Aged Care Costs

How much will you pay

Aged care costs (nursing home costs) are the range of fees and charges you need to pay to receive aged care services. The Federal government subsidise a range of aged care services in Australia, but if you have the means, you will be expected to contribute to your aged care costs.

Aged care costs vary depending on the nursing home and type of accommodation, but the Government has regulations in place to ensure everyone can afford to enter aged care.

Basic daily fee

This fee is used to pay for your everyday living costs, such as meals, cleaning and laundry. It is charged at 85% of the single person rate of the Age Pension, even if you are part of a couple.

This rate increases on March 20 and September 20 every year in line with the Age Pension. When you go into aged care, you will receive a letter from the Department of Human Services confirming what your fee will be.

Means-tested care fee

This is an additional fee some people have to pay based on their income and assets that is determined by the Department of Human Services. If you are part of a couple, half of your combined income and assets will be used to decide your fee.

There are annual and lifetime caps applied to the means-tested fee so once you have reached these, you cannot be asked to pay any more. The current cap is set at $25,939.92.

Accommodation fee

The costs of your accommodation are based on an assessment of your income and assets.

If you have less than $46,500, the Federal Government will pay your fee in full. If you have more than this, you will have to pay some or all of the costs of your accommodation. If you are part of a couple, half of your combined income and assets will be used to assess if you are eligible for Government help.

This can be paid as a Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD), a single payment which is re-paid in full to you or your estate when you leave the nursing home; or as a Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP), a fee which is calculated on a daily basis and is not refundable.

You need to agree how much you will pay for your fees with your nursing home before you move in, but you have up to 28 days after you enter to change your means of payment.

Fees for extra services

You may also have to pay extra fees to cover accommodation or additional services. These are regulated and nursing homes are required to publish these fees on the my aged care website and their websites and promotional material.

Other additional care and fees are not regulated and are agreed between you and your nursing home.

There are services and resources available to advise you on aged care costs, as well as assistance if you are facing financial hardship.

My aged care has a Residential Care Fee Estimator that helps you estimate the costs you may be asked to pay for your nursing home.

Looking for aged care?

Did you know it could be 13 weeks or more to secure an aged care home?

agedcare101 makes aged care easy with 9 steps to an aged care home. You’re likely feeling the pressure to do something now but it’s equally important to invest the time to complete each of the steps and get the best result.

Popular Articles

View All Articles
Article Img
Your sense of balance later in life can be crucial – how to improve yours

A fall at a later stage in life can be scary, and can even cause some serious damage. A sense of balance is not something we’re all equipped with, so as you age, falls can be a real sense of anxiety. However, there are lots of things you can do to prevent falling by improving your balance.

Article Img
Retirement village family open their first land lease community

Well-known retirement village family open their first land lease community in Victoria The Gannon family, led by Tom and Michael Gannon, have unveiled 226 homes at the Lucas Lifestyle Estate in Ballarat.

Article Img
73% of Australians willing to sacrifice inheritance for aged care

Nearly three-quarters of all Australians are willing to sacrifice their own inheritance so their parents and grandparents can enjoy the retirement they deserve, according to a new report by B2B aged care service CompliSpace.

Article Img
Volunteers are the backbone of the aged care sector, and more are needed

Tens of thousands of people, of all ages, such as 90-year-old Lily Burns and 20-year-old Charlise Hannagan, volunteer in aged care homes. The Change Makers is the theme for this year’s National Volunteer Week, 15 to 21st May, which celebrates the vital work of volunteers.

A special thanks to our contributors

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.