Aged care fees

Current schedule of fees

Accommodation fees and daily care fees are payable to aged care providers to assist in providing each resident with high quality professional care, regardless of their financial circumstances.

Low level care fees and charges

Accommodation bond

An accommodation bond is payable in low level care, but not in high level care unless the high level resident chooses an extra service option. The amount a person can be asked to pay is dependent on a person's assets, however, the accommodation bond can often be negotiated with the residential facility without disclosing a person's assets.

If a person has less than the minimum amount in assets then they cannot be asked to pay an accommodation bond. The accommodation bond is not spent (besides the retention amount), rather the residential facility profits from the interest made on the bond amount. The bond stays with the facility in question until the person moves on or passes away, in which case the bond is returned the person's estate.

The Australian Government guarantees a bond, meaning they will repay a bond's balance entitlement if a provider becomes bankrupt or insolvent.

Retention amount

The retention amount is the amount that a residential facility can take out of an accommodation bond each month. The retention amount taken goes towards the upkeep and general maintenance of the aged care facility. The retention amount can only be taken out for the first five years and is capped at a maximum amount (depending on the size of the bond payed).

More information about retention amounts

Daily care fee

The daily care fee is a set fee, determined by the Department of Health And Ageing. It is payable by all residents regardless of their level of care or financial circumstances (unless a person can claim under financial hardship provisions).

Income tested fee

Residents with a total assessable income above the maximum income of a full pensioner are asked to pay an income tested fee. It is a daily fee paid directly to the provider as a part of the overall care fees. The maximum level of a resident's income tested fee will be based on their total assessable income.

A resident cannot be asked to pay an income tested fee if they:

  • are a full pensioner
  • are a respite resident
  • are an Australian ex-prisoner of war
  • were receiving permanent residential care at any time before 1 March 1998
  • have a dependent child

The Department of Health and Ageing determines income tested fee amounts based on income information provided by Centrelink or the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). The department then notifies residents, and/or their representatives, and their aged care providers of the maximum fees payable.

Most residents will receive a letter from the Department of Health and Ageing advising them of their assessed maximum fees within the first 28 days of their entry to the aged care residential facility. Residents may be asked to pay an interim fee until they are advised of their income tested fee amount.

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High care fees and charges

Accommodation charge

The accommodation charge is a daily fee payable in high care and is dependent on a person's assets. The accommodation charge is fixed from the date of entry into care until they are discharged from care for a period greater than 28 days. A resident cannot be asked to pay the accommodation charge more than a month in advance. By law, it must be used by the residential facility to maintain and improve building standards and the quality of care.

The daily care fee and income tested fee applies for high care in the same way as it does in low care.

Extra service fees and charges

Facilities that offer an extra service option will require a bond for entry into the different levels of care; be it high care, low care or dementia-specific care. The bond may vary between various facilities. There is also an extra service daily fee payable by residents who choose this option.

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