An income assessment works out if you have to pay an income-tested care fee for your Home Care Package. It is undertaken by the government and is based on your income only.
FAQ: Income assessments
Questions about income assessments for Home Care Packages
The income-tested care fee is a contribution that some people pay if they receive a Home Care Package. Not everyone has to pay an income-tested care fee. It’s based on an individual’s income.
If you find out that you do need to pay an income-tested fee, there is a cap on what you can be asked to pay – both over a year and over your time in aged care. Once these caps are reached, you cannot be asked to pay any more income-tested care fees.
No. What you pay towards your care is determined based on your income assessment, so this fee can change if your circumstances change. For example, this might be due to a change in your financial circumstances, personal circumstances, your care needs, or indexation.
Yes, you will receive a pre-commencement letter that advises if you need to pay an income-tested care fee. It is valid for 120 days. If your circumstances change (for example, a change in your marital status or your finances) before you enter a Home Care Package, you will need to contact Services Australia (or DVA) to see if your assessment needs to be updated.
The assessment can include, but is not limited to income from:
- income support payments such as age pension, a service pension, or an income support supplement
- deemed (not actual) income from financial investments
- war widow/widower pensions and some disability pensions
- net income from rental properties
- net income from businesses, including farms
- superannuation and overseas pensions, and income from income stream products such as annuities and allocated pensions
- family trust distributions or dividends from private company shares
- deemed income from excess gifting
It does not include any of your assets, including your family home.
The My Aged Care income and assets checklist has a detailed list of what's included in an income assessment.
The treatment of income is different for aged care and pension purposes, and this assessment includes some things as income that you don’t submit on your tax return.
No, you don’t need to include the actual interest you received. Some financial investments are ‘deemed’ as earning income, no matter what income they actually earn. Deeming can be applied, but is not limited, to:
- deposits with financial institutions, such as bank accounts, term deposits and bonds
- loans and debentures
- managed investments
- listed shares and securities
- shares in unlisted public companies
- managed investments
- cash, gold, and other bullion
- account-based income streams from 1 January 2015.
If you are part of a couple, half of the combined income of you and your partner will be included in your income assessment. This happens regardless of who earns the income.