Many people are confused by the Income Tested fee and for very good reason: it’s confusing! Hopefully the following information will help clarify what it is and when it’s applicable. If not, feel free to give one of our Care Experts a call to explain it in more detail.
How is the fee determined?
The Department of Human Services (DHS) calculates an income-tested fee based on an assessment of the consumer’s financial information. This assessment does not include the value of your home or other assets. Based on this assessment the government may require you to contribute to your Home Care Package. This contribution is called an Income Tested Fee. This fee is different for everyone depending on the outcome of their assessment. Full Pensioners are not required to pay an Income Tested Fee at all. Individuals who are self-funded retirees or have a part pension may be required to contribute to their Home Care Package.
Is it mandatory to pay?
If the government assesses you as having to contribute to your Home Care Package then you must pay an Income Tested fee. Your Provider is not allowed to waive this fee.
Who do you pay the fee to?
Although the government determines the fee the onus is on the Provider to collect it. This is where it gets confusing as it can seem like a Provider’s fee but it’s a fee that is collected on behalf of the government.
Here’s an example: Georgie is on a Level 4 package and is a self-funded retiree. The government has let her know that she must contribute to her own package and pay an Income Tested fee of $9.82 a day. A Level 4 package is worth $137.77 a day. In Georgie’s case the government will only give her $127.95 per day. She will have to pay $9.82 to make up the difference.
How do you find out if a fee is applicable?
To find out if a fee is applicable you can request a fee advice letter from DHS before entering your Home Care Package or alternatively you can do a Home Care Fee Estimator available on the My Aged Care website. This will provide you with an estimate of the fees the government will require you to contribute to your package. You can find the link to the fare estimator here: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/fee-estimator/home-care/form
What if my income changes?
The government will do quarterly reviews of your income tested fee conducted by DHS, and if your financial circumstances change you should contact them and ask for a review.
Can I waive my Income Tested fee?
The government does not allow a client to waive the Income Tested fee and decide to have less funds for their Home Care Package. Home Care Package Providers do not have any choice in charging this fee if it’s applicable.
Is the Daily Fee the same as the Income Tested Fee?
No, the Daily Fee is something different. It’s a top up fee that Providers can charge a Home Care Package holder but it’s not mandatory at all.
How do you pay the Income Tested fee?
We collect the Income Tested Fee with Direct Debit. Once you have filled in the form we can automatically schedule the fee transfer to minimise hassle for you.
We hope this has helped you understand the Income Tested Fee, but if you have any other questions feel free to contact us.