Aged care support is designed to help older Australians who require assistance in their own home or who can no longer live at home. Costs vary, based on the level of care required and the type of care you have been assessed as eligible for. Aged care support comes in several forms, including:
Click on the '+' sign to the right of the headings below to expand the section you are most interested in learning about.
Note: there are three sections relating to residential aged care.
If you are ready to apply for an aged care assessment online, you can do so here.
You contribute to the cost of services via a regular payment to the provider but don't cover the full cost. The remainder is covered by the federal government and will not impact your pension.
Services will only go ahead if you have agreed to the fee with your provider. If you are experiencing financial hardship, please discuss with your provider.
You can register to have your needs assessed and find a provider via the My Aged Care website.
A Home Care Package consists of the federal government contribution (the subsidy) and your contribution.
The fees you may be asked to pay include a basic daily fee, an income-tested care fee and additional fees.
There are four levels of Home Care Package, ranging from Level 1 (basic care needs) to Level 4 (high care needs).
The current waiting list for Home Care Packages is almost 100,000 and will continue to climb unless immediate action is taken.
That's why National Seniors is calling on the government to strengthen home care services and implement urgent aged care reforms.
Short-term care can be provided for a few days or a few months at a time. There are three types:
- Restorative care - help with everyday tasks while you develop a longer term management plan
- Transition care - help to recover after a hospital stay
- Respite care - help to give you or your carer a break.
While the federal government subsidises the cost of short-term care, you may be asked to pay a maximum of:
- $10.75 per day if you receive care while living at home
- $52.25 per day if you receive care while living in a residential care facility.
If you want to remain at home but are not sure about the level of help you need, it is a good idea to discuss your options with a GP.
They may be able to organise a Care Plan or connect you with services in your area.
Here's a quick rundown of possible costs:
- Basic daily fee (this is set on 20 March and 20 September each year by the government and you pay directly to your provider).
- Means-tested care fee (covered by government subsidy)
- Accommodation (covered by government subsidy)
- Extra service fees (these are not covered by government subsidy)
- Additional service fees (these are not covered by government subsidy).
For more information on how much you will pay for cost of care and accommodation, read the section below titled 'How your assets and incomes affect residential care costs.'
It is recommended that you seek independent financial advice from a qualified professional before making a decision. Financial hardship assistance is also available. Learn more here.
On top of your basic daily fee, you might have to pay a means-test care fee if your assets and/or income are assessed above a certain threshold. Your assets and income are used to determine the means tested fee.
You may also have to contribute to the cost of your accommodation when in care, but only if your assets and/or income are above a certain threshold. As a general guide:
- if you have income below $27,840.80 and assets below $50,500, the Australian Government will pay your accommodation costs
- if you have income above $70,320 or assets above $171,535.20, you will need to pay for the full cost of your accommodation, negotiated and agreed to with the aged care home
- if you need to pay for part of your accommodation, the Australian Government will pay the rest.
That includes the value of the family home.
However, the full value of the family home will not be included in the assets test if you don’t sell it. Instead a capped amount is included or the net market value of your house, if lower.
Your family home is not counted as an asset if either:
- your partner or dependent children are still living there, or
- a carer eligible for an Australian Government income support payment has been living there for at least two years, or
- a close relative who is eligible for an Australian Government income support payment has been living there for at least five years.
The value of your family home is not counted for two years for the assets test from the date you move into care.
If you move into residential care without selling your home (to pay for the lump sum required for accommodation), it will be exempt from the Age Pension assets test for two years from the date you move into care. The start date will vary if you are, or were, a member of a couple.
Advice can be provided through our partner Financial Advice Matters*, accredited aged care specialists, who can help with:
1. At Home Care
- Registering for Government Assistance and ACAT Assessment
- Assist in development of preferred care packages
- Identify and suggest reputable care providers
- Ensure you understand the conditions of the package including the fees, and assist with the ongoing monitoring of the service.
2. Placement Packages – Placement in a Residential Aged Care Facility
- Locate an accredited home in the preferred location with your specific needs
- Assist in preparation of the paperwork for the Aged Care facility and other Centrelink related paperwork
- Assist with the negotiation of the entry bond (Refundable Accommodation Deposit)
- Ensure you are aware of the contractual arrangements in relation to the new home
- Provide any additional information and answer any queries you have.
3. Advanced Packages – Answering the Common and Complex Questions:
- How can I afford the entry bond (RAD)?
- Do I need to sell my home, or can I rent it?
- How is my home and other assets assessed under Centrelink and Aged Care Rules
- Will this impact my DVA or Age Pension?
- What happens to the RAD should I pass away?
- Can my partner still reside in the family home if I need to move into an Aged Care facility?
- What happens if I don't have any assets, what does this mean for me?
Financial Advice Matters will provide a comprehensive report covering the above questions, and answering many more that are applicable for your personal situation. The report will also include suggested strategies on how you might fund your upfront and ongoing fees while in an Aged Care Facility, allowing you to discuss these suggestions with your family and other professionals before being able to select the best option for you.
Let us take the stress and emotion out of finding the right aged care services for you. Call 1300 76 50 50.
*Financial Advice Matters is a division of FAMG Pty Ltd ABN 11 605 631 598.