There are fees to live in a residential aged care centre. The amount of fees you will pay depends on your financial circumstances.
The Government does assist with the cost of residential aged care, but you will need to contribute to the cost if you can afford it. Likewise, Aged Care centres have fees and charges, but you may not have to pay all of them depending on your financial situation.
Steps to fee assessment
When you move into an aged care home either Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs will assess your income so that the Department of Health and Ageing can work out the amount of income tested fee you may be asked to pay.
In order to have your assets assessed it is necessary to fill out a form called ‘Request for an Asset Assessment‘ and submit it to Centrelink or the Department of Veterans‘ Affairs. This form can be obtained through your ACAT or by calling the Aged Care Information Line on 1800 500 853.
It’s a good idea to get an asset assessment before you move into residential aged care. It will give you a clearer understanding of your financial situation before making decisions about moving into aged care.
Types of fees
There are two types of fees:
Daily fees contribute towards daily living costs, such as nursing and personal care, meals, linen and laundry, as well as heating and cooling. Daily fees are made up of two components:
- a basic daily fee which all residents (except Australian ex-prisoners of war) are required to pay, and
- an income tested fee which is an additional fee charged to those who have a higher income. The amount of income tested fee depends an assessment made by Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
Accommodation payments contribute towards the cost of accommodation in an aged care nursing home. Only those residents who have assets that exceed the amount set by the government are required to make these payments.
This is agreed with the aged care nursing home when you move in and will be either:
- an accommodation bond, if you are in low care, or an extra service (with low or high level care needs); or
- an accommodation charge, if you are in high level care.
Further information on current fees are available from the Department of Health and Ageing’s website www.health.gov.au or by calling the Aged Care Information Line on 1800 500 853.