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Help with aged care homes
What will I pay?
There are two types of fees that you may be asked to pay:(more information).
The Department of Health and Ageing writes to all people living in aged care homes to tell them the maximum fee that they can be charged. If you prefer, you can nominate someone to deal with Health and Ageing on your behalf. The ‘Appointment of a nominee’ form is available from your aged care home or from the Aged Care Information Line on 1800 500 853. You can also download a copy from the Health website.
The Department of Health and Ageing also advises the aged care home what your maximum fee is, but does not provide any specific information to the aged care home about your income.
Everyone who seeks government assistance with aged care accommodation costs must undergo an assets assessment (more information) by Centrelink or DVA. This assessment will show whether you are eligible for subsidised aged care accommodation costs.
Read more: Assets assessments
Read more: Veteran, war widow or widower
Read more: Compensational residents
Read more: What if I can't afford to pay
What do I pay until I find out my correct fee?Fees vary according to people's income, their date of entry into care and the cost of care. Most people will receive a letter telling them their correct maximum daily fees, including the income tested fee (if appropriate) within 28 days.
If your maximum daily fee hasn’t been advised within this period, you may be asked to pay an interim fee. The aged care home must adjust this fee when your correct maximum daily fees are notified, and refund any extra amount you have paid.
Quarterly reviews of income-tested feesMaximum income tested fees remain current for three months, based on your assessed income at the time of the quarterly review and the revised rates are payable from 1 January, 20 March, 1 July and 20 September. At the end of each quarter, your income tested fee may be adjusted if your assessed income or your cost of care changed during that quarter. If you have overpaid your income tested fee you may receive a refund.
If your income falls significantly during the quarter and you would like to request a review before the quarterly review, you can ring the Aged Care Information Line on 1800 500 853 and ask to speak to the Income Testing Team.
Other significant changes to your circumstances may also lead to a review during a quarter.
The Department may advise you that your income tested fee per day is NIL for the next quarter if your calculated income tested fee would be less than $1.00 per day or if your cost of care is deemed to be zero.
Current rates of fees and chargesThe current rates of fees and charges and the income thresholds for income tested fees are available on the Health website.
Common questions on this topic:
- Do you pay fees before you move into an aged care home?
- I am a self-funded retiree, currently live in my own home and need to enter an aged care home to receive low (hostel) level care. How much could I be asked to pay?
- I receive a pension from Centrelink, currently live in my own home and need to enter an aged care home to receive high-level (nursing home) care. How much can I be asked to pay?