Understanding home care package fees

Technical resource

The government subsidises a range of Home Care Packages. However, even with subsidies there may be fees payable by the care recipient.

Home care

Acknowledging the preference for older Australians to remain in the family home, the government subsidises a range of Home Care Packages for those who are eligible for residential aged care but prefer to remain at home.

Eligibility for these packages is assessed by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or the Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) in Victoria. The range of services provided under a Home Care Package depends on the level of care required (as assessed by ACAT or ACAS). This include care services, support services, clinical services and other services to support a person living at home.

There are four levels of home care services:

  • Home Care Level 1 to support people with basic care needs

  • Home Care level 2 to support people with low level care needs

  • Home Care Level 3 to support people with intermediate care needs

  • Home Care Level 4 to support people with high care needs

Home care payments

Basic daily fee

Fee payable by all recepients 

Home Care - Level 4

17.5% of single daily pension rate ($10.75 daily)

Home Care - Level 4

Level 4 reduced by $100 a year ($10.48 daily)

Home Care - Level 2

Level 4 reduced by $200 a year ($10.19 daily)

Home Care - Level 1

Level 4 reduced by $400 a year ($9.63 daily)

Home care fee

Income-tested daily fee

Persons receiving full age pension

Not payable

Part pensioners

Capped at $5,617.47 per annum

Self-funded retirees

Capped at $11,234.96 per annum

Basic daily fee

Recipients pay a basic daily fee determined by the level of care they need. For example if they have high care needs (Level 4) they will need to pay  17.5 per cent of the single basic pension rate. This fee increases on 20 March and 20 September each year in line with changes to the Age Pension. The fee applies to each person receiving a Home Care Package, even if they’re part of a couple.

Daily home care fee

Recipients may also have to pay a daily home care fee, which is determined by an income means test similar to that applied to residents of aged care homes. The income covered by this means test is based on the client’s total assessable income, which is defined as Centrelink/DVA pension income (net of the minimum pension supplement and clean energy supplement) plus ordinary income. The client’s ordinary income is assessed in exactly the same way as under the Centrelink income test.

The daily home care fee is calculated at the rate of 50 per cent of income above certain income thresholds with annual caps limiting the maximum that can be charged. You can only be asked to pay an income-tested care fee if you have a yearly income above the below thresholds.

Recipient

Threshold

Individual person 

$27,736.80

Member of a couple but now separated due to illness (individual income) 

$27,216.80

Member of a couple living together (combined income) 

$43,004.00

Full pensioners will not have to pay an income-tested home care fee. For part pensioners, income-tested fees are capped at $5,617.47 per annum. Self-funded retirees pay a fee of up to $11,234.96 per annum depending on their level of income. Under the living longer aged care reform measures, there is a lifetime cap of $67,409.85 on health care fees, which applies irrespective of whether the fees are paid for home care or care provided in an aged care residential facility.

Home care fee estimator

The calculator on the My Aged Care Website provides an estimate of the income-tested fee payable by an individual for a Home Care Package.

Home support

Whilst Home Care Packages are only available to older Australians assessed by ACAT or ACAS as requiring a certain level of support, there are a number of other services available to all older Australians in general.

Providers of these services are subsidised by the government under its Home and Community Care (HACC) program and can range from large organisations delivering multiple services over a wide area, to local community groups that might supply only one service.

Services include meal preparation and delivery, community transport and domestic assistance such as house cleaning and garden maintenance. Each service provider has its own policy on fees, however in general, most only require a small contribution, depending on the individual’s situation.

The 'Find a service' filter on the My Aged Care website lists service providers by location and type of service provided.

More Information

Service

Phone number

Website

My Aged Care 

1800 200 422

Department of Human
Services 

132 300

The Department of Health 

1800 020 103

Next: Your guide to tax treatment of super payments

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