Aged care program

Where do I start?

If you or someone close to you is in need of residential aged care support or an aged care facility, it is best to first speak with your doctor, who will refer you to the ACAT for a consultation. Entry into aged care home requires an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assessment and approval.
The next step shall be deciding on an aged care facility. The most difficult step in finding and organising the home, or residential care, is learning about the services available.

This process takes time. Care Facilities are made up of Private & Government providers. If private services cannot be afforded, then in emergencies it is best to contact a General Practitioner or local hospital.

Step 1: Approval
Before entering an aged care facility your health must be assessed to determine your eligibility for care. The assessment can be performed by any doctor, nurse or social worker who is a member of an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT, or ACAS in Victoria). You can visit to request an assessment.

Step 2: Find a home
To make sure you find a home that you are comfortable in and that will suit your needs, you may like to visit a few different places. You can apply to as many homes as you like. The accommodation costs for all aged care facilities are published on the Government’s aged care website This website also provides description of the rooms
and services available at the facility.

Step 3: Organise your finances
On entry to a facility, you will be required to pay an accommodation contribution or accommodation payment. Some people will have their accommodation costs met in full or part by the Government, while others will need to pay the accommodation price agreed with the aged care home. The Department of Human Services (DHS) will advise which applies to you based on an assessment of your assets and income. There will also be a basic daily fee to pay and there may be a means-tested care fee which is determined by your level of income and assets. Some facilities offer you a higher level of service or a higher standard of accommodation or food for an additional daily fee.

What questions can WRS help you with?

  • What assets effect the accommodation costs?
  • Do we keep the home or do we sell it?
  • How do I maximise my Centrelink entitlements?
  • Having your estate in order

How is the basic daily fee rate worked out for aged care?

A basic daily fee is payable by all residents for the costs of daily living, such as meals, power, and laundry. This amount changes as it is calculated on 85% of the basic single Age Pension which indexes March and September each year. As at 1 January 2018 the fee is $49.42 per day.

This applies even if you are a member of a couple. Department of Human Services will advise which applies to you:

  • Full or part payment by Australian Government (Accommodation Contribution)
  • Accommodation price agreed with age care home

Accommodation costs for all aged care facilities are published on:

This site will also describe services offered and a description of room at each age care centre.

Take our ‘5 min Financial Health Check’ for a quick guide to your current financial condition