Extra supplements are available on top of Home Care Packages if you meet specific special care criteria
Your provider will manage applying and organising supplements on your behalf
If you change provider, you may need to reapply for a supplement you are receiving
The Government wants to make sure that no matter your background or circumstances, you are being supported where possible to live the life you want to lead in the home that you love.
There are certain groups eligible for 'top up' supplements, which means there is additional funding available that can go towards the cost of your in home supports. These special needs groups include those who are financially and socially disadvantaged, people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, people living in rural or remote areas, people with dementia, and veterans. Learn more about special needs groups on the Aged Care Guide.
Other people eligible for supplements include those with complex health conditions that require support aids, like people with medical oxygen requirements or people who require feeding through enteral valves.
If you have been approved for a Home Care Package, the Government is already paying towards the cost of the care you require through subsidies.
However, if you have specific care needs, you may be eligible for different supplements that can boost how much you receive from the Government to assist in paying for those extra needs.
Home Care Package supplements that are available include:
Dementia and Cognition Supplement - For people living with dementia or a cognitive impairment, and is only for people with moderate or severe cognitive impairment.
Veterans’ Supplement - To cover any additional costs that arise for veterans with an accepted mental health condition.
Oxygen Supplement - For people who require continuous oxygen therapy due to a long term medical need.
Enteral Feeding Supplement - For people who receive enteral feeding through their nose, stomach or small intestine.
EACH-D Top Up Supplement - For people with dementia who previously received an EACH-D (Extended Aged Care at Home - Dementia) package before being moved to a level 4 Home Care Package. You can still receive the dementia and cognition supplement if you are receiving this supplement.
Viability Supplement - A supplement for people in rural and remote areas due to the higher cost of aged care service provision. It is automatically applied.
Hardship Supplement - If you are currently experiencing financial hardship and cannot pay your own aged care fees or charges, you could be eligible for this supplement.
How do I access it?
The supplements available as part of a Home Care Package depend on your personal circumstances. You will be subject to an eligibility assessment to determine whether you qualify for a supplement.
You are able to access multiple supplements at the same time as long as you meet the eligibility criteria for each. However, if you are eligible for the Dementia and Cognition Supplement and the Veterans’ Supplement, then only the Veterans' Supplement will be paid.
The provider of your home care services will organise an assessment on your behalf. They will lodge the application and also manage the supplement if you are approved.
However, if you believe you qualify for a supplement, then you are able to complete a hardship application yourself. Your provider will be able to check on the status of the supplement, whether you are approved, and if the payments have started.
The supplements that you are eligible for and receive will be viewable on your Home Care Package budget and on your monthly budget statements.
Be mindful of checking whether you will continue to have access to supplements when changing providers, as some will move with you and others you will have to reapply for.
For example, the dementia and cognition supplement does move from home care provider to home care provider, so you don't have to reapply. But other supplements like the oxygen and enteral feeding supplements don't move between home care providers, so you will need to have your new home care provider reapply on your behalf.
When changing home care providers, check ahead about whether you will be able to receive the same supplements or not.
Additionally, if you take leave from your Home Care Package, the Government may stop, or reduce, paying your supplements during that time. Visit My Aged Care for more information on supplement pauses.
How has an extra supplement supported you? Tell us in the comments below.