Understanding Aged Care

Along the way, you’ll hear a lot of jargon about aged care, but the most important ones are:

Aged care assessment

To enter government-subsidised residential aged care, you must first be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).  The assessment will also determine your eligibility for respite or a home care package.

Accommodation payment

Aged care facilities set the prices they charge for accommodation in different types of rooms.  The facility must publish these prices, show the payment options and provide a description of the key features.  Residents have a choice on how they pay for their accommodation – either as a lump sum (Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD)), a periodic payment called a Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP), or a combination of both.

Daily care fee

A fee paid by all residents which represents 85% of the full single aged pension.

Means tested care fee

This means-tested fee captures both income and assets.  For new residents, both their income and assets are used to determine a ‘relevant means-tested amount’.  An annual cap of $25,349.21 (indexed) applies to the means-tested care fee to protect residents with higher than average care fees.  A lifetime cap of $60,838.12 (indexed) protects all residents who receive care for a longer than average period of time.

Fees for extra or additional optional services

Additional fees may apply if you choose a higher standard of accommodation or additional services.  These vary from facility to facility.