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Home Care Package fees paid by a client

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Explanation of fees

The fees paid under a Home Care Package can be extremely confusing for clients.
Is this paid by the client from their personal bank account or is it taken from the Government funds made available to the Provider as part of the HCP.

Generally, when clients consider fees, they are thinking in terms of what is the Home Care Package going to cost them from their private funds, i.e. what will they have to contribute towards their own care.
However, in Home Care, there are several definitions of the word "fee" and some may relate to the client paying from their private funds but other "fees" are actually deducted from the Government subsidies. Below are some of the common fees listed and whether the client pays for these fees from their private funds or it is taken from the Government subsidies sitting in the HCP.

Client Paid fees

There are 2 fees that the client may be required to pay towards the cost of their home care.

Basic Daily Fee

The Basic Daily fee is not income tested. It is a fixed daily amount (depending on the package level assigned) and is approximately $10 for all package levels.
The Package Provider may ask you to pay these fees. If so, this will come from your private funds and you will need to setup a direct debit payment to the provider so that the fees are collected regularly by the provider.

The important thing to remember here is that this is NOT a compulsory fee. It is a "recommended" fee by the Government and you will need to negotiate with the Package Provider on this. At The Care List, we do NOT collect this fee from clients.
If your provider is charging you this fee under the guise of "it is a Government mandated fee", that is certainly not the case. You should be at liberty to discuss and negotiate this fee down to $0, especially if you are not already using up all the funds being provided by the Government.
The Basic Daily fee will vary depending on the package level you have been assigned.

As at 20 September 2020, this is the recommended Basic Daily Fees:

Income Tested Fee

The other possible fee that comes out of the client's private funds is the Income Tested Fee. As the name suggests, this fee is calculated based on your Income. Income may be actual income or "deemed" income based on the assets in the client's possession. Cenrelink (Department of Human Services) is responsible for the calculation of this fee and once determined it will advise both the client and their Package Provider as to how much fee the client needs to pay.
This fee varies from $0 (nil) per day to around $30 per day. Needless to say, the higher your income, the higher this fee. If you do not declare your income to Centrelink, then they will assess you to pay the highest daily rate, so it is worthwhile getting an assessment of your income and assets done. You will be able to download the necessary form from the Centrelink website Income Test Assessment form.

As a general guide, a single person with an annual income of around $27K p.a. will not be expected to pay an income tested fee.
A single person with an annual income of under $53K p.a. will be expected to pay up-to a maximum of around $15.50 per day.
A single person with an annual income of greater than $53K p.a. will be expected to pay up-to a maximum of around $30.85 per day.

As at 20 September 2020, this is the indicative Income Tested Fee (note for couples, the fee is per person receiving a HCP):

It is also important to note that the Income Tested fee remains the same regardless of the package level you have been assigned.

Want to get a quick estimate of your Income tested fee? If you know your approximate annual income and assets (excluding your home), please use this portal to estimate your fee. Please use this calculator with a pinch of salt. It is easy to enter in incorrect figures, double report your income and hence the calculator should only be used if your situation is straight-forward with just 1 or 2 income sources and hardly any assets (other than your family home) at all.
How often do you need to pay these fees?
The basic daily fee (if charged) and the income-tested care fee are paid for every single day that package funds are assigned to you. It doesn't matter whether you receive a service on that day or not. You may be asked to pay your home care fees on a fortnightly or monthly basis.

Provider fees

The Provider is allowed to deduct a variety of fees and charges from the HCP funds. It is very important to note, that the Provider fees are not taken from the client's personal funds, but are deducted from the available funds in the HCP account i.e. money already collected by the Provider from the Government and any Client fees (see above) if the client is required to pay Client fees.

The Provider will deduct fees for:

  1. Services provided
  2. Case Management
  3. Package Management
  4. Exit Fee - this will only kick in if you leave the Package Provider
The Package Provider will give you a Home Pricing Schedule in the Home Care Agreement. This Schedule will detail the charges the Provider is entitled to charge.