Step 4.3

What is the Home Care Income Tested care fee?

Income Tested Care Fee

People with higher incomes may be asked to make a contribution to their Home Care Package via an income-tested fee.  This is on top of the basic fee and depends on your assessable income.  

The department of Human Services will assess if you need to pay this fee and how much.   A full-time pensioner cannot be asked to pay. Nor can you be asked to pay if your income is below the maximum income level of a full pensioner.

The Department of Human Services works out the income-tested care fee based on an assessment of your financial situation. If you are a member of a couple, half of your combined income is considered in determining your income-tested care fee, regardless of which partner earns the income. The assessment does not include the value of your home or any other assets.

You can only be asked to pay an income-tested care fee if you have a yearly income above approximately $30,000 a year.  

From 20th September, 2023, the basic daily fee by Home Care Package level will be:

Package Level
% of the single person rate of basic age pension

Daily Fee

Fortnightly fee

Home Care Level 1




Home Care Level 2




Home Care Level 3




Home Care Level 4




There are annual and lifetime caps that apply to the income-tested care fee. Once these caps are reached, you will not have to pay any more income-tested fees.

Self-funded retirees who do not receive income support from Centrelink or DVA will need to submit an income assessment form, or will be asked to pay the maximum fee.

If you receive an income support payment you don't need to submit an income assessment form, as Centrelink and DVA already have this information.

Annie Donaldson

agedcare101 Registered Nurse and Carer

Please be aware that when talking about home care we use the term ‘income-tested fee’.  This fee is called a ‘means-tested or income and assets fee’ when we are talking about aged care.  Both sets of fees are taken into account when calculating the maximum income-tested care fee. In a lifetime the maximum you can be asked to pay is $78,524.69 (as of September 2023)

You can’t be asked to pay more than 50% of any income above the basic age pension rate.  There are also annual caps in place.  These caps are indexed and increase over time.   

The Department of Health does a quarterly review of income-tested care fees.  And you should contact the department for a new assessment if your circumstances change. 

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A special thanks to our contributors

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.