementia or other special care needs that are not met through other specialist services.

However, be aware that everyone will need to pay something towards their care in a basic fee. And most Australians will need to pay for their accommodation.

The amount you pay for your care is on top of this. And if you want extra services like the ones listed below you will need to pay more again.

  • wine with meals
  • newspapers
  • Foxtel
  • Other extra services.

It can get confusing so you want to be confident with what you’re getting.

Additional Government Supports

Along with the major support systems above, you may be able to access a range of smaller, condition-specific subsidies – see what’s available by reading our supplements article