Carer and elderly woman walking down a street

Commonwealth Home Support Programme

This page is most useful if you have been assessed by a Regional Assessment Service or told you will be assessed for Commonwealth Home Support Programme services. For a more general overview of the steps to getting aged care services, go to the Getting started page.

The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) is an entry level home help program for older people who need some help with daily tasks to live independently at home.


You may be eligible for services under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme if you are:

  • 65 years or older, or 50 years or older and identify as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person, or 50 years or older and on a low income, homeless or at risk of homelessness
  • still living at home
  • in need of help at home to continue to live independently.

Assessment for entry level home support

To find out if you need an assessment and if you are eligible for help at home services, you should call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422. The My Aged Care staff will ask you questions about your current needs and circumstances so they can refer you to appropriate aged care services.

You will need to have a Regional Assessment Service assessment before you can be approved for care.

Find out more about a RAS assessment.

Supporting independence

The aim of the CHSP is to help older people live as independently as possible — with a focus on working with you, rather than doing for you. It is about building on your strengths, capacity and goals to help you remain living independently and safely at home.

If you have been injured or hospitalised you may be eligible for additional services through the program for a short period of time to help you get back on your feet after you return home. Speak to your service providers in the first instance.


Depending on your needs, support services that you may be eligible for include:

Community and home support

  • domestic assistance – household jobs like cleaning, laundry
  • personal care – help with bathing, showering or getting dressed
  • home maintenance – minor general repairs and care of your house or garden, for example, changing light bulbs or replacing tap washers
  • home modification – minor installation of safety aids such as alarms, ramps and support rails in your home
  • nursing care – a qualified nurse to dress a wound or provide continence advice in your home
  • social support – social activities in a community-based group setting
  • transport – help getting people out and about for shopping or appointments.

Food services

  • providing meals at a community centre
  • helping with shopping for food
  • help with making meals and storing food in your home
  • assistance with learning to cook
  • delivering meals to your home.

Allied health support services

  • physiotherapy (exercises, mobility, strength and balance)
  • podiatry (foot care)
  • speech pathology
  • occupational therapy (help to recover or maintain your physical ability)
  • advice from a dietician (healthy eating)
  • other allied health and therapy services.

Respite care

  • care for you while your carer takes a break.

If your carer is in need of additional support, contact the Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737.

Find out more about respite care.

Help with care and housing

There is support and help for people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless:

  • assessment and referrals to housing and care services
  • advocacy (someone to help guide you through the process).

Find out more about help with care and housing.

Costs and fees

The Australian Government subsidises a range of aged care services to keep client fees reasonable and affordable.

If you are eligible, you are expected to contribute to the cost of your care if you can afford to.

You do not need an income assessment to access CHSP services and your age pension will not be affected by your contributions to the cost of your services.

You will need to discuss and agree to any fees with your service provider before you receive services.

Service providers should have a fee policy with arrangements for those who are unable to pay their fees due to hardship.

Read more about the cost of help at home.


For people who have been assessed as eligible for help at home, more detailed information is available in Your guide to Commonwealth Home Support Programme services. You should receive a copy of the booklet from your assessor. The booklet is also available in 11 other languages.



If you are assessed as eligible for services under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, the next step is to access services.

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Last reviewed: 19 December, 2016.