Focus Care Focus Care
1800 362 871

Everything You Need To Know About Level 1 Home Care Packages

20 May, 2024

It can be difficult confronting the reality that you need additional support at home as you get older. This process can be made even more challenging, however, by having to navigate the My Aged Care system. While the Australian Government has made significant efforts to improve the process of receiving home care support, there's no doubt that the My Aged Care system can at times, still be complicated and difficult to understand.

That's why, if you've recently been told you're eligible for a Level 1 Home Care Package, we're here to help.

We want to use this blog post as an opportunity to help you understand everything you need to know about Level 1 Home Care Packages.

Friendly male caregiver offering social support to a senior man, showcasing the engaging and supportive interaction available with a Level 1 home care package.

Home Care Package - Level 1

Home Care Packages are the way the Australian Government provides funding to help older Australians live independently in their own homes and access affordable care services. This funding can be used by an older person to pay for someone to assist you with things like housework, laundry, personal care, and grocery shopping.

While home care package levels may be confusing at first, they are in fact relatively straightforward. People have varying needs for care and as a result, Home Care Packages are offered across four distinct levels. Level 1 is the lowest level of Home Care Package funding.

A level 1 package usually provides approximately 2.5 hours of support per week which you might receive in one or two visits from a support worker.

Even if you are approved for a higher home care package level, you may initially receive level 1 package funding as you await the availability of a package that matches your approved level of care and can provide extra support.

Home Care Packages vs Commonwealth Home Support Programme

Broadly speaking, there are two types of support provided by the Australian Government that are intended to help you continue to live independently at home, Commonwealth Home Support (CHSP) and Home Care Packages. There is also funding available if you need to live in a residential aged care home.

CHSP is for those people who are able to manage on their own, but need assistance with one or two tasks to remain in their own home. By contrast, Home Care Packages are for people who need a higher level of support at home to remain in their own home. It is usually the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) that determines which type of support you are eligible for.

The Aged Care Assessment Team

ACAT evaluates the needs of older Australians to determine whether they are eligible for services such as home care packages, CHSP and funding to live in a residential aged care home. ACAT assessors consider medical, physical, psychological, and social aspects when making their home care package assessments.

Why Did I Get a Level 1 Package?

You need to be 65 years of age or older (50 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People) to be eligible for a home care package. You also must require the support in order to live at home safely.

Level 1 Home Care Packages are the lowest level of home care packages. People who are assessed as needing level 1 Home Care Packages need more support than CSP recipients, but less support than those on Level 2, 3 or 4 Home Care Packages.

If you have a level 1 Home Care Package, you have been assessed as needing basic assistance, but as not requiring complex care services.

What is My Home Care Package Budget?

Your Level 1 Home Care Package is made up of:

  • A contribution from the Government

  • Your contribution, which includes:

    • A basic daily fee

    • An income-tested care fee

    • Any additional fees you have agreed to pay.

Your home care package - level 1, covers the cost of your care services and your package management costs from your provider.

For a Level 1 Home Care Package, you receive a government subsidy of $28.14 per day or $393.96 per fortnight.

This amount is reviewed on 1 July every year and this figure is accurate as of 1 July 2023.

The government funding gets paid directly to your home care provider. The subsidy doesn't affect your pension.

the government subsidy is reduced by the amount of your income-tested care fee.

Care professional discussing tailored care options for her a Level 1 home care package with an elderly woman.

Basic Daily Fee

Everyone who gets an in-home care package has to pay this fee.

From 20 March 2024, the fee for Level 1 Home Care Packages is $11.43 per day or $160.02 per fortnight.

Income Tested Care Fee

This is an income-based additional contribution that some people have to pay as part of their home care package as a consequence of their financial situation. Not every care recipient has to pay an income-tested fee. The amount people have to pay is based on an income assessment and includes your pension. Your contribution increases with your income.

This amount is determined by Services Australia. You can estimate your fee using the My Aged Care Fee Estimator on the My Aged Care website. This is a good step to complete before a formal income assessment.

What Can I Spend My Budget On?

Your Level 1 Home Care Package funds can be used for a range of in home care services. These basic care needs include:

  • Personal care – basic care to assist with showering, morning routines, and managing continence.

  • Domestic assistance – help with everyday tasks to maintain a clean and tidy home. A wide range of household tasks and home care services provided by support people are included in this category.

  • Meal preparation – ensuring you consume healthy and nourishing meals.

  • Shopping assistance and transport to appointments – facilitating grocery purchases and travel to appointments and other daily tasks.

  • Social support – engaging in hobbies, community activities, and providing companionship with the assistance of a care worker.

  • Gardening assistance – maintaining your garden to keep your living environment safe and pleasant.

  • Equipment - including things like walking frames and wheelchairs.

  • Minor home modifications - including things like installing ramps.

  • Clinical care - basic care, including things like nursing and physiotherapy.

What Can I Not Spend My Budget On?

Level 1 Home Care Package funds can't be used for the following:

  • Items typically bought with general income.

  • Purchasing food, except as required for a feeding tube.

  • Paying for permanent accommodation, such as buying a home, paying your mortgage, or paying your rent.

  • Covering your home care package fees.

  • Home modifications that are unrelated to your care needs.

  • Holiday travel and accommodation.

  • Costs of entertainment.

  • Services and items already covered by Medicare or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

What If I Need A Higher Level Package?

If you've been assessed by your aged care assessment as needing a Level 1 Home Care Package but believe you would generally benefit from a higher level home care package, you can request a reassessment.

You can do this by contacting ACAT, explaining your current needs and why you feel a higher level care package is necessary. You should be prepared to provide specific examples of changes in your health or circumstances that justify the need for increased support.

Young female caregiver assisting an elderly woman with kitchen activities, exemplifying compassionate support provided under a Level 1 home care package.

Home Care Providers

Home care providers like Focus Care are responsible for providing the support services funded by your home care package and helping you manage your funds. They also help to ensure you receive coordinated services through implementing your care plan.

You have the opportunity to choose your own home care provider. This means you can pick a provider that best matches your needs and values. You can use the My Aged Care Find a Provider tool to find a home care provider near you.

When selecting a home care provider, it's important to consider the services you require, the quality of care you will receive and additional costs you may have to pay to the provider.

How Can Focus Care Help

While it's important to do your own research when deciding upon your chosen home care provider, you may also wish to speak over the phone to a real person from a quality home care provider such as Focus Care.

It’s important to note that not all home care providers offer the same services. So, if you're interested in creative therapies such as art therapy and pet therapy, it's advisable to do your research and discuss your needs with your chosen provider.

Whether you're looking for a provider for the first time, or you're looking to change providers, our friendly team is always available to have a chat about your needs. Feel to reach out and discuss the support you need to assist your family member or yourself.

Like this story? Share it with others.

You may also like these stories

Dot accent Smile accent

What’s your focus?

From every day support, to clinical care and social activities, talk to a friendly member of our team today about how we can work towards your goals.

How it works

  • 1

    We’ll visit your home to get to know you, your goals and your specific needs

  • 2

    We'll work with you to design your services

  • 3

    You'll be matched with a support worker, and your journey will begin