Care eligibility, assessments and costs

Care costs relate to the personal and clinical care you will receive while living in an aged care home and can partially or fully funded by the government. This will be dependent on the level of care you need and a means assessment to determine your ability to pay. 

Assessing your eligibility to access residential aged care services

To access government-funded aged care services, you must go through the My Aged Care portal, which starts by identifying if you’re eligible to access services before completing an assessment, which includes some needs-based and age requirements: 

- How much assistance needed with everyday tasks 
- Being 65 years or older (50 years or older for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people) 

The My Aged Care’s eligibility checker only takes a few minutes to complete and can give an idea of eligibility to access subsidised residential aged care. 
If you’re not eligible, or waiting for funded services to become available, you can access privately funded services at any time and pay the full costs yourself. 

Applying for aged care services and complete an ACAT assessment

If you believe you’re eligible, or are given a referral by your GP, you can call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or you can apply online.  

All assessments must be arranged by My Aged Care - someone from the My Aged Care contact centre will be in touch to confirm your assessment. If you require urgent care, an ACAT assessor will be in contact within 48 hours and you may have an assessment completed once you’ve moved into a residential aged care home. 

Complete assessment 
If your application is successful, you will then be referred for a face-to-face assessment completed by an aged care assessment team (ACAT), who are medically trained and able to assess your care needs to determine if you’re eligible for government-funded services and if so, which ones you’re eligible for.  

Recommendation given 
Following your assessment, the ACAT team will make a recommendation and you will receive a letter detailing if you’re eligible to access services. This is usually received between two to six weeks after your assessment. It’s therefore a good idea to plan ahead and apply for the assessment when you’re ready to start looking at residential aged care options.  

Means-tested fee 
This is an additional contribution determined by Services Australia upon completing a means assessment and not everyone will be required to pay this. It’s an ongoing fee towards the cost of your personal and clinical care, which is capped annually and may change based on your evolving needs while living in the home. Annual and lifetime caps are set by the Australian Government 20 March and 20 September each year outline in the schedule of fees and charges.  
The exact amount will be determined once you enter one of our homes following all relevant Services Australia assessments.  
You can use My Aged Care’s fee estimator if you would like to get an idea of the fees you may be required to pay.