What is the Home Care Income Tested care fee? 4.3

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.  

Centrelink 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 the following approximate thresholds:

Income Thresholds (annual amount) Home Care Income Test

slide table

Income Threshold (annual amount)
Home Care income Test
From 1st January 2018



Income threshold
(single person)


Income Threshold
(couple, illness separated, single rate)


Income Theshold
(couple, living together single rate)


Annual cap - income not exceeding
the Income Threshold
(annual cap applying to income
tested care where the consumer's 
income doesn not exceed the income


Annual cap -income exceeding
the Income Threshold
(annual cap applying to income
tested care where the consumer's
income exceeds the income threshold.)


For full details see schedule of fees here

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 Donaldsonagedcare101 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 $$64,715.36 (as of March 2018)

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.