Everyone moving into an aged care home for the first time from 1 July
2014 will need to complete and lodge an income and assessment form
which will be used to determine their costs.
Please note that if you are a member of a couple, half of your combined
income and assets are considered in the income and assets
assessment, regardless of which partner earns the income or owns the
You must lodge this form regardless of whether you currently receive a
means-tested income support payment from the Department of Human
Services or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (such as the Age
Pension or the Service Pension).
The initial fee assessment advice will be valid for 120 days unless there
is significant change in your circumstances in which case you are
required to notify the Department of Human Services.
You can request an assessment prior to entering an aged care home.
The Department of Human Services will advise you and the aged care
home if you can be asked to pay your own accommodation costs or
whether you are eligible for some assistance with your accommodation
It is very important that you complete and lodge the income and assets
assessment form to be eligible for any Australian Government
assistance towards your aged care home costs, otherwise your aged
care provider may ask you to pay the maximum accommodation
payment you agreed with the provider before you began care with them
and the full cost of your care.
If you have reason to believe you will face financial hardship in paying
your aged care costs, you can ask to be considered for Financial
Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD)
A Refundable Accommodation (RAD) Deposit is money paid to the
operator of an aged care home for Residential care. Since 1 July 2014,
rules have changed which now allows you to pay the Refundable
Accommodation Deposit (RAD) or the Daily Accommodation payment
(DAP) or a combination of both.
You have 28 days from the day you enter an aged care home to decide
on your choice of payment method. Only a Government certified aged
care home is authorised to charge a Refundable Accommodation
Deposit. The amount payable is determined by an Income and Assets
How much will I have to pay?
- No accommodation costs: if your income and assets are below a
certain amount, the Australian Government will pay your
- An accommodation contribution: if you are required to pay part of the
cost of your accommodation, the Australian Government will pay
- An accommodation payment: if you are required to pay for the full cost
of your accommodation.
- You cannot be asked to pay both an accommodation payment and an
accommodation contribution at the same time.
A refundable accommodation deposit is like an interest free loan to the
aged care home which is used for maintenance and upgrade and any
interest earned is retained by the aged care home.
As the name suggests, a balance of the Refundable Accommodation
deposit is refunded less any amounts you agreed to, either to you or
your estate. This must be refunded within 14 days.
What fees apply to me?
All aged care homes charge a basic daily fee for day to day living costs
such as meals, laundry, cleaning and other provisions. This will be the
only fee for some people.
This fee is indexed by the Federal government on 20 March and 20
September each year in line with the increases to the age pension.
This basic daily fee is currently up to $47.49 per day till 19 March 2016.
The Australian government regulates the maximum costs a resident of
an aged care home may have to pay.
For new residents, the maximum basic daily fee is 85% of the single
person rate of the basic Age Pension. From 20 March 2015, the single
rate of the basic Age Pension is $782.20 per fortnight, and 85% of the
single rate of basic Age Pension is $664.86 per fortnight or $47.49 per
day. This applies even if you are a member of a couple.
Means Tested Fee
Based on your Income and Assets assessment, you may be required to
pay an additional fee. A means tested fee is an additional contribution
towards the cost of care that some people may be required to pay. The
Department of Human Services will work out if you are required to pay
this fee based on an assessment of your income and assets.
In the case of couples, half your combined income and assets are
considered in assessing your means tested fee.
There are annual lifetime caps that also applies and once this is
reached, you are not required to pay any more means tested fees.
Extra Services Fees
Some aged care homes also charge an extra service fee when you
choose accommodation of a higher standard. the government requires
all aged care homes that provide these extra services to publish and
provide details to you in all materials given to you prior to entry.
These vary from home to home.
Disclaimer: This is a basic guide only. Please consult a financial adviser or your
accountant to determine the full costs of entering an aged care home. You can also
find details of fees and charges on Department of Health and Department of Social