Fees for people entering Home Care Packages from 1 July 2014

As a home care provider, you can ask people receiving government-subsidised home care to pay a basic daily fee. You can also charge an income-tested care fee if their income is above a certain level. These fees apply to people who first started care from 1 July 2014.

Current rates

View the Schedule of Fees and Charges for current fee rates.

Fees that apply

The fees that may apply to people who start Home Care Packages from 1 July 2014 are:

  • a basic daily fee
  • an income-tested care fee
  • amounts for additional care and services

The fees are different for people who started home care before July 2014. See fees for people who entered Home Care Packages before 1 July 2014.

Basic daily fee

You can ask everyone taking up a Home Care Package to pay the basic daily fee. It doesn’t matter what their income is.

How much can you charge?

You can charge up to the maximum basic daily fee that applies to a person’s package level. View the current maximum fees in the Schedule of Fees and Charges.

Income-tested care fee

If a person’s income is above a certain amount, you can ask them to pay an income-tested care fee. This is in addition to the basic daily fee.

Full pensioners do not pay an income-tested care fee.

How much can you charge?

The income-tested care fee is different for everyone, because it depends on their income. Services Australia conducts income assessments to work out the maximum income-tested care fee a person can be asked to pay.

After you submit an Aged Care Entry Record Form for a person entering your care, Services Australia will send a fee advice letter to you and the person.

If a person wants to know their fees before they enter a Home Care Package, they can get a pre-commencement letter from Services Australia. This letter is valid for 120 days.

If a person does not complete an income assessment

If a person does not complete an income assessment, you can ask them to pay up to the maximum income-tested care fee — the second daily cap in the Schedule of Fees and Charges.

How the income-tested care fee affects the subsidy

Services Australia deducts a person’s maximum income-tested care fee from the basic subsidy and primary supplements they’re eligible for. This is called the care subsidy reduction.

Services Australia will do this whether you charge the maximum income-tested care fee, a lower income-tested care fee or no fee.

If you do not charge the maximum income-tested care fee, you must still provide services to the full value of the person’s package.

Example

George has chosen you to be his Home Care Package provider.

He has been allocated a level 1 Home Care Package and is not eligible for any supplements.

The level 1 Home Care Package subsidy rate is about $8750 per year.

Based on George’s income, Services Australia calculates his maximum income-tested care fee to be $2000 a year.

Services Australia deducts this amount from the Government subsidy paid to you on George’s behalf. This reduces the subsidy to $6750 a year ($8750 minus $2000).

If you do not collect the maximum income-tested care fee (no matter the reason), you must still provide George with services as if the fee has been paid in full.  You or George cannot select a lower level of care and services to match the reduced subsidy paid. 

Annual and lifetime caps

Annual and lifetime caps apply to income-tested care fees. View the caps in the Schedule of Fees and Charges.

If a person has reached the:

  • annual cap, you cannot charge them any more income-tested care fees in that year
  • lifetime cap, you cannot charge them income-tested care fees for the rest of their time in home care

Services Australia will let you and the person know when they have reached a cap. The Australian Government will pay the remaining income-tested care fees to you through a higher subsidy.

Did you know?

  • The annual and lifetime caps move with a person if they change providers.
  • The lifetime cap includes the income-tested care fee for home care and the means-tested care fee for residential aged care.

Amounts for additional care and services

A person can choose to pay for additional care and services that the Home Care Package would not otherwise cover. This can only happen if you and the person agree.

Review of fees

Changes to the basic daily fee rates

The maximum basic daily fee increases on 20 March and 20 September each year, in line with changes to the age pension.

Reviews of the income-tested care fee

Services Australia reviews income-tested care fees every 3 months. If a person’s income-tested care fee changes, Services Australia will send a letter to you both. You may owe the person a refund as a result of this review.

You should encourage care recipients to ask for a review from Services Australia if their financial circumstances change.

Temporary leave

When a person takes leave from home care, it may affect the fees you can ask them to pay. To find out more, go to temporary leave from Home Care Packages.

Managing fees

Find out what you must do to manage fees when a person enters and receives home care.

Last updated: 
22 January 2020
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