Aged Care Fees Explained
Costs for Residential Care
How much you could be asked to pay towards your fees and accommodation costs will depend on your financial situation. You may be asked to pay only part of or no accommodation costs. There are strong protections in place to ensure care is affordable for everyone. The Australian Government regulates the maximum costs you may have to pay.
You can use our Residential Care Fee Estimator on the My Aged Care website to help you estimate what aged care home or nursing home costs you may be asked to pay.
Basic Daily Fee
A basic daily fee is used to contribute towards your day-to-day living costs such as meals, cleaning, laundry, heating and cooling. Everyone entering an aged care home can be asked to pay this fee.
From 20 September 2019 to 19 March 2020, the maximum basic daily fee for new residents (including respite residents) is up to $51.63 per day. This rate increases on 20 March and 20 September each year in line with changes to the Age Pension.
For new residents, the maximum basic daily fee is 85% of the single person rate of the basic Age Pension. This applies even if you are a member of a couple.
Further information on the Age Pension and a full list of current rates is available on the Department of Human Services website.
Means-tested Care Fees
This is an additional contribution towards the cost of care 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 the assessment of your income and assets, and will advise you of the amount. Please note if you are a member of a couple, half of your combined income and assets are considered in determining your means-tested care fee, regardless of which partner earns the income or owns the asset.
There are annual and lifetime caps that apply to the means-tested care fee. Once these caps are reached, you cannot be asked to pay any more means-tested care fees. Any income-tested care fees you have paid in a Home Care Package prior to moving into an aged care home will also contribute to your annual and lifetime caps.
Information on aged care means test assessments, including deemed income and exemptions, is available on the Department of Human Services website. For more information about how residential aged care can affect Centrelink payments, contact the Department of Human Services Centrelink directly on 132 300.
This is for your accommodation in the home. These are known as RAD, DAP, RAC and DAC. Some people will have their accommodation costs met in full or in part by the Australian Government, while others will need to pay the accommodation price agreed with the aged care home. The Department of Human Services will advise which applies based on assessment of your income and assets. Please note if you are a member of a couple, half of your combined income and assets are considered in determining your eligibility for Government assistance with accommodation costs when you enter the home, regardless of which partner earns the income or owns the asset.
You may want to consult with a financial adviser about your finances. There are various government services and resources that can help you obtain appropriate financial advice. It’s a good idea to do some research to see what options work best for you.