Your contribution could be made up of the following fees:
Being eligible for a Home Care Package means that the government will subsidise the cost of your care. This makes the help you need much more affordable.
The total amount of a Home Care Package is made up of:
- the Australian Government contribution (the subsidy), and
- your contribution (the fees you may be asked to pay).
Together, these funds cover your care services as well as the package management costs from your provider to organise and manage your package of care services.
How much does the government contribute?
The Australian Government pays a different subsidy amount for each level of Home Care Package. The government subsidy for each package level is as follows:
|Home Care Package level||Approximate yearly government contribution|
* The government contribution increases each year. These figures are rounded.
The government contribution is paid directly to the home care provider you choose. You work in partnership with the provider to determine the care and services required, within the package budget. The funds won’t affect your pension because they don’t count as income.
What fees might I have to pay?
Your contribution could be made up of the following fees:
An amount that everyone can be asked to pay.
An additional amount that some people can be asked to pay if their income is over the maximum income for a full pensioner.
Any other amount you have agreed to pay for additional care and services that wouldn’t otherwise be covered by your Home Care Package.
What is the basic daily fee?
The basic daily fee is set by the government. Providers can ask everyone to pay a basic daily fee.
Until 30 June 2019, the basic daily fee for a Home Care Package is 17.5% of the single person rate of the basic age pension for all package levels.
The single rate of the basic age pension is $843.60 per fortnight, making the basic daily fee (from 20 March 2019 to 30 June 2019):
- $10.54 per day, or
- $147.56 per fortnight
This amount applies even if you are a member of a couple.
From 20 September 2019, the maximum basic daily fees for home care will reduce by:
- $400 for Level 1
- $200 for Level 2
- $100 for Level 3
To maintain the value of your Home Care Package, the government will increase the value of its contribution for each package level by the same amount.
From 20 September 2019, the basic daily fee by Home Care Package level will be:
Per cent of the single
|Daily fee||Fortnightly fee|
What is the income-tested care fee?
The income-tested care fee is an extra contribution that some people may be asked to pay because they can afford to do so, as determined through an income assessment. This fee is different for everyone. It’s based on individual income including your pension. However, full pensioners do not pay an income-tested care fee.
You could pay up to $15.24 per day, if you:
- Are single earning over $27,463.80
- Are a member of a couple living together earning over $21,294.00
- Are a member of a couple living apart due to illness earning over $26,943.80
You could pay between $15.25 - $30.49 if you:
- Are single earning over $53,060.80
- Are a member of a couple living together earning over $40,586.00
- Are a member of a couple living apart due to illness earning over $52,540.80
Annual and lifetime caps
There are annual and lifetime caps for the income-tested care fee.
The annual cap is different depending on what you earn in a year. For example, for a single person as at 20 September 2019:
- If you are a full pensioner or have an income up to $27,754.52, you won’t have to pay an income-tested care fee.
- If you are a part-time pensioner or if you earn between $27,463.80 and $53,060.80 a year, your income-tested care fee is capped at $5,550.90 a year.
- If you earn more than $53,060.80 a year, your income-tested care fee is capped at $11,101.81 a year.
There is a lifetime cap of $66,610.90 as at 20 September 2019. After you reach this figure you will no longer have to pay income-tested care fees.
Read more on annual and lifetime caps.
How often do I pay my fees?
The basic daily fee and the income-tested care fee are paid for every single day that package funds are assigned to you. It doesn’t matter whether you receive a service on that day or not. You may be asked to pay your home care fees on a fortnightly or monthly basis.
What will my services cost?
Each Home Care Package service provider charges a different amount for their services and care management. How much they charge depends on the services you need, and the prices they have set.
Service providers must list their costs online. You can use the Find a provider tool to compare costs across providers, to ensure you get the most value. You may be able to negotiate a lower cost. Read more about this on our Connecting with Home Care Package providers page.
How do I work out my fees?
You can get an estimate of your fees using our home care fee estimator. For the exact fee advice you’ll need an income assessment.
Estimate your fees
To estimate your basic daily fee and income-tested care fee, use our home care fee estimator. This can give you an idea of what you may be asked to pay, and help you plan ahead.
Find out your exact fees
To find out exactly what you may be asked to pay, you will either need to have an income assessment, or request a fee advice letter for home care from the Department of Human Services (DHS).
Who can ask for a fee advice letter?
If you already receive a means-tested income support payment, such as the age pension (full or part), disability support pension or service pension, call the DHS on 1800 227 475 to request a fee advice letter for home care. DHS will already have enough information to calculate the maximum fees payable.
Who has to have an income assessment?
If you don’t receive means-tested income support, you’ll need to provide information to DHS for an income assessment. To get an assessment, fill out the Aged Care Fees Income Assessment Form and return it to DHS (or DVA if relevant).
DHS will then work out what your income-tested care fee will be and provide you with your fee advice letter.
You can read more about this on our Income assessment page.
You can find out your income-tested care fee before applying for a Home Care Package. The fee advice letter you will receive is valid for 120 days, unless there is a significant change in your circumstances. If there is a change, you’ll need to notify DHS (or DVA if relevant) who will reissue the fee advice letter.
What if I disagree with the results of my income assessment?
If you don’t think your income assessment is correct, you can ask DHS (or DVA if relevant) to review its decision. The contact details to request a review will be included in your fee advice letter from DHS.
What if I can’t afford the fees?
If you can’t afford your fees, don’t worry. You can still get help. Financial hardship assistance is available for those in genuine financial hardship. It offers an extra helping hand to the most vulnerable.
Depending on your situation, you may apply for financial hardship assistance with:
- basic daily fee, and/or
- income-tested care fee.
With financial hardship assistance the Australian Government will pay some or all of your aged care costs.
Read more on our financial hardship assistance page.
Are there any other funds that help me?
Home care providers may be able to access further funding supplements – to ensure you receive the care you need.
- Dementia and cognition supplement
- Oxygen supplement for people with an ongoing medical need for oxygen
- Enteral feeding supplement for people who need enteral feeding on an ongoing basis
- Veterans’ supplement
- Viability supplement for those in rural and remote areas.
You don’t need to apply for supplements. Your home care provider applies on your behalf.
Home Care Package fees if you entered care on or before 30 June 2014
People who entered into a Home Care Agreement on or before 30 June 2014 will have their fees determined differently to those who commence a Home Care Package from 1 July 2014 onward. For more information, see our aged care costs pre-1 July 2014 page.