If you are recommended for Residential Aged Care, you could be asked to pay towards your accommodation costs dependent on your financial situation.
You may be asked to pay only part of the accommodation costs, or alternatively, no accommodation costs at all.
The Australian Government will first conduct an assessment (via ACATs) of your care needs and your income and assets. They will then advise you and the aged care home, as to whether you will be asked to pay towards your accommodation costs, and if so, how much.
If you are required to pay for your accommodation, you have greater choice in how you pay.
From July 1st, 2014, you have been able to use a:
- lump-sum payment, called a ‘refundable accommodation deposit’
- regular rental-type payment called a ‘daily accommodation payment’, or
- a combination of both.
If you are required to pay an accommodation payment, you will have 28 days from the day you entered care to decide on your payment method.
Aged care homes cannot refuse you a place based on how you want to pay for your accommodation.
Until you decide on your ongoing payment method, you will need to pay your accommodation costs by rental-type ‘daily accommodation payment’, until you decide on your ongoing payment method.
Refundable accommodation deposit – works like an interest-free loan to an aged care home. The balance of the deposit is refunded when you leave the aged care home, less any amounts you have agreed to have deducted.
Daily accommodation payments – instead of paying for your accommodation as a lump sum you can choose to pay as periodic payments. The amount you pay is based on a daily rate. However, you will pay in instalments up to a month in advance, as agreed with your service provider. Daily accommodation payments, unless you have paid in advance, are not refundable if you leave the aged care home.
Combination of Both – you can also choose to pay for your accommodation as a part lump-sum refundable accommodation deposit, and part rental-type payment known as ‘daily accommodation payments’.
Seeking Financial Advice
Deciding whether to pay a Refundable Accommodation Deposit or Daily Accommodation Payment is one of the many important financial decisions an individual or their family members may have to make, and one where professional financial advice is strongly recommended.
Choosing whether the accommodation payment is paid as a lump sum or periodically, may impact Centrelink assessment of the former home, so it is crucial to seek advice.
The payment method which is most suitable for you will depend on your personal and financial situation. For example, choosing a particular payment method may affect your pension, if you receive one.
There are various government services and resources that can help you obtain appropriate financial advice. For more information, please see our Residential Aged Care – Useful Links section.
It’s a good idea to do some research to see what options work best for you. Whatever your long term care needs might be, it pays to find out about your options before you talk to aged care providers.
Please use our Business Directory Search facility if you require assistance in finding ‘Aged Care Homes’ in your local area.