How the income-tested care fee for home care is calculated8 min read
When organising a Home Care Package for the first time you may be assessed for an ‘income-tested care fee.’ This income-tested care fee is in addition to the basic daily fee for your Home Care Package. So how is the income-tested care fee calculated and how does this impact your Home Care Package?
If you are asked to pay an income-tested care fee, the government subsidy (the part the government pays for your Home Care Package) is reduced by the amount of the income-tested care fee you have been assessed as eligible to pay.
The only thing the care fee changes for your Home Care Package is the source of funds. Your chosen home care provider still needs to deliver the services to reflect the full value of your Home Care Package.
For example, if your Home Care Package is valued at $30,000, and you have been assessed by Centrelink as being able to pay $10,000 as your income-tested care fee, then the government contribution for your care will be $20,000 ($30,000 - $10,000 = $20,000).
How do I work out my fees?
If you’re already receiving an income tested payment, such as an Age Pension, Disability Support Pension, Service Pension or Income Support Supplement, you do not need to do anything as the Services Australia already have your income details.
If you are a self-funded retiree, or a part-pensioner and you do not receive a means tested income support payment, you will need to complete a formal income assessment form.
How do I complete an income assessment?
You can complete your income assessment by:
- Printing the full form
Download, print and complete the Home Care Package, Calculation of your cost of care (SA456) form, and post it to: Department of Human Services, Home Care, PO Box 7821, Canberra BC ACT 2610
- Using the guided digital form
Download the Aged Care Calculation of your cost of care (SA486) form and open it on your laptop, tablet or desktop computer. This form is dynamic and will present different questions based on the answers you give. Once completed, print the form and post it to: Department of Human Services, Home Care, PO Box 7821, Canberra BC ACT 2610
The forms will ask for details about you (and/or your partner’s) home and any other properties, including any rental income.
You will also be asked for details of your assets and income, including:
- Accounts, including banks, building societies or credit unions
- Shares or other securities
- Managed investments
- Money invested in superannuation or income stream products
- Bonds or debentures
- Funeral bonds (not funeral insurance), funeral investments or contracts to have funeral services
- Life insurance policies
- Money on loan to another person or organisation
- Any cash, assets, property or income you have given away, sold for less than their market value, or surrendered a right to
- Payments from outside Australia
- Any interests in a business partnership, a farm or from operating as a sole trader
- Any involvement in a private trust
- Any involvement in a private company
- Any other income not yet mentioned
How will I be advised of the fees?
It may take up to six weeks after Centrelink have received your income assessment and relevant information, for you to receive a letter about your fees.
Centrelink will work out your maximum income-tested care fee (if any) and will send you and your provider a letter showing an amount you may have to contribute to your Home Care Package.
If you submit your income assessment before you have started your package, only you will receive the letter, and the advice will be valid for 120 days. After this time you will be required to complete the assessment again.
The Brightwater at Home team can help you navigate the home care application process, including answering any questions you may have about the income assessment application. Get in touch on 1300 223 968 or email [email protected].