How do I complete an income and assets test?

To receive a Commonwealth subsidy for some or all of your care and accommodation costs, you must have a means test called the Income and Assets Test.   

It can take four to six weeks to get the results so it’s a good idea to apply to have the assessment as soon as possible.





  • You can enter an aged care home before the income and assets test is completed because it may be that you don't have time to wait.
  • It makes things much easier if you have done the assessment and you know the outcome - it will tell you how much you'll have to pay.
  • You can do the assessment ahead of time and if your circumstances change by the time you enter the home then the assessment can be updated. 


We strongly advise and assist our clients to complete the combined income and assets test before they enter an aged care home because the government's assessment of your test decides how much you have to pay for the home - and it may be significantly more than you expect.

Kate Golder, Director,
Affinity Aged Care Financial Services

How do you do the income and assets test?


Handy Hint - Did you know that if you can click the CC at the bottom righthand side while the video is playing, captions will appear.  To get rid of them, click CC again.
View transcript of video here

You can get the Combined Assets and Income Assessment test (SA457) form by:




  • downloading it from the website 
  • Calling the Department of Human Services on 1800 227 475 and having one posted to you.
  • Calling the My Aged Care contact centre on 1800 200 422 open 8am - 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am - 2pm Saturday.


The income and assets test form you have to complete runs to 145 questions over 31 pages.  While you do not have to complete every question it is both long and very detailed.  It is unlikely you can complete it in one attempt.

Kate Golder, Director,
Affinity Aged Care Financial Services

When you have completed it, you need to return the form to the Department of Human Services or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.  The instructions are on the form.  

The Department of Human Services will send you a letter with the results of your assessment, including an itemised list of your income and assets.  This will tell you how much, if anything, you need to pay towards the cost of your care and accommodation.  

In the meantime, you can get an estimate of the fees and costs you may have to pay by using the Aged Care Fee Estimator.





  • It can take between four and six weeks for the assessment to come through but you can still move to an aged care home in that time, while you are waiting to hear. 
  • You can have an ACAT assessment while you are waiting for your income and assets assessment to come through.  This will save precious time. 
  • Your income and assets assessment is valid for 120 days.
  • You can be reassessed if your financial situation changes significantly. 
  • You don’t have to do separate income and assets assessment forms for each aged care home you want to apply for.
  • If you are part of a couple you will each have to complete an income and asset assessment.


You don’t have to wait for an ACAT assessment to apply for the income and asset assessment.  You can do this any time and know it is usually valid for 120 days.


Still confused?

Have your question answered in our discussion forum.

Ask a question