While NDIS participants are not expected to make any financial contribution towards the services they receive, individuals accessing support through the aged care system are asked to make a co-payment towards their care and support needs.
We are currently lobbying to change these arrangements for people with disability who are over the age of 65. In the meantime though, this page provides information that will help you get the best results out of the current system.
Please note that information on this page applies to people accessing aged care services after 1 July 2014. If you were already accessing aged care services prior to 1 July 2014, you can access more information here: schedule of fees and charges
The Department of Social Services has also released an online Guide to Aged Care Law, which can be accessed here: guide aged care law
And here you can download the Aged Care Assessment Program Guidelines (Word docx 515kb) released last year. This document explains the process of making complaints and asking for decisions to be reviewed.
Basic daily fees
There are basic daily fees that apply to aged care services. For example:
- The maximum basic daily fee for new residents accessing residential care is $48.25 per day.
- The maximum basic daily fee for a home care package averages out at just under $10 per day.
Note that these rates will generally change in September of each year, in line with changes to the Age Pension.
All individuals who access aged care services can be asked to pay the basic daily fee, while others may be asked to pay more depending on their income and assets.
The home care fee and residential care fee estimators on the My Aged Care website can help you estimate the payments you may be asked to pay for aged care services.
You can go here to access the home care fee estimator
And you can go here to access the residential care fee estimator
The amount of money you will be expected to contribute to your aged care services is ultimately negotiated between you and your service provider. Once these costs have been agreed upon, they will be written up in a formal agreement.
We have already heard stories from older people with disability who have successfully had their co-payments waved by negotiating with their service provider and putting a strong case forward as to why they should not be charged. We would also encourage others to try this approach. If you would like someone to assist you in the negotiation process, you could visit our advocacy page
The hardship Supplement
If contributing to your care and support arrangements would cause you financial hardship, you can also apply for the Hardship Supplement. If you are assessed as being unable to pay part or all of the required co-payments once submitting your application, the government can provide your service provider with an additional supplement to ensure that you still get the support you need.
To apply for the hardship supplement, you will need to submit a formal application to the Department of Human Services. GO here to access an hardship supplement application form
For further information about the application process, you can contact the Department of Human Services on 1800 227 475.
Information on this page has been gathered from the following sites:
- Department of Social Services, ‘Aged Care Fees and Charges’
- Guide to Aged Care Law, ‘4.3.3 Hardship Provisions’
- My Aged Care, ‘Aged Care Homes: costs explained’
- My Aged Care, ‘Fees and charges’
- My Aged Care, ‘Help at home: costs explained’
- My Aged Care, ‘Older people who are financially disadvantaged’
- My Aged Care, ‘What if I can’t afford to pay’