Aged care means tests

Financial hardship assistance if you get home care

You may be able to get help from us if you're having trouble paying your home care fees.

How it works

If we agree you’re in hardship we can:

  • ask the aged care service to reduce or pause your fees for a short time, or
  • pay some or all of your fees for a short time

You can’t apply if:

  • you started a Home Care Package before 1 July 2014
  • you’ve gifted more than:
    • $10,000 in the last 12 months
    • $30,000 in the last 5 years, or
  • the assets you can sell or borrow against are worth more than $34,643.70

How to apply

You should apply as soon as you start having problems paying your fees. We can sometimes backdate help if you have special circumstances.

1. Fill in the form

Fill in the Financial hardship assistance for Home Care and Residential Respite Care form.

2. Get written proof

With your form you need to send documents that prove:

  • your aged care costs
  • your other essential costs
  • any assets you can’t sell or borrow against

You’ll also need to give full details of your assets if:

  • you get a means tested income support payment for home care, or
  • you’re a self-funded retiree and don’t get a means tested income support payment

If you don’t send these documents when you apply, we’ll ask you for more details. If you don’t send them within 28 days we’ll cancel your claim.

3. Send us your form and documents

Post them to the address on the form.

4. Wait for us to decide

When we’ve decided we’ll write to you and your care provider saying:

  • if we agree to give you hardship assistance
  • how long it’ll last

When it starts and ends

If we agree to give you financial assistance, it starts from the day we get your application.

Normally we agree to help for up to 12 months.

How long you can get help for depends on your situation. We decide this when you apply.

If you still need help you can apply again. It’s best if you do this before your current financial assistance ends. If not, you’ll have to pay your fees while we’re checking your application.

Where to find out more

Read about financial hardship assistance on the My Aged Care website.

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