In Australia, the cost of Residential Care is covered through a combination of Australian Government funding, and individual resident contributions. There are a number of different types of costs and fees that you will need to understand when considering Residential Care for yourself or a loved one. Our goal is to help you understand these, and how each one applies to you.

Basic Daily Fee

The government requires every resident to pay a basic daily fee, as a contribution towards the cost of their day-to-day services. The Basic Daily Fee which is set by the Department of Human Services at 85 percent of the single age pension.

Before you enter a Residential Care home, the government will assess your income and assets, and if they are below a certain threshold, the Basic Daily Fee will be the only fee you need to pay.

Accommodation Fees

Accommodation fees cover the cost of your room within a Residential Care home. If your income and assets are above a certain threshold you will need to pay a lump sum Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD), a Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP), or a combination of the two.

If you pay a RAD, this is fully refunded when you leave the home. If you pay a DAP, you will be charged interest at a government-prescribed rate.

If your income and assets are below a certain threshold, you will be eligible for government assistance towards your accommodation costs. In this case you may still be asked to contribute towards your accommodation costs in the form of a lump sum Refundable Accommodation Contribution (RAC), a Daily Accommodation Contribution (DAC), or a combination of the two.

Accommodation fees vary for each of our Residential Care homes according to a variety of factors. To find out the current accommodation prices for each of our homes, click here and look for the ‘Room information’ section under each homes’ location listing.

Care & Services Fee

Care and services fees contribute towards the cost of your day-to-day care and the services you receive within your Residential Care home, including nursing, personal care and food services.

Means Tested Care Fee

This government assessed fee goes towards day-to-day care services like personal care and nursing, only applies to people who can afford it and the amount varies according to an assessment of your income and assets.

Additional Wellbeing Services Fee

At Southern Cross Care, we are committed to improving health and promoting wellbeing through active and engaged lifestyles. We encourage each person to participate in social and physical activities that promote wellbeing and to do things they enjoy, including exercising in our gyms, chatting in our cafés, joining in events and socialising on excursions.

To make this happen, we charge an Additional Wellbeing Services fee of $5 or $10 per day depending on the individual financial circumstances of each person as assessed by the government. Some residents may be eligible for an exception to this fee based on their income and asset levels.

Extra services fee

Residents of 34 rooms at our West Beach Residential Care home and every room at The Lodge, Lourdes Valley Residential Care home receive extra services for a small fee. These services include additional food and beverage options, and daily newspapers delivered to your room.

Case Studies

Here are some examples to help you understand how different fees apply in different situations. The names and details of the people mentioned below are fictional.

Example 1 - Elizabeth

Elizabeth has decided to move from her rented unit into a Residential Care home. The Age Pension is Elizabeth’s only source of income and she has no other income and assets.

Elizabeth will only need to pay the Basic Daily fee. She won’t have to pay any fees for accommodation, or an Additional Wellbeing Services fee.

Example 2 - Philip

Philip owns his own unit, but will soon be moving into a Residential Care home. He receives a modest regular income from his superannuation fund.

Philip will need to pay the basic daily fee, and because he has a modest income and financial assets, Philip will also need to pay a means-tested care fee but the Australian Government will help him pay for accommodation.

Philip has three options in how he contributes towards his accommodation costs. He can pay a RAC as a lump sum upfront, a DAC, or a combination of the two.

Philip will also pay a $5 daily Additional Wellbeing Services fee.

Example 3 - Margaret

Margaret is a single, self-funded retiree with significant income and financial assets. Margaret has made the decision to move into an extra services room at The Lodge, Lourdes Valley.

Margaret will need to pay the basic daily fee, a means-tested care fee, and because of her significant income and assets, Margaret’s accommodation costs won’t be supported by the government.

Margaret has three options in how she pays for her accommodation costs. She can pay a RAD, as a lump sum upfront, a DAP, or a combination of the two.

Margaret will also pay an Extra Services fee because she has chosen to move into a room with extra service status at The Lodge.

More information

For more information on Residential Care costs and how they apply to your individual situation, you can visit the My Aged Care website by clicking here, or speak with your financial advisor.

You can also speak to our friendly Care Options team by calling 1800 852 772.

Please note that although funding for Residential Care is provided by the Australian Government, the material contained on this page does not necessarily represent the views or policies of the Australian Government.