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Means-tested care fee

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Your aged care home provider may ask you to pay a means-tested care fee. This will vary based on your assessed income and assets. This is in addition to the:

  • basic daily fee
  • accommodation costs
  • fees for extra and additional services.

Means-tested care fee

The means-tested care fee is a contribution towards the cost of care that some people may need to pay. The care fee contributes to your day‑to‑day care costs in an aged care home.

The Department of Human Services works out the amount of the means-tested care fee based on your financial information.

Fee estimator for aged care homes

You can use the fee estimator tool to help you estimate what fees your aged care home may ask you to pay. Use the income and assets checklist to help you fill in the estimator.


The amount you pay will depend on your combined income and assets assessment and the cost of your care, however, there are limits in place.

If you do not need to pay the means-tested care fee, the Australian Government will pay the full cost of your care.

If you need to pay the means-tested care fee, the Department of Human Services will tell you how much you need to pay.

There are annual and lifetime caps in place to limit the amount of the means-tested care fee you can be asked to pay. Once these caps have been reached, you cannot be asked to pay any more means-tested care fees.

If you do not complete an income and assets assessment, you will not be eligible for any Australian Government assistance towards your care.

Complete an income and assets assessment form

Everyone moving into an aged care home for the first time needs to complete and lodge a combined income and assets assessment form with the Department of Human Services or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs if they want assistance from the Australian Government.

If you do not lodge a combined income and assets assessment form, you can be asked to pay for the full cost of your care, as well as the accommodation price agreed with your aged care home and the basic daily fee.

Information on aged care means test assessments, including deemed income and exemptions, is available on the Department of Human Services website.

The first fee notice you receive will be valid for 120 days unless there is a change in your circumstances. For example, if there is a change in marital status or finances.

Read more about the income and assets assessment for aged care homes.

Last reviewed: 12 April, 2017.