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Financial Assistance for Respite Care

Aged Care

Updated 25-01-2024

Financial Assistance for Respite Care

Respite care serves as an essential service for many Australian families providing them with a temporary rest from caregiving while ensuring that their loved ones receive professional support and assistance. However, the cost associated with respite care can be a barrier for some, making financial assistance an important consideration. This article offers a comprehensive guide to the types of financial support available for respite care within Australia.

Understanding Respite Care

Before delving into financial assistance, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of what respite care encompasses. Respite care refers to short-term relief for primary caregivers, offering them a break while ensuring their family member or care recipient continues to receive attentive and professional care. This can be provided in-home, in day-care centres, residential care facilities, or specialised respite units, and can span from a few hours to a few weeks.

Government-Funded Respite Care Support

The Australian Government recognises the vital role of respite care and offers various funding avenues to support eligible individuals and families. Key programmes include:

Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)

The CHSP is designed for older Australians and provides entry-level support services, including respite care. To access CHSP, an assessment by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) is required, determining the level of respite care suitable for the individual's circumstances.

Home Care Packages (HCP)

More comprehensive than CHSP, HCPs offer four levels of support packages tailored to meet the higher care needs of individuals, inclusive of respite services. Recipients have greater flexibility in how they use their package funds, allowing them to optimally balance regular care and respite as needed.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

For Australians with a disability, the NDIS provides funding that can be allocated towards support and respite care. An individualised plan is developed for each NDIS participant, with respite options factored into the plan where appropriate.

Veterans' Home Care (VHC)

The VHC program assists veterans and war widows/widowers to access respite care, both in-home and residential. This program recognises the unique needs of the veteran community and provides supportive services accordingly.

Non-Government and Community-Based Assistance

Apart from government-funded programs, there are a variety of non-government and community resources available:

Charitable Organisations

Numerous charities and not-for-profit groups offer financial support for respite care. These organisations often have specific eligibility criteria and may cater to certain communities or conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, or childhood disabilities.

Health Insurance

Private health insurance policies may include cover for respite care as part of their extras services. Policyholders should directly consult with their insurer to understand the extent of their coverage.

Applying for and Maximising Financial Assistance

Successfully obtaining financial assistance for respite care involves a careful approach:

  1. Assessment and Eligibility: Engage with professionals to determine care needs and eligibility for various funding programs.
  2. Research: Investigate the available financial assistance options, including government and non-government resources.
  3. Planning and Budgeting: Work with care providers and financial advisors to create a care plan that efficiently uses available funds.
  4. Documentation: Ensure all necessary documentation is accurate and submitted in a timely manner to avoid delays in receiving support.
  5. Regular Reviews: Circumstances change, and so do care needs — regularly review and reassess your financial situation and respite care plan to ensure ongoing alignment and support.


Respite care is not only beneficial but often necessary for the sustainability of long-term caregiving. Understanding and accessing financial assistance for respite care can alleviate the financial pressures on families and ensure that quality care is provided without undue burden. Through exploring all avenues of support, caregivers in Australia can find meaningful breaks to recharge, while their loved ones continue to receive the care and attention they need.

About the Author

Olivia is a seasoned professional with an extensive career spanning the Aged Care sector, bringing decades of experience to her role. Her comprehensive understanding of Aged Care services and practices is a testament to her dedication. Olivia’s gratitude extends to those who have generously shared their knowledge and insights with her over the years, contributing to her wealth of expertise.

Olivia’s articles reflect her commitment to practical and informative content. They skillfully combine her industry know-how with real-world insights, providing valuable resources for navigating the complexities of the Aged Care sector. Olivia stands as a reliable advocate for delivering compassionate and effective care to elderly individuals, offering her support not only to fellow care workers and professionals but also to those seeking to gain a deeper understanding of the sector.

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