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For information on the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, visit https://agedcare.health.gov.au/announcement-of-royal-commission-into-aged-care-quality-and-safety

Changes to aged care fees, annual and lifetime caps

Your care fees can change over time

The amount of your care fees can change over time for one or more of the following reasons:

Home care packages

  • If there has been a change to your income, your income-tested care fee can change.
  • Indexation (regular increases to fees) may affect your income assessment, which may change your income-tested care fee and basic daily fee.

Aged care homes

  • Your means-tested care fee can go up if your care needs change and a new assessment shows that you can contribute more.
  • If there has been a change to your combined income or assets, your means-tested care fee and accommodation contribution can change.
  • Indexation (regular increases to fees) may affect your combined income and assets, which may change your means-tested care fee, basic daily fee and accommodation contribution.

Quarterly review

A quarterly review by the Department of Human Services will check for these changes. The quarters start on 1 January, 20 March, 1 July and 20 September each year.

For home care packages, the maximum income-tested care fee you can be asked to pay is based on your assessed income at the start of each quarter.

For aged care homes, the maximum means-tested care fee you can be asked to pay is based on your assessed income and assets at the start of each quarter.

The income-tested care fee and means-tested care fee is set at the start of the quarter and does not generally change during the quarter.

If your income-tested care fee or means-tested care fee does change, the Department of Human Services will let you and your home care service provider or aged care home care provider know by letter.

If your fees go down, you may receive a refund from your home care provider or aged care home. This will be backdated if applicable. If your fees go up you may be asked to pay more. This will not be backdated.

Annual and lifetime caps post-1 July 2014

There are annual and lifetime caps that apply to the:

  • income-tested care fee for people who commenced receiving home care after 1 July 2014; and
  • means-tested care fee for people who entered an aged care home after 1 July 2014.

The Department of Human Services will write to you and your service provider once you have reached the annual or lifetime cap.

Annual caps

The maximum amount of income-tested care fees for home care you can be asked to pay is:

  • $14.96 per day or $5,446.43 per year for people with income below $52,036.40 (Single person income rate) (as at 20 September 2018).
  • $29.92 per day or $10,892.89 per year for people with income above $52,036.40 (Single person income rate) (as at 20 September 2018).

These caps are indexed on 20 March and 20 September each year.

The maximum amount of means-tested care fee an aged care home can ask you to pay each year is:

  • $27,232.33 (as at 20 September 2018).

This cap is indexed on 20 March and 20 September each year.


If you have not already reached the cap when it is indexed, then the new indexed cap will apply to you.

Once the cap is reached, you cannot be asked to pay any more income-tested or means-tested care fees until the next anniversary of when you first started receiving aged care.

Your service provider can still ask you to pay the basic daily fee, accommodation costs and any other fees outlined in your agreement.

Find out more about the current rates on the Schedule of Residential Fees and Charges.

Lifetime cap

The maximum income-tested care fees and means-tested care fees you may be asked to pay in your lifetime is $65,357.65 (20 September 2018).

Any income-tested care fee you pay while you are in home care will also be counted towards the annual and lifetime cap if you move into an aged care home.

This cap is indexed on 20 March and 20 September every year.


Find out more about the current rates on the Schedule of Residential Fees and Charges.

If my circumstances change

If there are any changes to your personal or financial circumstances you should notify the department that did your income assessment or means-test assessment (either the Department of Human Services or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs) to ensure you are paying the right amount.

If you decide to move after 1 July 2014 to a new home care service provider or aged care home you will have the option of being assessed under the new fee arrangements. You can also stay with your current arrangement.

Find out more about aged care costs if you entered care before 1 July 2014.

Last reviewed: 19 September, 2018.