Aged care means tests

Aged care means test assessment for home care

We assess your income to work out if you can get help with home care.

What it is

The means test assessment is where we check your income to work out if you can get help from us to pay for home care.

How it works

The income test for aged care is the same one we use for income support payments.

We add up all your earnings, including any:

  • deemed income from financial assets
  • money or assets you’ve gifted in the last 5 years

Read more about the income test.

If you’re in a couple

We count your partner’s income too. We:

  • add what they earn to what you earn
  • divide the total by 2 to get the amount we use as your income

Who needs to apply

You need to apply for an income test for home care if you’re:

  • a self-funded retiree
  • on a non-income tested payment from us such as:
    • Age Pension (Blind)
    • Disability Support Pension (Blind)
    • Carer Allowance
    • Mobility Allowance, or
  • on a Department of Veterans’ Affairs Disability Pension or War Widow’s Pension, and not on the Income Support Supplement

If you don’t apply

If you choose not to apply you’ll need to pay the full fees for home care. You won’t get any government help.

Who doesn’t need to apply

You don’t need to apply if you’re on a means tested income support payment such as:

  • an Age Pension from us
  • a Service Pension, Income Support Supplement or Veteran Payment from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs

If you’re on one of these payments you don’t need to apply for us to assess your income. We’ll use details we already have to work out how much help you can get.

When to apply

You can apply before or after you start home care.

If you apply before, you can use the result of your means test for up to 120 days. But you’ll need to let us know if your income or anything else important changes.

How to apply

  1. Read the information on the Aged Care Fees Income Assessment form.
  2. Fill in the form.
  3. Post your form to:
    • us, or
    • the Department of Veterans’ Affairs

The addresses are on the form.

What a home care fee caps is

There are caps on the fees a home care provider can charge you. If the fees go over these limits, the government will pay the extra amount for you.

Read on the My Aged Care website about:

When your income changes

You must tell us about any changes to your income while we’re helping with your home care fees.

If your income changes, call the Aged Care team to tell us.

Where to find out more

The My Aged Care website tells you more about:

If you still have questions, call us on the Aged Care Fee Assessments and Services line.

This information was printed Wednesday 22 May 2019 from It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at when using this material.

Page last updated: 6 December 2018